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Forums : NELSAP Discussion : NELSAP Discussion
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Lost Areas that had potential to succeed

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skier90
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 5:31 PM GMT

The ones that come to my mind are Moose Mountain and Mount Tom.

Both with great location and vast amounts of land to expand to.
mapnut
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 6:03 PM GMT
Edited: Sep 11, 2006 - 8:58 PM GMT

This should be an interesting topic. Nearly all the NELSAP areas are relatively small, and there are relatively few small areas still operating. So how do we distinguish lost areas that might have kept operating if not for some bad luck, from areas whose closure was inevitable given the changing times?

A lot of the very small areas never made any profit, but kept operating as long as the owners were motivated. They closed when the owners got old or moved away.

Others might have stayed in business if not for financial mistakes. Some here have said that Temple Mt., NH would still be in business if they hadn't wasted money on a poorly conceived expansion.

Here's a very old thread on the converse topic - what keeps small areas in business? Page title: What keeps small areas from getting lost?
johnskiismore
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 6:18 PM GMT

I have often wondered how Greylock Glen would have done if it had opened. It was being built on a well known mountain, fairly easy to access, good population in the area, 700' of vertical, it could've been a good medium size mountain!

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firstchair
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 6:33 PM GMT

The lost area the puzzles me the most is Mt Tom. It's location right off a major highway and close to a good size population center give it a distinct advantage over other smaller mountains that have failed.

Ski areas like Nashoba survive primarily on the after school lessons. This revenue is prepade regardless of the weather. I can't understand why Mt Tom was not able to sufficiently tap into this revenu stream. In the end, they must not have been making enough money to stay in business. The were probably other options that (gravle pit) that allowed them to make more money or loos less.

Its a shame as Mt has a great location to be an excellent feeder hill. I was always surprised that a larget mt up in Vt did not try an run it.
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 9:33 PM GMT

Highlands and King Ridge are two other areas with great Interstate access that couldn't make it through the mid-90's snow drought.
joshua segal
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 10:00 PM GMT

Many of the NELSAP areas were potentially viable with the right investment. Temple Mountain comes to mind as a area that was a victim of the wrong weather pattern at the wrong time.

The mountain was excellent for night skiing with access to Manchester, Nashua and Keene within a half-hour.

It was located on Route 101, the main east-west highway across Southern NH, so it was easy to get to.

There were many schools that brought kids there after school for learn-to-ski programs. (As I recall, about 2000 kids per weekday PM/early evening.)

With adequate capitalization there was terrain below the bottom of the lift system that could have increased the vertical to close to 1000 feet.
---
I will be very surprised if we don't get a major report on Brodie from someone.

Watatic hadf great potential because of its proximity to Boston.

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maplevalleymaster
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 10:15 PM GMT
Edited: Sep 12, 2006 - 8:40 PM GMT

I actually think that Hogback has the potential to succeed if they made it more of a resort. Such as this one here. They could make a hotel and promote its view. I also must bring up Maple Valley. If enough money was put into it, lift upgrades and expansion I think it could make it. It does have an even more southern location than Mount Snow and they could make it like a small mountain experience and have things such as $25 midweek.
joshua segal
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 11:08 PM GMT

Key to success of any of these ski areas is the availability of water to make snow.

Included in the list of potentially successful areas (if they had water) includes Hogback and Petersburg Pass.


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skier90
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Posted: Sep 11, 2006 - 11:23 PM GMT

so,

Moose Mountain
Mount Tom
Temple Mt
Greylock Glen
Highlands
King Ridge
Hogback
Petersburg Pass
Maple Valley

Objections add ons?
joshua segal
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 12:21 AM GMT

skier90 said:
Quote:
so,

Moose Mountain
Mount Tom
Temple Mt
Greylock Glen
Highlands
King Ridge
Hogback
Petersburg Pass
Maple Valley

Objections add ons?


I object to Hogback and Petersburg Pass because while you can do most anything with adequate capital, the water problem I believe would be insurmountable.

Brodie and Watatic probably should be on the list, but I don't have enough info to know for sure.

There are also reasonably large vertical drop places like Thorn Mountain, NH, Mt, Agamenticus, ME, Beartown, MA and quite a few others that went out of business long before most of us were skiing. Without substantial research, I don't think we know if they had potential or not.

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photogf128
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 12:22 AM GMT

Quote:
I actually think that Hogback has the potential to succeed if they made it more of a resort. Such as this one here. They could make a hotel and promote its view. I also must bring up Maple Valley. If enough money was put into it, lift upgrades, lift upgrades and expansion I think it could make it. It does have an even more southern location than Mount Snow and they could make it like a small mountain experience nd have things such as $25 midweek.


i really don't see any connection with the success of Twin Farms, a very exclusive, off the beaton path, $2000 a night resort which does no public advertising, to the failure of Hogback.

If you think Maple Valley has such great potential it can be all yours for a mere 2 million. I think MV's failure had more to due with the success of Stratton and Mt Snow than anything else.

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djspookman
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 12:55 AM GMT
Edited: Sep 12, 2006 - 12:56 AM GMT

I think that Pinnacle in Randolph, VT could have done pretty well due to the varied terrain there and great open hardwood forests that surround it. I think that the town could still support the ares if for nothing else a feeder hill. (just as Farr's tow in town was a feeder hill in the past)

Of course, I am a little partial to the area since my extended family is from the area and gre up skiing at Farr's hill and at Pinnacle, so that may be putting a little bias in my opinion!

dave

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rickbolger
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 1:05 AM GMT

Quote:
I also must bring up Maple Valley. If enough money was put into it, lift upgrades, lift upgrades and expansion I think it could make it. It does have an even more southern location than Mount Snow and they could make it like a small mountain experience and have things such as $25 midweek.


Maple Valley could've made it...use those mountain roads to the south to access the summit area, and put condos, lots of outdoor hot tubs, summer golf up there. Not enough room at the base to do it right, but a huge, relatively gentle area up high. Build a resort just big enough to impress-- closest major VT resort to an interstate highway, perhaps? Target audience is people looking for winter vacations who don't necessarily ski. Have snowmobiling, ice rink, XC area, snowshoeing, horse drawn sleighs, all that stuff, and by the way we have a nice mid sized upside down ski area. Maple Valley tops my list.
JerryG
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 1:30 AM GMT

Now that I've seen Black Mountain (ME) and Mount Abram suceed as small, family areas in the shadow of SR; I think that if it hadn't been for tough financial times and the add-on of a huge tax burden, Evergreen Valley might have been a neat little place in Western Maine. It would have all the water needed, decent vert, and a 4-season community already in place.

Jerry

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trackbiker
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 3:14 AM GMT

I wonder how many of the smaller lost areas, close to a population center, would have been able to survive if they had lasted to the advent of snowboarding.
While they couldn't offer big mountain skiing; put in some jumps, rails, and a half-pipe, and maybe they could have survived catering to that market in addition to the school programs.
Two smaller areas here in the banana belt have taken that approach and seem to be doing well.
Almost every town nearby has added a skate park in the past couple of years. I'd be at every one of them handing out discount coupons for a snowboard rental/lesson package if I owned a small area close by.
Any thoughts?
photogf128
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 3:27 AM GMT

Remember that Black Mt in Maine is now owned by a non-profit entity called The Libra Foundation with very very deep pockets. Libra Foundation was started by the woman who founded Maine Bank & Trust.

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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 11:02 AM GMT

i would have to say probably not to watatic. it certainly wouldn't draw from the boston crowd, too far away for too small of a mountain, especially with crotched nearby which has a larger mountain and more sustained steeps. i think wawa is also closer to boston, less towny driving too. i hiked up and skied watatic two years ago and it just didn't strike me as being a viable area considering its location and lack of an immediate population center to be a feeder hill.

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joshua segal
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 12:11 PM GMT

Trackbiker said:
Quote:
I wonder how many of the smaller lost areas, close to a population center, would have been able to survive if they had lasted to the advent of snowboarding. ...

This is a superb observation. While most skiers are looking for long runs, I've seen many a boarder spend an entire day just running a half-pipe.

I don't know what is still potentially available. Klein Innsbruck? Diamond Hill? But if the big areas were concernned about their future supply of skiers, they would be buying up these places (or leasing them) to use as feeder areas.

In theory, this is what Ragged Mt. did with the Blue Hills, although it is clear: they did it badly!

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Joshua Segal
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 12:26 PM GMT
Edited: Sep 12, 2006 - 12:27 PM GMT

Quote:
Trackbiker said:
[quote]I wonder how many of the smaller lost areas, close to a population center, would have been able to survive if they had lasted to the advent of snowboarding. ...
[/quote]
This is a superb observation. While most skiers are looking for long runs, I've seen many a boarder spend an entire day just running a half-pipe.

I don't know what is still potentially available. Klein Innsbruck? Diamond Hill? But if the big areas were concernned about their future supply of skiers, they would be buying up these places (or leasing them) to use as feeder areas.

In theory, this is what Ragged Mt. did with the Blue Hills, although it is clear: they did it badly![/quote]

This is one of the reasons I am very interested in how Whaleback does.

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rickbolger
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Posted: Sep 12, 2006 - 1:27 PM GMT

The snowboard/park/pipe angle was supposed to resurrect NY's Cortina...haven't heard status of this. I agree a lot more local tows would've survived.

As for Pinnacle VT....I thought about that, for sentimental reasons (I lived near it as a teenager). But surprisingly not as much support for skiing in that local region as you might expect smack dab in the middle of Vermont, not far from the site of America's first rope tow. None of my neighbors skied, only one of my classmates had skies, yet virtually everyone had some sort of snowmobile. Maybe there are more skiers in Bethel/Randolph nowadays, but they were kind of sparse in the 1970s. Busiest I ever saw Pinnacle was during a late summer folk concert!

Heck, I'd love to ski there, but wouldn't give it much hope for surviving.

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