Pass time in a long lift line.
Moms and Pops areas still going strong
6 posts from 3 users
Updated 10 months ago
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10 months ago

As corporate takeovers become more evident in the ski country together with (hope not) corporate sterility, a few mom and pop areas are still going strong.  A few have resurrected and many of them acquiring new admirers.

Bolton Valley is one of them.  I remember in my college days in Vermont, this was the place of skiers, by skiers, for skiers.   It embodied the New England experience. It later went to be owned by a succession of developers.  who cared about the land prices and condos, but not about the sport.  And last week, the family that began Bolton Valley took it back, coming around full circle. The DesLaurier family’s passion with the sport is known in Vermont and they’re back.  

Few areas can compete with Bolton in the simple allure of the sport of skiing.  Pristine woods… Great and numerous glades… Amazing customer service staff… Family atmosphere… Wind power and eco-sensitivity.  old-time lodge.  Good steeps and good groomers.  Plentiful narrow and windy trails with woods around them.  And totally chill.  No VIP tickets, no owners’ clubs, no Prada jackets on sale.  

Bolton Valley is not alone.  Magic Mountain has returned and it’s a kick-butt area.  Tenney is in the process of coming back and was partly operational after seemingly insurmountable odds due to previous infrastructure neglect.  Whaleback reopened and ran smoothly last year.  And Pat’s Peak is solidly functioning under one family for four decades now.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

I’ve been following the story at Tenney on Facebook for quite a while.  Really fun to see the behind-the-scenes effort required to fix up the lifts and the snowmaking pipe lines.

Had a chance to stop by last fall and chat briefly with the new owner.  Very different approach.  The property was bought with a completely different plan in mind.  However, they changed plans because of the strong community support.  Really hoping for a good snow season next year.  While there is snowmaking, it’s clear the place is far more fun with natural snow.  People were allowed to hike for turns this winter.  Several good videos after the big storms.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago

Last year Bolton was part of the Freedom Pass, which also included Plattekill and Magic.  Season passholders got 3 free days at the other mountains.  Hopefully that helped them all.

10 months ago

I’m sure it helped them.  The mega resorts have the market $$ for market and public affairs. But quite often, it is word of mouth that makes a place go.  And for the smaller resorts to be popular with staunch ski/board crowd is a strong plus.

10 months ago

Crystal Mountain ( a great under rated ski area near Seattle) bucks the merger trend and goes solo. Love the story that the Ski manager bought it!


10 months ago

That’s a pretty awesome story….

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