Things are looking up at Big A. Mt Ascutney ski area in Vermont which hasn’t operated since 2011 is hoping to reopen next winter – thanks to a newly formed non-profit, Mt. Ascutney Outdoors.
The non-profit group includes reps from the town’s select board and from condo and property owners at the resort. The revitalization of Mt Ascutney resort would include potentially three new lifts, working with Vermont Land Trust to limit the environmental impact of ski lift number and location. Rebuilding the base lodge, which burned down last January, will also be addressed.
Mt. Ascutney went through foreclosure in 2008. Ascutney did not open after 2010, then sold off its high speed quad to New Hampshire ski resorts – Crotched Mountain, and two triple chairs to Pats Peak in 2014. The cost of the sale of Ascutney is $905,000 and 50% has been raised. Ascutney is located near the more successful Okemo Mountain Resort in central Vermont. Ascutney opened for skiing in 1946, then it was operate by the Plausteiner family from 1993 to 2010. Located in Brownsville Vermont, Ascutney’s summit is 2,520’ – in its heyday Ascutney offered skiers and riders 57 trails, and 5 chairlifts – amid 200 ski able acres.
Ski areas like Tenney Mountain in New Hampshire, and so many others have not been able to come back after such a lengthy time of closure. But Big Squaw in Maine re-opened its lower mountain due to a local volunteer effort. Haystack in Vermont was purchased and turned into the posh private Hermitage Club. Les Otten is working to revitalize the Balsams Resort and expand Balsams Ski Area in Dixville Notch to be the largest ski resort in New England.
Heather Burke, 2015 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips