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Will Vail buy Haystack?

pauldotcom

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I have zero info about this but know right now all equipment at Haystack is being auctioned off. When the dust clears, I'm sure Vail will be a player, wouldn't you think? Vail loves to brag about being the biggest, and an acquisition of this size, would certainly increase their size greatly.

Looks like Vail is buying snow guns:
https://www.wamc.org/post/judge-authorizes-sale-snow-guns-private-ski-resort

Hmmm:
https://www.wcax.com/content/news/G...ng-bankrupt-private-ski-resort-561785491.html
 
Last edited:

bdfreetuna

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Hopefully. All that space on Deerfield Ridge between the two resorts should be expert woods and trails on the upper ridge.

I'm sure there's a bird or frog preventing this though.

dridge.jpg
 

BenedictGomez

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I'm sure there's a bird or frog preventing this though.

Or insect with a unicorn horn. This is the problem. Because of this they'd want to secure approval first.

Would they even want it is the question? Maybe if the price was cheap enough.
 

bdfreetuna

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I wouldn't mind at all Haystack being a cheaper option, like a Mount Ellen scenario. Not a bad drive either, and the Witches are decent mogul runs.
 

GregoryIsaacs

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Agreed... With the way that the crowds have been the past three years, there is an obvious need for more space/terrain. Was the original Mount Snow/Haystack venture successful at any point?

The Enchanted Forest glades are about as fun as it gets for eastern tree skiing.
 

mister moose

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I always thought it was a schlep to get to Carinthia, I can't imagine the trek to Haystack.
 

drjeff

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Agreed... With the way that the crowds have been the past three years, there is an obvious need for more space/terrain. Was the original Mount Snow/Haystack venture successful at any point?

The Enchanted Forest glades are about as fun as it gets for eastern tree skiing.

The fact that it's (Haystack's) operational days were 1st reduced and then sold off, should shed some insight as to the success of it's operations.

Roughly 2 miles of ridge line to connect the 2. Need to install at least 2 lifts. Miles of new snowmaking. A major refit of the clubhouse (The Hermitage's "base lodge") to make it functional base lodge for the masses and not the essential country clubhouse like set up that it is now. And that's after all the land is acquired, ACT 250 rights obtained, the likely environmental legal battles are ajudicated to allow the development to happen.

As for running the areas as 2 separate entities and not connected, let's be honest Pico is and has always been secondary to Killington, just like Mount Ellen is secondary to the Lincoln Peak side of Sugarbush.

After the crowding that I have seen at Mount Snow the last few seasons, and if this past weekend was any indication what the Epic Pass crowds could be like, I'd LOVE if expanding down to and including the acreage and added facilities of the Hermitage's set up could bring. Honestly though from the business side of what would be involved, not sure if Mount Snow will have enough clout in the Vail Resorts portfolio to get the significant financial commitment/investment to make it happen
 

icecoast1

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I think its 50/50. 50 percent chance a group of rich former members buy it and keep it their own private playground and a 50 percent chance Vail gets it. But that's assuming it gets sold in one piece and not liquidated.

I wonder what happened to the stipulation that it couldn't be operated as a public ski area since Mount Snows sale to vail....
 

deadheadskier

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The fact that it's (Haystack's) operational days were 1st reduced and then sold off, should shed some insight as to the success of it's operations.

Roughly 2 miles of ridge line to connect the 2. Need to install at least 2 lifts. Miles of new snowmaking. A major refit of the clubhouse (The Hermitage's "base lodge") to make it functional base lodge for the masses and not the essential country clubhouse like set up that it is now. And that's after all the land is acquired, ACT 250 rights obtained, the likely environmental legal battles are ajudicated to allow the development to happen.

As for running the areas as 2 separate entities and not connected, let's be honest Pico is and has always been secondary to Killington, just like Mount Ellen is secondary to the Lincoln Peak side of Sugarbush.

After the crowding that I have seen at Mount Snow the last few seasons, and if this past weekend was any indication what the Epic Pass crowds could be like, I'd LOVE if expanding down to and including the acreage and added facilities of the Hermitage's set up could bring. Honestly though from the business side of what would be involved, not sure if Mount Snow will have enough clout in the Vail Resorts portfolio to get the significant financial commitment/investment to make it happen
Looking at a map, I'd say more like 4 lifts without having significant traverses between the two areas. It appears there is as much acreage between Snow and Haystack as what those two currently have developed.

Before that terrain got developed, I'd rather see more folks head to Magic and spread the wealth that way. Maybe then Magic could continue expanding their snowmaking capabilities and extend their season earlier.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app
 

Pez

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It would cost way to much to connect the two. never would happen. however i'd love to see vail buy it and run it if just for another option to a crowded Sunday at snow.
 

jaytrem

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I actually still have the Haystack "magazine" that that expansion map was scanned from. I remember the day it showed up in the mail. Way before the internet. Was like "OMG this is gonna be amazing!". Things started out great and the Sunbrook chair went in shortly after. But here we are 30 years later and that's all we got.

There was an updated version they had in a base lodge for year or two. Main difference was the 2 Mount Snow side lifts that went up to the ridge had been reduced to one. And I think right side Haystack lift was turned into top-to-bottom.

The area in between was at one time designated for ski terrain by the USFS. Would love to see it happen, but not holding my breath. I do think the odds of Vail buying it are a lot better than Peaks. Figure they could maybe do a semi-private thing. Let the members have their club house, but share the slopes.
 

ss20

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Arguing for a connection would bring in similar issues to the Killington/Pico connection. The scale of such an operation would be massive. 30+ lifts. 100+ miles of terrain to make snow on, patrol, groom, etc. Is there a need for a roughly 1,200 acre ski resort in Southern Vermont? Absolutely. But only on the 15-20 days a year that are between December 25 and March 15, when it's sunny, 25 degrees, and there's snow on the ground from Northern NJ to Boston. Is there money being made on a Tuesday in March when 20+ lifts need to be ran to keep all that terrain open, and you still have to groom roughly 70% of it? What about having a few DOZEN ski patrollers on-staff at all times working 9 hours a day to keep the hill open? What about non-core trails that still need $10's of thousands of snow made on them for them to only be open MLK weekend til the 2nd weekend in March?

Simply put...unless we're talking hamburgers in the ski lodge or sending rentals out the door...economies of scale in the ski industry does not work in the East. Season's too short, not enough ROI.
 

ss20

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Has a low elevation slide brook style connection ever been discussed?

A quick Google Earth measurement yielded me roughly a 9,000ft-10,000ft long lift from the base of Sunbrook to the mid-mountain of Haystack. Slightly shorter than Slidebrook. Got $12-$15 million in your pocket? It's feasible...most of the lift would be above 2,500ft elevation so snowpack depth would be less of an issue than with the Slidebrook.
 
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Arguing for a connection would bring in similar issues to the Killington/Pico connection. The scale of such an operation would be massive. 30+ lifts. 100+ miles of terrain to make snow on, patrol, groom, etc. Is there a need for a roughly 1,200 acre ski resort in Southern Vermont? Absolutely. But only on the 15-20 days a year that are between December 25 and March 15, when it's sunny, 25 degrees, and there's snow on the ground from Northern NJ to Boston. Is there money being made on a Tuesday in March when 20+ lifts need to be ran to keep all that terrain open, and you still have to groom roughly 70% of it? What about having a few DOZEN ski patrollers on-staff at all times working 9 hours a day to keep the hill open? What about non-core trails that still need $10's of thousands of snow made on them for them to only be open MLK weekend til the 2nd weekend in March?

Simply put...unless we're talking hamburgers in the ski lodge or sending rentals out the door...economies of scale in the ski industry does not work in the East. Season's too short, not enough ROI.

Yup, that sounds awfully wasteful and unnecessary. Vail buying Smuggs to connect Stowe with it seems way more logical.
 

VTKilarney

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I think its 50/50. 50 percent chance a group of rich former members buy it and keep it their own private playground and a 50 percent chance Vail gets it. ..

If the former members were going to purchase it, they would have purchased it prior to the snow guns being sold off.
 
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