Hunter Mountain (ski area)

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Hunter Mountain
Hunter Mountain logo.png
Snowboarder at Hunter Mountain
Snowboarder at Hunter Mountain
Location

Hunter, New York, U.S.

Opened 1959 (1959)
Nearest city Albany, New York
Coordinates 42°12′01″N 74°13′49″W / 42.200278°N 74.230278°W / 42.200278; -74.230278
Vertical 1,475 feet (450 m)
Top elevation 3,200 ft (975 m)
Base elevation 1,600 ft (488 m)
Skiable area 240 acres (97 ha)
Runs 58
Longest run 2 mi (3.2 km)
Lift system 9 chairlifts; 1 J-Bar; 1 rope tow
Lift capacity 16,990 passengers/hr
Terrain parks 2
Snowfall 120 in (305 cm) annual average
Night skiing

Ski/Board No

Tubing Yes
Web site http://www.huntermtn.com

Hunter Mountain is a ski resort located about three hours north west of New York City on the New York State Thruway (I-87). It features a 1,600-foot (488 m) vertical drop.

From its inception in the late 1950s, the management of Hunter Mountain has employed extensive snowmaking facilities. Hunter was the first ski destination in the state of New York to install snow-making, the first in the world with top-to-bottom snow-making, and the first in the world to have 100-percent snow-making coverage of the mountain.

The resort offers snow tubing and snowshoeing as well skiing. Hunter Mountain also features two terrain parks and holds freestyle events throughout the ski season.

History[edit]

During the mid-50’s a group of local businessmen, including Orville, Karl Plattner Sr. and Israel Slutzky, developed plans to revive the area's economy after the Great Depression, World War II and the decline of Catskills tourism had caused long-term economic distress. The sport of skiing was becoming popular, and the group considered developing Hunter Mountain as a ski resort. After a failed lobbying attempt to get the state to develop a new ski area on Hunter Mountain, the group contacted Denise McCluggage, a sports editor at the New York Herald Tribune. They told her they had a mountain to give away to any developer who would build a ski area called Hunter Mountain on it. McCluggage wrote an article that attracted the interest of a group of Broadway show-business people.

This group created the Hunter Mountain Development Corp., which was the first operator of Hunter Mountain. Headed by James Hammerstein, the son of Oscar Hammerstein II, the group included many Hollywood and Broadway stars of the time. With Orville and Izzy Slutzky providing most of the land and their firm I. & O.A. Slutzky providing the construction, ground was broken to develop the ski area in the summer of 1959. The area was given to the group to operate with two stipulations: that it be called “Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl” and that it have snowmaking capabilities, which was a relatively new technology at the time.

On January 9, 1960, Hunter Mountain opened for the first time with the original “B” Lift in operation. The original “A” Lift was under construction and was not completed in time for the first season. The old Starr Hotel served as the first base lodge, located just below the old Ski and Snowboard School administration building. When the Hunter Mountain Development Corp. went bankrupt by the middle of the 1961/62 season the Slutzky brothers took over the operation.

During the summer of 1962, the “A” lift was completed. This opened up the skiing to the summit. Over the next several years, many new trails were cut, including the opening of the Belt Parkway and the construction of the Upper Shop, and more snow-making was installed. In the summer of 1963, Hunter opened for summer skiing on plastic chips. Summer skiing lasted only a few years. During the winter of 1963/64, Hunter Mountain opened for night skiing for the first time. Night skiing was discontinued in 1972.

Hunter Mountain

In the summer of 1964, construction of the present-day base lodge began, which opened on December 12, 1964, featuring a 300-seat dining room, an indoor swimming pool, sauna, health club, and massage rooms. The "D” Lift opened in December 1967, the first triple chair at Hunter Mountain. Also that winter, Hunter Mountain became the first area in the world with summit to base snow-making with the completion of snow-making lines to the summit. Also at this time the “East Side” was developed including K-27 (34 degrees, steepest run on the mountain), East Side Drive and The Milky Way.

In the summer of 1969, construction of the trails on Hunter West began. It was opened with the “Z” Lift for the season. That summer, the Summit Lodge was constructed. The first Hunter Summer Festival took place in July 1975 with the ten-day German Alps Festival. Under the direction of Don Conover and his family, the festivals grew steadily each year thereafter. The Colonel’s Hall was added to the base lodge in the summer of 1977. In addition, the Mini-Lodge in Hunter One was constructed. The Mini-Lodge has since been removed. In 1980, Hunter Mountain became the first ski area in the world to feature snow-making on 100 percent of its trails.

December 1983 saw the opening of the Sushi Bar in the Summit Lounge. In the summer of 1987, The SnowLite Express Quad was built along with the West Wing and CopperTree Restaurant addition to the base lodge.

In 1989, Hunter became the first area in the U.S. to install an automated snow-making system. The system installed on Racer’s Edge by York International was and still is operated remotely from the Upper Shop. This year also saw the completion of the first LiftSide condominiums. Construction and development continued into the 90’s, with lifts, trails and shops added to the complex. During the summer 2010, the resort acknowledged the need to replace the aging AA- Snowlite Express and decided that a high speed six person chairlift from Leitner-Poma would be the replacement.[1] It was completed by opening day for the 2010–2011 season. Also new to the season were the Mid Mountain Tour and the Adventure Tower, operated by Zipline New York. 150 new snow guns were also added for the 2010–2011 season. The summer of 2011 also saw some major changes, including another 150 new snow guns and miscellaneous improvements to the terrain park. The biggest improvement was the installation of a new high speed quad on the west side to replace the Z and Y lifts. The new lift, named the Zephyr Express, was the former AA- Snowlite Express, which had undergone extensive renovations and new station designs.[2]

Orville Slutzky died on April 18, 2013 at the age of 96.

Statistics[edit]

  • Base: 1,600 ft (490 m)
  • Summit: 3,200 ft (980 m)
  • Vertical drop: 1,600 ft (490 m)
  • Skiable area: 240 acres (97 ha)
  • Number of Trails: 58, beginner 30% intermediate 30% advanced 27% expert 13%

Trails and glades[edit]

Name Rating
B Flat Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Battery Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Boston Road Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Briar Patch Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Bucky's Run Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Central Park North Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Fifth Avenue Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Fordham Road Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Gateway Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Mohican Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Gramercy Park Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Grand Concourse Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
KMC Drive Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
The Learning Zone Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Madison Square Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Mossy Brook Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Off Broadway Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Name Rating
7th Avenue Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Belt Parkway Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Broadway Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Central Park Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Gun Hill Road Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Kennedy Drive Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Lower 42nd Street Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Lower Highlands Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Madison Avenue Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Rip Van Winkle Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Upper 42nd Street Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
West Side Glide Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
White Cloud Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Name Rating
Bleecker Street Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
The Cliff Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Colonel's Alternate Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Dropoff Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
East Side Drive Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Eisenhower Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Empire Glades Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Hellgate Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Hemlocks Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Heuga Express Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Lower Broadway Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Lower Crossover Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Mad Box Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Milky Way Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Minya Konka Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Park Avenue Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Taylor's Run Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Upper Highlands Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Wayout Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Name Rating
Annapurna Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Clair's Way Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Lower K27 Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Milky Way Glades Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Racer's Edge Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Upper Crossover Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Upper K27 Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Westway Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Which Way Glades Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg

[3]

Lifts[edit]

[3]

Lift Name Type Length Vertical Cap./Hour
A-lift (Kaatskill Flyer) Detachable 6-Passenger chairlift 5,500 1,475' 3,000
B-lift (Broadway Limited) Quad Chair 2,650 490 1,800
C-lift (20th Century Limited) Handle Tow 1,400 170 1,800
Carpet 1 Carpet Lift 390 52 1,800
D-lift Triple Chair 3,500 885 1,800
E-lift Double Chair 2,500 400 1,000
F-lift Triple Chair 3,000 1,000 1,800
H-lift Double Chair 1,600 200 800
Poma Lift Platter Tow
Pony Lift Handle Tow 300 20 590
Zephyr Express Detachable Quad Chair 3,800 1,295 2,400
Totals 10 24,740 5,987 16,990 p/h

Snowmaking[edit]

  • 1967: Hunter became the first area in the world to feature summit to base snowmaking
  • 1980: First area to achieve 100% snowmaking coverage
  • 2006: Over 1,100 snow machines installed. Most of the snowguns are mounted on towers to insure the maximum amount of "air time" for falling snow to freeze. Hunter has enough air and water available to run half of the snowmaking arsenal at once under marginal snowmaking conditions.

Grooming[edit]

Hunter Mountain's grooming fleet consists of four LMC 4700s and three Pisten Bully Edges for normal grooming operations, in addition to a PB300 Winch Cat for grooming steeper slopes. A Pisten Bully (Snowcat) Park Bully and Pipe Magician used in the Empire Park and Half Pipe round out Hunter's grooming fleet. Hunter also has one LMC 3900 for use in the Snowtubing park.

Each grooming machine is equipped with flexible roto-tillers which produce a more consistent, smooth surface than straight tillers. The concept of the flex tiller originated at Hunter Mountain and was realized through a joint effort between LMC and Hunter Mountain. Flexible tillers are now used worldwide. Hunter still owns and operates the first two-piece and three-piece snow tillers ever produced, as well as the only four-piece tiller ever made.

Hunter has a Pipe Magician that is designed for cutting the walls and floor of a Half Pipe.

Related Developments[edit]

Hunter Mountain Shiobara, a Japanese ski resort near Tokyo named after Hunter Mountain, was created with the support of Hunter Mountain New York principal Israel Slutzky.[4]

Competition issues[edit]

In 2006, Paul Slutzky, son of co-founder Orville Slutzky, claimed that privately owned ski areas such as Hunter Mountain do not "operate on a level playing field in New York State" against state-supported areas such as Belleayre.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.huntermtn.com/huntermtn/siteassets/files/news/general-release.pdf Hunter unveils first six-passenger lift in NY State
  2. ^ http://www.huntermtn.com/huntermtn/info/press_2011-2012_zephyr.aspx Hunter to Unveil New High Speed Quad on the West Side for 2011/12 Season.
  3. ^ a b "Mountain Statistics". http://www.huntermtn.com. Hunter Mountain. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Hunter Mountain Shiobara, official website.
  5. ^ Mountain News Industry Report, "The Party Rolls On In The Catskills," July 24, 2006

External links[edit]