Haystack Mountain Ski Area
|Location||Wilmington, Vermont, US|
|Nearest city||Albany, New York|
1 6 pass heated bubble chair installed 2015, 2 Triples, 2 Quads
tow ropes = 1magic carpet = 0
|Snowmaking||90% Non-Gladed Trails|
The ski area featured two unique areas, complete with lodges and chairlifts. Haystack opened in the early 1960s as an alternative to crowded resorts. The upper mountain, serviced originally by the Oh No double chairlift (a Mueller installed in 1965), featured over one thousand vertical feet of trails for intermediates and experts. The lower mountain, serviced by multiple lifts (including Haymaker a Mueller double chairlift), featured shorter trails for beginners. For many years, a transfer chairlift connected the lower and upper areas.
In the mid 1980s a significant expansion took place, resulting in the installation of three new triple chairlifts, including a CTEC chairlift serving a new expert complex called "The Witches." The "Witches" is known for its tough terrain that even challenges experts.
Mount Snow merger
In 1991, S-K-I Ltd., owners of nearby Mount Snow, purchased Haystack and soon began promoting the two ski areas as one. Though they were never connected by alpine ski trails or lifts, (there is a Nordic trail along the ridge between the two), trail counts and snow reports were often combined.
In 1996 S-K-I Ltd. merged with LBO Resort Enterprises, forming the American Skiing Company. The American Skiing Company (ASC) would soon hit financial troubles, resulting in the scaling back of operations at Haystack. By the end of its ownership of Haystack, ASC limited operations to weekend and holiday periods.
Sale and closure
On March 30, 2005, the American Skiing Company announced it had sold Haystack Mountain Ski Area for $5,000,000 to a group of local businessmen. The Haystack Club concept was created as a result, with the plans to open an upscale private ski area. The Club will include Town House Villas as well as a new Hybrid "chondola" (A lift with chairs and gondola cabins) to the summit. The "oh-no" Double will be removed. Barnstormer will also now service as a beginner area lift and transfer lift. The Haystack Club has been open since the sale. The club was open for two days of groomed uncrowded skiing for the members. Although they were open only two days because they got sued by Mount Snow for water rights.
The Haystack Club
The Haystack Club has started renovations. Four town houses were torn down. Additionally, the Upper Base Lodge is being renovated to be turned into the "Hay Loft." The Club will sell 900 family memberships. Benefits include exclusive skiing, uncrowded, as well as access to a golf club and Equestrian Center. Also, along with the 900 memberships, everyday 450 Tickets will be sold to Wilmington Residents for the day. As of winter 2010 the area will not operate for skiing this year. The old Upper Base Lodge has been completely demolished.
December 2011 Update
This earlier effort to develop Haystack Club failed. However 'First Tracks!! Online Ski Magazine' reports that another members-only plan is currently in process after the owner of the Hermitage Inn, Jim Barnes, purchased the Haystack ski area and golf course in October 2011, for $6.5 million, saying he plans to reopen the ski area in a similar manner.
Barnes’ plan includes 450 planned homes and condos with prices starting at $650,000. He stated he hoped to have the ski area open on weekends beginning in late December, 2011. The slopes would be open only to prospective members and residents of Wilmington to whom Barnes would offer 250 lift tickets per day at reduced prices.
The Hermitage Club At Haystack Mountain
In September 2012 The Haystack Club and Haystack Golf course became The Hermitage Club At Haystack Mountain and The Hermitage Golf Club at Haystack Mountain.
Hermitage Club Permit Violations Lawsuit
According to a lawsuit filed by the Vermont Attorney General's Office, the group allegedly performed construction activities without land use permits, performed construction activities without a storm water permit, constructed a building without a wastewater and potable water supply permit and disturbed a wetland without approval. In his response, Hermitage Club President Jim Barnes said “Although the Hermitage didn’t agree with the allegations we agreed to 100% mitigation at our expense." The Hermitage continued further dialogue with the state and although disagreeing with the penalties proposed, offered a proposal to settle this issue which has since been rejected.
Summer 2015 In the summer of 2015, the Club has replaced the Barnstormer Triple with the Barnstormer Express Six Person Bubble Chair. Also a new lodge has been constructed at the top of the Hayfever Triple.
- Hermitage Club - Attempting to reopen Haystack as an upscale private ski area
- Mount Snow
- Haystack Page at the New England Lost Ski Area Project
- New Life for Vermont's Haystack Ski Area