Hermitage Club Receives Local Approval for New Six Pack Bubble Lift
Long planned main chairlift replacement project at Haystack expected to start in spring 2015.
Thursday, September 4, 2014, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
The Hermitage Club received unanimous approval for construction of a new high speed six person bubble chairlift at the August Wilmington Development Review Board. Pursuant to the local permit, construction is to take place within 2 years and night skiing and lighting are not allowed.
With the local permit in hand, Hermitage is expected to file for a Vermont Act 250 permit for the project, with hopes of starting the installation in May 2015.
Since being sold to private developers by the former parent company of Mt. Snow, numerous plans for the main lift have been suggested, including a top to bottom installation, a gondola, and a chondola (six person chairlift - six person gondola combination). In 2012, the 27 year old Barnstormer triple chairlift base terminal was relocated to make way for a new main lodge.
Present plans call for the removal of the Barnstormer triple chairlift and 2015 installation of a new high speed detachable bubble chairlift, running from the new main lodge to the top of the ski area. The lift would be the third of its type in New England, following the lead of nearby Mt. Snow and Okemo.
If the state permit can be obtained, construction could start in May of 2015 for a November 2015 opening. The lift is expected to have 88 six person bubble chairs, a dramatically faster line speed (cutting ride time from 15 to 6 minutes), and a chair storage barn at the bottom.
The proposed chairlift at the once troubled Haystack ski area comes after years of significant investments, including two new quad chairlifts, new snowguns, and the construction of an 80,000 square foot new base lodge.
The ski area only operates on a private basis, due in part to provisions American Skiing Company included in the 2005 sale. At present, only Hermitage Club members, their guests, and local residents may ski at the area. Membership fees start at $60,000, not including annual fees starting at $2,575.