Reopening Work in Progress at Granite Gorge and Tenney Mountain
Both New Hampshire ski areas haven't operated since the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020.
Tuesday, September 13, 2022, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
After being closed for two seasons, Granite Gorge and Tenney Mountain are now making preparations to open for the upcoming winter.
Reopened in 2003 on the site of the former Pinnacle ski area east of Keene, Granite Gorge perhaps peaked around 2011, when a chairlift was in operation with snowmaking and night skiing. Financial and equipment struggles resulted in operations being limited to surface lifts in recent years. Granite Gorge last operated as a surface lift ski area on March 8, 2020, as chairlift service ceased in 2018. Owner Fred Baybutt passed away unexpectedly in early August 2020, leaving the future of the ski area in doubt. Granite Gorge did not operate during the winters of 2020-21 or 2021-22.
Granite Gorge hit the auction block on June 3, with Granite Gorge Partnership acquiring the defunct area for $430,000. Following the winning bid, the local group of investors referenced a "shared desire of returning winter and summer activities to Granite Gorge in a safe and inclusive manner" and plans for "lift repair, snow making, grooming and various other facility upgrades, with the goal of returning winter and summer operations as soon as reasonably possible."
Keith Kreischer, formerly of Windham, New York and Nashoba Valley, Massachusetts, has been hired as general manager. Thus far, chairs have been removed from the double chair and slope mowing is underway. A sign on the side of Route 9 states the area will reopen this winter.
Following a recent ownership change, Michael Bouchard has resumed posting video updates to the area's Facebook page. Lower mountain terrain has been mowed for the first time in years and the base lodge is being painted.
According to a recent Facebook posting, snowmaking equipment could be arriving on site soon. The ski area plans to operate both chairlifts this winter, possibly with snowmaking on the Eclipse triple side.
The small magic carpet area has not operated since 2018, in part due to relying on natural snow. A portion of the area was recently redeveloped. According to a spokesperson at Gateway Hills, the area could operate this winter if there is 8 to 12 inches of snowpack.