Brodie Mountain as seen from south of Mt. Greylock (2006)
Brodie Mountain Details
First Year of Operation:
Last Year of Operation:
Lifts in Operation:
Lifts Removed/Non Operational:
4 doubles, surface lifts
Located in the shadow of Mt. Greylock, Brodie Mountain had a long history of skiing, dating back to at least the 1935-36 season. Around that time, the 1.1 mile, 930 vertical Brodie Mountain Trail opened. By the end of the decade, Brodie was home to a ski jump and night skiing.
Lift service on Brodie Mountain likely started when a 1,100 foot rope tow was installed at "Makaroff's" for the 1940-41 season. A beginner rope tow was likely added for the 1941-42 season.
In 1946-47, Walter Schoenknecht leased the now-somewhat established Brodie ski area from its owner, "Mad Russian" Gregory Makaroff. The area likely closed after Schoenknecht departed for Mohawk Mountain in 1947.
The land eventually ended up in the hands of the Kellys, a logging family. In 1963, the Federal government declared Brodie to be one of three ideal locations for a commercial ski development in Massachusetts.
A New Beginning
During early 1964, Jim Kelly scouted out locations for ski trails, seeking the counsel of regional ski experts such as John Hitchcock. Trail clearing commenced on April 28, 1964, followed by the installation of two Stadeli lifts and 360 lights for night skiing.
After being closed for over a decade, Brodie reopened in 1964-65 with five trails and an 850 foot vertical drop. In conjunction with night skiing, the large Blarney Room pub quickly became a happening place. The natural snowfall wasn't abundant, however, so Kelly had to get creative. That February, he used his logging trucks to haul snow from nearby Berkshire Hills Country Club to cover the slopes in time for President's Week.
For the second season, a new trail called Ryan's Express was cut. More importantly, a massive snowmaking system was installed, covering 90 percent of the terrain. The improvements paid off, as Brodie reported a 20% increase in business that season.
For 1966-67, two new trails opened, named JFK and Mickey's Chute. With 7 miles of trails open at night, Brodie now billed itself as the largest night skiing facility in the world.
Expanding to the Summit
The ski area expanded to the summit in 1967, giving it the largest vertical drop in Southern New England. Along with the new T-Bar, 4 new trails opened. Thanks to snowmaking and decent weather, Brodie would operate for 145 consecutive days and nights.
Chairlift service extended to the summit for the 1968-69 season with the installation of Dot's Chair. Named after Jim Kelly's wife, the new 5,600 foot Borvig double was advertised as the longest and highest chairlift in the state. In addition to the chairlift, the famous Tipperary beginner trail was added.
Matt's Chair was added for the 1970-71 season, replacing the original novice T-Bar.
In the midst of the energy crisis, Kelly leased a nearby gas station circa 1973, offering to sell gas to anyone with a valid Brodie lift ticket.
A Stadeli double chairlift, stopping just short of the summit, debuted along with two new trails for the 1977-78 season. This would be the final chairlift installed at Brodie.
The Brodie base lodge in the 1990s
Despite the snow drought of the early 1980s, Brodie kept on chugging, opening a new cross country ski center near the mountain for the 1980-81 season. Despite open the mountain on October 22 in 1982, warm weather kept the area only operated for 30 days prior to January.
In terms of facility size, Brodie remained about the same thereafter, adding little terrain and no new lifts. It did, nonetheless, remain a major player in the regional ski industry, especially around St. Patrick's Day. Every year around that time, trails and beer were dyed green, while the sound of bagpipes flooded the area.
Meanwhile, nearby Jiminy Peak was rapidly growing, eventually surpassing Brodie in both lift infrastructure and snowmaking firepower. By the time the 1990s drew to a close, Brodie's facilities were aging, as was its dwindling skier base.
Jiminy Peak operated it for three seasons, initially with plans to install a high speed detachable chairlift. After investing in snowmaking improvements, the new ownership realized Brodie would require more investment than they could justify with the remaining skier-base. As a result, they shut down skiing operations after the 2001-2002 season, while keeping the tubing facility open.
In 2004, Fairbank and O'Donnell sold Brodie to Silverleaf Resorts for $2.6 million. As part of the deal, Silverleaf could not operate a commercial ski or snowboard area at Brodie.
Silverleaf planned to build 326 timeshares at Brodie for a cost of $50 million under the name of Snowy Owl. While the snow tubing operation continued through the 2006-2007 season and initial demolition of old lifts and buildings took place, the larger project was not to be. In the spring of 2012, reports came out that the mountain was once again for sale.
As a musician/singer. i played many years at Brodie during ski season and enjoyed all the fun and great people I met there' and all the fab Kelly family were a souce of inspiration' perhaps its time to rebuild Brodie...?
John Nichols Mar. 22, 2013
Worked at Brodie in the early 90s .Had the best time ever. Brodie was the places to be on St. PATRICK'S DAY.
Carole Schaefer Mar. 13, 2013
I got engaged at Brodie Mountain St. Patrick's weekend 1975. Married in 1976. Everyone there bought us congratulatory drinks. I rmember the Green Beer Slalom and Green Plastic Crossed Skis with the Logo of Brodie on it placed in the Irish Coffees. (Still have ne ski). Also the patch with the lepreuchan.
O Gottlieb Mar. 2, 2013
Grew up at Brodie in the mid-70s to mid-80s. Skied on the jr. racing team. Evenings with family in the Blarney Room. A gorgeous mountain that you could ski daily and it was always an adventure. Sad it's gone. Hope more photos and sites and home movies go up. Lost Ski Areas Project site also good. Would be nice to either add to that site or have another to share on. Thanks to this site for this forum!
Linda Dunn Feb. 10, 2013
Brodie was my favorite mtn to ski growing up. I wanted to take my kids there to learn how to ski and was so sad to find out it was closed forever. :( I will miss Brodie.
john chiarizio Jan. 29, 2013
Skied brodie many times on saturday nights 330 to 1100 pm ticket , then to the blarney rm for some great times ! mid 1980's