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The Minuteman Express (2006)
Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
Princeton, Massachusetts
Status: Open
First Season:1960s
Vertical Drop:1000 feet
Standing Lifts:3 high speed quads, 1 triple, surface lifts
Past Lifts:2 triples, 3 doubles, surface lifts
Left: The Minuteman Express (2006)
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
11/24/2016: 18 Ski Areas Open in Four States Starting on Friday
4/30/2015: May Skiing Operations Expected in Four States
1/27/2015: Massachusetts Ski Areas Shut Down By Travel Ban
SkiNewEngland.net Profile
Located on a 2,006 foot tall mountain, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area is one of the most popular ski areas in the Northeastern United States.

CCC Days

The origins of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area date back to trails cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps starting in 1934. While these trails were popular venues for ski races during the 1930s and 1940s, skiing on Wachusett would soon focus around lift service. Due to its eastern location, the Pine Hill Trail was not incorporated into the ski area.

Lift Served Skiing

Loading a T-Bar circa the 1960s
Loading a T-Bar circa the 1960s

With the rise of lift served skiing, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area may have had humble beginnings circa 1960, likely operating with a rope tow.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts authorized a quarter million dollar taxpayer funded ski development in 1962, designed by Sel Hannah. With Earle Vickery as area manager, Wachusett operated two T-Bars for the 1962-63 season, serving some 625 vertical feet.

In late 1964, a new chalet was dedicated, as well as a trail. The popular Smith-Walton Trail was named after two local men who died while mountain climbing in Wyoming.

The Crowleys Begin Operating Wachusett

Wachusett Mountain Associates, Inc. was formed as a Massachusetts corporation by Polar Beverages' Ralph Crowley and ski instructor Normand Letarte on August 16, 1968. The Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources awarded them a 5 year lease of the ski area starting that month, reportedly for a $16,002 bid. Bob Mignone was hired from Otis Ridge to manage the ski area.

With Letarte running the ski school, one of the first changes was to develop a new beginners area, as the area was perceived as lacking adequate novice terrain. In addition, sights were set on skiing from the summit, initially served by snowcat.

While Wachusett Mountain Associates was looking to expand in the early 1970s, subsequent leases were awarded in one year increments, making it virtually impossible to install a chairlift. This changed in the early 1980s, however, as the area was awarded a longer term lease.

Major Expansion

Construction of the base lodge (1982)
Construction of the base lodge (1982)

A $7 million expansion project kicked off in 1982, initially with the installation of two double chairlifts. Further improvements took place for the 1982-83 season, as the Summit Area was finally opened, served by a double chairlift. In addition, the Nor'Easter double chairlift was upgraded to a triple chairlift, and a 24,000 square foot base lodge was opened, making Wachusett the largest ski area east of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. The expansion was perhaps a knock out blow to nearby rival Mt. Watatic.

A new round of expansion took place in the mid 1990s, starting with the installation of Massachusetts' first high speed detachable chairlift, the Polar Express. Five years later, the state's second high speed quad was installed at Wachusett, replacing the Nor'Easter Triple.

Skiing at Wachusett circa the late 1990s or early 2000s
Skiing at Wachusett circa the late 1990s or early 2000s

After years of red tape and protesting, Wachusett was able to open the Vickery Bowl in 2003, ushering in new terrain and a triple chairlift.

The state's third detachable quad chairlift, the Monadnock Express, was installed for the 2011-12 season.

Following an amazing winter of natural snowfall, Wachusett surprised skiers by operating the Vickery Bowl chairlift for skiing on May 2, 2015.

NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
Recent Articles
18 Ski Areas Open in Four States Starting on Friday - Nov. 24, 2016
May Skiing Operations Expected in Four States - Apr. 30, 2015
Massachusetts Ski Areas Shut Down By Travel Ban - Jan. 27, 2015
Wachusett Mountain Ski Area NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News Page

CCC Trails
Trail NameStatus
Balance Rock TrailOpen
Pine Hill TrailOpen

Expansion History
Project
Season
Summit
Open
1983-84
Vickery Bowl
Open
2003-04

Image Gallery
Wachusett Aerial Imagery, 1995 vs. 2008
View All Images in Wachusett Mountain Ski Area Image Gallery

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed
Minuteman Express in 2002
Minuteman Express
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1999-00
Monadnock Easy Rider Express installation in 2011
Monadnock Express
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
2011-12
Polar Express in 2006
Polar Express
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1994-95
The bottom terminal (2015)
Vickery Bowl Triple
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
2004-05

Past Lifts
Seasons
Monadnock Double
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1982-83
-
1998-99
Monadnock Triple in 2002
Monadnock Triple
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1999-00
-
2010-11
The Nor'Easter chairlift prior to being upgraded to triple
Nor'easter Double
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1982-83
-
1982-83
The Nor'Easter Triple (1984)
Nor'easter Triple
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1983-84
-
1999-00
Ox Bow Lift
Hall
T-Bar
1962-63
-
1982-83
Summit Double
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1983-84
-
1986-87
Summit Triple
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1987-88
-
1993-94
The West T-Bar circa the 1960s
West Lift
Hall
T-Bar
1962-63
-
1981-82

Maps
1960s Wachusett Trail Map1964-65 Wachusett Trail Map1974-75 Wachusett Trail Map1982-83 Wachusett Trail Map1999-00 Wachusett Trail Map2000-01 Wachusett Trail Map
View All Wachusett Mountain Ski Area Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2016-17$69.002016-17 Ticket Price Graph$669.002016-17 Season Pass Price Graph9.7 daysNovember 25April 92016-17 Skier Visit Graph
2015-16$65.002015-16 Ticket Price Graph$669.002015-16 Season Pass Price Graph10.3 daysNovember 27March 222015-16 Skier Visit Graph
2014-15$63.002014-15 Ticket Price Graph$649.002014-15 Season Pass Price Graph10.3 daysNovember 21May 22014-15 Skier Visit Graph
2013-14$60.002013-14 Ticket Price Graph$649.002013-14 Season Pass Price Graph10.8 daysNovember 16April 132013-14 Skier Visit Graph
2012-13$58.002012-13 Ticket Price Graph$649.002012-13 Season Pass Price Graph11.2 daysNovember 30April 72012-13 Skier Visit Graph
2011-12$58.002011-12 Ticket Price Graph$649.002011-12 Season Pass Price Graph11.2 daysDecember 12March 182011-12 Skier Visit Graph
2010-11$51.002010-11 Ticket Price Graph$625.002010-11 Season Pass Price Graph12.3 daysNovember 28April 3335,8552010-11 Skier Visit Graph
2009-10$49.002009-10 Ticket Price Graph2009-10 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 8April 3323,3982009-10 Skier Visit Graph
2000s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2008-09$49.002008-09 Ticket Price Graph$599.002008-09 Season Pass Price Graph12.2 daysApril 52008-09 Skier Visit Graph
2007-08$49.002007-08 Ticket Price Graph$629.002007-08 Season Pass Price Graph12.8 daysApril 62007-08 Skier Visit Graph
2006-07$49.002006-07 Ticket Price Graph$629.002006-07 Season Pass Price Graph12.8 daysApril 12006-07 Skier Visit Graph
2005-06$48.002005-06 Ticket Price Graph$629.002005-06 Season Pass Price Graph13.1 daysNovember 25April 22005-06 Skier Visit Graph
2004-05$46.002004-05 Ticket Price Graph$619.002004-05 Season Pass Price Graph13.5 daysApril 102004-05 Skier Visit Graph
2003-04$45.002003-04 Ticket Price Graph$639.002003-04 Season Pass Price Graph14.2 daysDecember 4April 42003-04 Skier Visit Graph
2002-03$44.002002-03 Ticket Price Graph$619.002002-03 Season Pass Price Graph14.1 daysNovember 9April 13403,0002002-03 Skier Visit Graph
2001-02$43.002001-02 Ticket Price Graph$619.002001-02 Season Pass Price Graph14.4 daysDecember 18March 31320,0002001-02 Skier Visit Graph
2000-01$42.002000-01 Ticket Price Graph$619.002000-01 Season Pass Price Graph14.7 days405,0002000-01 Skier Visit Graph
1999-00$39.001999-00 Ticket Price Graph1999-00 Season Pass Price Graph290,0001999-00 Skier Visit Graph
1990s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1998-99$37.001998-99 Ticket Price Graph1998-99 Season Pass Price Graph1998-99 Skier Visit Graph
1997-98$35.001997-98 Ticket Price Graph1997-98 Season Pass Price Graph1997-98 Skier Visit Graph
1996-97$35.001996-97 Ticket Price Graph1996-97 Season Pass Price Graph1996-97 Skier Visit Graph
1994-95$32.001994-95 Ticket Price Graph1994-95 Season Pass Price Graph1994-95 Skier Visit Graph
1992-93$29.501992-93 Ticket Price Graph1992-93 Season Pass Price Graph375,0001992-93 Skier Visit Graph
1991-92$29.501991-92 Ticket Price Graph1991-92 Season Pass Price Graph1991-92 Skier Visit Graph
1989-90$29.001989-90 Ticket Price Graph1989-90 Season Pass Price Graph1989-90 Skier Visit Graph
1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1988-89$28.001988-89 Ticket Price Graph1988-89 Season Pass Price Graph1988-89 Skier Visit Graph
1987-88$25.001987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price Graph1987-88 Skier Visit Graph
1986-87$21.001986-87 Ticket Price Graph1986-87 Season Pass Price Graph325,0001986-87 Skier Visit Graph
1985-86$20.001985-86 Ticket Price Graph1985-86 Season Pass Price Graph1985-86 Skier Visit Graph
1983-84$16.001983-84 Ticket Price Graph1983-84 Season Pass Price Graph1983-84 Skier Visit Graph
1982-83$14.001982-83 Ticket Price Graph1982-83 Season Pass Price Graph1982-83 Skier Visit Graph
1981-82$9.001981-82 Ticket Price Graph1981-82 Season Pass Price Graph1981-82 Skier Visit Graph
1980-81$8.001980-81 Ticket Price Graph1980-81 Season Pass Price Graph1980-81 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1976-771976-77 Ticket Price Graph$75.001976-77 Season Pass Price Graph1976-77 Skier Visit Graph
1971-72$6.001971-72 Ticket Price Graph1971-72 Season Pass Price Graph1971-72 Skier Visit Graph
1970-71$5.001970-71 Ticket Price Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-70$5.001969-70 Ticket Price Graph1969-70 Season Pass Price Graph1969-70 Skier Visit Graph
1960s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1964-65$4.001964-65 Ticket Price Graph$35.001964-65 Season Pass Price Graph8.8 days1964-65 Skier Visit Graph
1963-64$4.001963-64 Ticket Price Graph1963-64 Season Pass Price Graph1963-64 Skier Visit Graph
1962-63$4.001962-63 Ticket Price Graph$35.001962-63 Season Pass Price Graph8.8 daysDecember 281962-63 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
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External Links
  • Wachusett Mountain Ski Area official site
  • Last updated: September 22, 2016

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