|Crotched Mountain (East)|
|Francestown, New Hampshire|
|Vertical Drop:||1000 feet|
|Past Lifts:||1 double, surface lifts|
|Left: The double chairlift (2002)|
|Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
Last updated: December 23, 2016
Located in Francestown, the original Crotched Mountain operated for a quarter of a century. Also known as Crotched East, the original ski area remained inactive when Crotched West reopened in 2003. There are no plans to reopen Crotched East.|
Lead Up to Development
The original Crotched Mountain ski area was developed to specialize in serving handicapped children and adults - a fitting mission, considering its proximity to the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center. Announced as early as 1961, development didn't commence until 1963. The Eastern Ski Area Operators Association helped to raise funds for the development, including a massive fundraising day at many ski areas on March 17, 1963.
The area was designed by Everett Lord-Wood and cleared by Ray Parker. The $750,000 Crotched Mountain facility opened on January 4, 1964 with a T-Bar and makeshift base operation. The double chairlift would open later that season.
A new base lodge opened for the 1964-65 season, though unfortunately it was not enough to lift business during a rough winter. Instead, Crotched's income may have dropped as much as 50%.
The 1969-70 season was another tough one for Crotched, as revenue declined in large part due to poor weather. In addition, a new area named Onset opened just west of Crotched, featuring a bubble double chairlift, a regular double chairlift, and a T-Bar.
Gannett Management Company took over Crotched in 1974, cutting rates and cutting a new trail. Soon thereafter, a reciprocal lift ticket between Crotched and Onset was made available.
Merger and the Largest Ski Area in Southern New Hampshire
Under new management in 1977, adjacent Onset ski area became Bobcat. Financial woes continued, resulting in Bobcat being sold at auction to group of investors including Waterville Valley's Tom Corcoran for $222,000 on September 14, 1979. Corcoran and Crotched's Tim Gannett then formed a management company to operate both areas as one. The areas were likely joined by two novice connecting trails for the 1980-81 season, giving Crotched the marketing tagline of being Southern New Hampshire's largest ski area.
After multiple poor seasons in the early 1980s, a significant investment was made in Hedco and Snow Machines Inc. snowmaking equipment in 1983. Unfortunately, back taxes and debt were starting to accumulate. Gannett pushed forward with plans for a $5 million condominium development in 1984. To diversify offerings, Crotched co-marketed cross country skiing with Tory Pines starting in 1984-85.
Tom Corcoran and Waterville Valley left the ownership group in the mid 1980s and were replaced by local attorney Gordon Snyder in 1987. Gannett and Synder's Trailside Development Inc. was run as the ownership company, placing Ski Crotched Inc. in charge of management.
A new CTEC Quad chairlift was installed at Crotched West for the 1987-88 season.
Increased debt, the real estate slump, workmanship complaints from condo owners, and a poor 1988-89 season forced Trailside Development Inc. and Ski Crotched Inc. to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October of 1989. $13.9 million in debt was listed, as compared to only $7.5 million in assets.
Former owner Jack Sullivan and other local investors pulled together a quarter of a million dollars to open Crotched for the 1989-90 season.
A tentative deal to sell the ski area was announced in early 1990. At that time, the prospective buyer was expected to install two new chairlifts, cut 13 new trails, and build a new base lodge between Crotched East and West. The deal fell through however, resulting in the closure of Crotched East and Crotched West in 1990.
The lower T-Bar (2014)
In 2003, Peak Resorts reopened the Onset/Bobcat/Crotched West area, naming it Crotched Mountain. In the meantine, the upper mountain lifts at the original Crotched Mountain were removed. It is unlikely that it will ever reopen.
Click on lift name for information and photos
Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
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Crotched Mountain - official site
Crotched Mountain - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide
Crotched Mountain Rebirth - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
Crotched Mountain - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
Onset/Bobcat - New England Lost Ski Areas Project