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Mount Snow
Dover, Vermont
Mount Snow as seen in the 1960s
Mount Snow as seen in the 1960s
Mount Snow Details
Status:Open
First Year of Operation:1954
Vertical Drop:1,700 feet
Lifts in Operation:1 high speed sixpack, 3 high speed quads, 1 quad, 6 triples, 4 doubles, surface lifts
Lifts Removed/Non Operational:
Mount Pisgah Becomes Mount Snow
As the story goes, Walt Schoenknecht visited a snow covered Mt. Pisgah in Vermont on October 2, 1946 and decided he would one day build a world class ski area there. Walt then operated Brodie, MA that winter and then developed Mohawk, CT the following season.

Circa May 1953, Schoenknecht purchased 500 acres of land on Mt. Pisgah from the family of Reuben Snow for $15,000. Snow's name would eventually be used as the name of the new ski area.

Initially a $4 million project, the ski area opened in late fall 1954 (actual dates of first operation vary depending upon the source) with two unique, chain-driven double chairlifts and a rope tow, serving five trails and two slopes. 1954-55 proved to be a 'sensational' year snowfallwise, thus helping push Mount Snow into a strong sophomore year expansion.

For its second year, Mt. Snow added its longest chairlift yet, a 3,800 foot chain double chairlift. The new chairlift pushed Mt. Snow over the 1,700 foot mark in advertised vertical drop, making it one of the largest ski areas in the northeast. The snowfall was once again abundant, with the ski area reportedly staying open into May.

Business Booms
For the 1956-57 season, the South Bowl slope was opened. For beginners, the Mixing Bowl chain double chairlift was installed. Locally, the positive effects of suddenly having a large ski area were felt. Hourly wages in town reportedly increased by 25 to 50%. Gas stations saw 500% increases in gallons pumped. Property values soared.

Another bottom to top chain lift combination was installed in 1957 and 1958, as the Sap Bucket and South Bowl double chairlift lifts were installed. Also during this time period, a "test trail," called the Jaws of Death, was cut. Three expert trails officially debuted in the new North Face complex for the 1959-60 season, though a long trek back to the main mountain was required for the next few years due to the lack of a lift. In addition, the famous Long John Trail was also built for the 1959-60 season.

Now billing itself as the World's Largest, Most Exicitng Ski Resort, Mount Snow debuted its Sun Dance area for the 1960-61 season with a new double chairlift and base lodge. After years of complaints about noise and dripping oil, the Sundance and Beaver double chairlifts installed this year were of traditional design, built by Carlevaro & Savio.

Meanwhile, a private ski club named Carinthia opened south of the Sun Dance area during the 1960-61 season. Developed by Walter Stugger, Carinthia would remain a surface lift only area for near the first two decades of its existence.

Additional Carlevaro & Savio double chairlifts were installed at Mount Snow for 1961 and 1963, the latter of which finally provided lift service to the expert North Face area.

The Mount Snow 1960s base area
The Mount Snow 1960s base area
Considering his 10 year plan complete after only 8 years, Walt Schoenknecht pitched a new 20 year plan following the 1962-63 season. By the mid-1970s, he planned to have 21 double chairlifts, 6 gondolas, 4 tramways, and 6 trail complexes, with the capacity to handle 40,000 skiers per day. The overall estimated price tag for the development was $75-$85 million. As part of the conversation, he (jokingly or not) suggested using an atomic bomb to lower the base elevation of part of the mountain, in order to increase the vertical drop.

Struggling with back problems, Schoenknecht loathed taking his skis off. As such, he devised a skis-on gondola for Mount Snow. His $900,000 G1 'Telecabine' two person gondola (also known as a bubble chairlift) debuted in March 1965. Also that spring, the Air Car opened, a small Carlevaro & Savio tramway connecting the Snow Lake Lodge to the ski area.

Also this season, a new 'luxury' ski area popped up down this road. Complete with a wine and cheese shop, Haystack Mountain opened with ambitious long term plans. Though the upper mountain at Haystack would open the following season, much of the planned luxury remained on the drawing board.

A fourth floor was added to the Mount Snow base lodge in 1967, while an exotic outdoor heated pool was constructed at Snow Lake Lodge.

Starting around 1968, work began on yet another trail complex, later known as Sunbrook.

Mount Snow's second Telecabine gondola, the G2, was installed for the 1969-70 season, further increasing uphill capacity. In addition, the new Sunbrook complex made its debut later that season.

Financial Woes
Mount Snow started to run into financial problems as a result of the capital expenditures and increased energy costs. In the middle of the 1970-71 season, a merger with Davos, Inc. was announced. Walt Schoenknecht stayed on board for a few years, but returned solely to Mohawk likely following the 1973-74 season.

Energy issues and multiple bad winters forced Mount Snow into bankruptcy in 1975. First Wisconsin Mortgage Trust and North American Mortgage Investors ended up taking control of the ski area. Mount Snow was eventually purchased by the Sherburne Corp. in 1977 for $4.5 million. The ski area was later rolled into S-K-I Ltd. (1984), American Ski Company (1996), and Peak Resorts (2007).

Expansion by Acquisition
The adjacent Carinthia ski area was absorbed into Mount Snow in 1986. Nearby Haystack Mountain ski area was added (though never connected) shortly thereafter and would remain aligned with Mount Snow until being sold in 2005.

While the overall footprint of the ski area has remained steady in recent years, critical upgrades have been rolled out for both the snowmaking and lift systems. A high speed six pack bubble chairlift was installed for the 2011-2012 season.

In January 2014, it was announced that Mt. Snow had been approved for taking part in the EB-5 program. Under the EB-5 program, a foreigner can invest $1 million in an approved United States business (which must then create jobs), in exchange for a green card. With Vermont labeled a Targeted Employment Area, the minimum investment is cut in half to $500,000, making participating rural businesses such as Mount Snow more attractive. Mt. Snow is hoping to attract $52 million in capital to fund snowmaking improvements (including the West Lake Project) and a new Carinthia base lodge.

NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
  • Mount Snow to Add 645 Snowguns - August 18, 2014

  • Expansion History
    Expansion History
    Project NameSeasonStatus
    West Face1960sCancelled
    Deerfield Ridge1980sCancelled
    North Face1959-60Open
    Sunbrook1969-70Open
    Carinthia1986-87Open

    Image Gallery
    The Aircar at Mount SnowThe Aircar at Mount SnowThe Aircar at Mount Snow1960-61 Eastern Ski Map
    A 1960s postcard showing the North Face at Mt. SnowThe North Tore area in a 1962 Mt. Snow trail map1962-63 Eastern Ski Map1962-63 Mount Snow Trail Map
    1963-64 Mount Snow Trail Map1964-65 Eastern Ski MapThe 1965 Mt. Snow trail map showing the new North Face area1965-66 Eastern Ski Map
    Click to Open Mount Snow Image Gallery


    Lifts
    Click on lift name for information and photos
    Name Type Brand Installed Removed After
    Standing Lifts
    Beartrap DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedCarlevaro & Savio-Yan  1969-70    
    Bluebird ExpressChairlift - Sixpack - DetachableLeitner-Poma  2011-12    
    Canyon ExpressChairlift - Quad - DetachablePoma  1996-97    
    Challenger TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedYan  1982-83    
    Discovery Shuttle TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedYan  1998-99    
    Ego Alley TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedYan-Carlevaro & Savio  1985-86    
    Grand Summit ExpressChairlift - Quad - DetachableYan-Poma  1987-88    
    Heavy MetalChairlift - Double - FixedYan  1987-88    
    Nitro ExpressChairlift - Quad - DetachablePoma  1997-98    
    Outpost TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedYan-CTEC  1988-89    
    Seasons DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedHall  1972-73    
    Ski BabaChairlift - Double - FixedBorvig  1979-80    
    Sunbrook QuadChairlift - Quad - FixedCTEC  1990-91    
    Sundance TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedYan  1984-85    
    Tumbleweed TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedYan  1997-98    
    Past Lifts
    Air CarAerial TramwayCarlevaro & Savio  1964-65    
    Beaver DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedCarlevaro & Savio  1960-61  1983-84  
    Beaver TripleChairlift - Triple - FixedYan  1984-85  1996-97  
    Canyon DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedHall  1971-72  1995-96  
    Exhibition LiftChairlift - Double - Fixed  1954-55  1977-78  
    G1Gondola - 2 PersonCarlevaro & Savio  1964-65  1986-87  
    G2Gondola - 2 PersonCarlevaro & Savio  1969-70  1984-85  
    Little BeaverChairlift - Double - Fixed  1954-55  1980s  
    Mixing Bowl LiftChairlift - Double - Fixed  1956-57  1996-97  
    North Face DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedCarlevaro & Savio  1963-64  1988-89  
    Sap Bucket LiftChairlift - Double - Fixed  1957-58  1980s  
    Snow Dance DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedCarlevaro & Savio  1961-62  1995-96  
    South Bowl LiftChairlift - Double - Fixed  1958-59  1960s  
    South Bowl T-BarT-Bar  1960s  1970s  
    Summit LiftChairlift - Double - Fixed  1955-56  1977-78  
    Summit LocalChairlift - Triple - FixedYan  1978-79  2010-11  
    Sun Dance DoubleChairlift - Double - FixedCarlevaro & Savio  1960-61  1983-84  

    Skier Visit History
    Season Skier Visits Source
    2010s
    2009-10447,100GraphPeak Resorts Form S-1 2011  
    2000s
    2008-09418,313GraphMount Snow  
    2007-08408,218GraphMount Snow  
    2006-07347,469GraphMount Snow  
    2005-06430,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 2006  
    2004-05524,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 2005  
    2003-04490,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 2004  
    2002-03546,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 2003  
    2001-02472,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 2002  
    2000-01558,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 2001  
    1999-00513,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 2000  
    1990s
    1998-99513,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 1999  
    1997-98602,000GraphAmerican Skiing Company Form 10-K 1998  
    1996-97517,356GraphMount Snow  
    1995-96510,533GraphMount Snow  
    1994-95425,739GraphMount Snow  
    1993-94432,149GraphMount Snow  
    1992-93550,659GraphMount Snow  
    1991-92483,954GraphMount Snow  
    1990-91427,795GraphMount Snow  
    1989-90470,874GraphMount Snow  
    1980s
    1988-89471,595GraphMount Snow  

    1997-2005 skier visit figures include Haystack

    Ticket Price History
    Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket
    Season Price Source
    2010s
    2013-14$85.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2012-13$83.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2011-12$83.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2010-11$79.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2009-10$75.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2000s
    2008-09$75.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2007-08$72.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2006-07$72.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2005-06$69.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2004-05$67.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2003-04$64.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2002-03$61.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2001-02$56.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    2000-01$55.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    1990s
    1998-99$52.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    1997-98$49.00Graphmountsnow.com  
    1996-97$47.00Graphatplay.com  
    1993-94$43.00GraphBrochure  
    1992-93$41.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1991-92$40.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1990-91$37.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1989-90$36.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1980s
    1988-89$34.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1987-88$32.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1983-84$25.00GraphSki America  
    1982-83$23.00GraphRand McNally Winter Recreation Map  
    1970s
    1969-70$10.00GraphBoston Globe  
    1960s
    1967-68$8.50GraphEastern Ski Atlas  
    1964-65$6.50GraphEastern Ski Atlas  
    1963-64$6.50GraphBuxton's Eastern Ski Slopes  
    1962-63$6.50GraphBuxton's Eastern Ski Slopes  
    1950s
    1958-59$5.00GraphSports Illustrated  

    Visitor Memories
     
    John Kohl
    Mar. 1, 2014
    My family visited Mt. Snow yearly for Christmas break in the 70s. One year we piled up with other kids and got about 14 of us into the Air Car from Snow Lake Lodge.
    Dave Patenaude
    Jan. 21, 2014
    My father John (Pat) Patenaude worked as a chef at Snow MT. Inn, Snow Lake Lodge for many years and in 1968 managed the Snow Barn Cafeteria with my mother. We lived in the apartment downstairs. I have wonderful memories of those days. Jame's did you by chance know my dad? Many of the ski bums stayed in the staff quarters at the Snow Barn. I can recall championship ping pong matches in the loft!
    james (Pepe) gariepy
    Dec. 17, 2013
    My first few years as a ski bum (1961) I worked at the Snow Mt Inn (waiter), was a life guard at the pool (outside) and worked ski repairs at the base.Mt Snow was by far the best place to ski bum. We had great times during the weekly standard races.Great music in Wilmington. My last year was working as a waiter at Snow Lake, then with family headed out only to come back in 1990 as a patroler. Great times great mountain, greater people.
    Add a memory of Mount Snow
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    External Links
  • Mount Snow - official site
  • Last updated: June 3, 2014

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