Last updated: March 25, 2019
Located south of Killington, Plymouth Notch is a private ski area that was originally known as Round Top.
The history of Round Top ski area dates back to at least the 1960s. After frequenting area ski areas while staying at his Plymouth vacation home,
Paul Goldman, owner of Lawrence, Massachusetts furniture and boat manufacturer Plycraft, Inc., decided to develop his own ski area. He chose Plymouth, located in the shadow of Killington, as the site of his project, and used the look of the wooden arches in homes he was developing as the inspiration for the name.|
A Late Opening
While initial plans were to open Round Top at the start of the 1964-65 ski season with two double chairlifts and a T-Bar and an Andrea Mead Lawrence ski school. Due to delay in equipment delivery, Round Top ski area officially opened on March 11, 1965 with six trails, a double chairlift, and T-Bar. Gosta R. Truedsson served as manager. Goldman designed the lodge to have a bow shaped roof, which was integrated into the area's logo and future planned buildings, such as a chalet development and a mountaintop inn.
Skiing at Round Top
Dick Catlin served as manager during the 1966-67 season, while Robert Rondeau took over in 1967-68. A novice trail was added from the top of the mountain around this time.
A second double chairlift was added for the 1968-69 season. Though original plans called for the lift to extend further up the mountain and be augmented by an upper mountain T-Bar in the Goldbrook area for a longer ski season, the lift ended up serving the lower mountain near a chalet development. Round Top made regional headlines around that time by offering free skiing for anyone aged 65 or older, while also announcing intentions of eventually making the area a private club.
Lacking snowmaking, Round Top went bankrupt in the mid 1970s. According to Lost Ski Areas of Southern Vermont, Goldman's son David purchased the ski area after the filing. Around this time, Round Top attempted to guarantee its season passholders a 100 day season; if it was unable to open for 100 days, 1% of the season pass price would be refunded for each day missed. In the end, this was only a temporary solution, as top to bottom snowmaking was installed for the 1977-78 season, covering the T-Bar area, Boulder Bowl, and Route 100.
The Round Top base area circa the late 1970s
Nevertheless, the area ran into trouble in the late 1970s (possibly not operating in 1978-79) and likely closed after the 1980-81 season. The area's ownership reportedly faced bankruptcy in 1982.
Round Top Emerges From the Lost as Bear Creek
Under the name Plymouth Properties LLC, David Yurkerwich and John Neal purchased the defunct 800 acre Round Top ski area in 1997 for a reported $250,000. Neal served as facilities manager at the Winterplace development at Okemo, while Yurkerwich worked in finance in New York.
Bear Creek ski area
Initial plans called for restoring the original area for skiers, while developing a new complex named "Mt. Ambrose" for snowboarders. After the main chairlift was rebuilt, Round Top reopened as Bear Creek for the 1998-1999 season with the vision to develop it into an elite private club. A new clubhouse was constructed on the old day lodge foundation, starting in 1999.
Round Top founder Paul Goldman passed away on Aug. 12, 2003.
After years of pumping snowmaking water from Great Roaring Brook, Bear Creek was issued a permit to build a 10 million gallon snowmaking pond in 2007. Due in part to real estate market problems, the snowmaking project was postponed in 2009. Bear Creek closed after the 2009-2010 season.
Bear Creek Becomes Plymouth Notch
In November of 2010, a group called Plymouth Notch purchased the ski area from Plymouth Properties. Work on a new exclusive club development commenced shortly thereafter, including initial work on a 13 million gallon snowmaking pond. The area suffered significant damage from Tropical Storm Irene, however, resulting in the cancellation of the 2011-2012 ski season.
The Plymouth Notch base area in 2014
Work continued on the snowmaking pond in 2013, with Plymouth Notch reporting the job 70% complete. Meanwhile, the double chairlift passed its state inspection.
With work wrapping up on the snowmaking pond in 2014, Plymouth Notch announced the reopening of the ski area on a private basis for the 2014-15 season. Though members-only, special day pass opportunities were offered for the general public.
New narrow, wooded trails were cut prior to the 2015-16 season.
The Salt Ash trail in 2017
Plymouth Notch ceased operations following the 2017-18 season and was placed on the market in the fall of 2018.
The idle clubhouse (March 2019)
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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|1964-65||$5.00||$75.00||15.0 days||March 11|
|"My name is Richard Linnekin, a member of the Buffalo lodge from 1964-1980. Our lodge was located on Route 100A next to Pau Sailor. We used to ski Round Top many days for an incredible season pass for $75.00. It was a blast. We used to pack a group lunch, and bring it to the mountain. At approximately 12:00 we would blast on a plastic fog horn the call "gruntz".
My favorite trails were Salt Ash (top to bottom), Coolidge, Wood Pecker, and Bolder Bowl. Fond memories of the mountain.
From 1980-1988 I was a member of Sparky's gang, a dirty old senior citizen who used to hustle all the young ladies at the Salt Ash Lounge. Other senior citizens of his gang were, Doug Barrows,Paul Privetera, and Paul Goldman, the founder, Paul Sailor.
Yes, I will remember all of the fun days I had at Round Top in its earlier days. On one easter sunday we a dressed up as member of the Farkel famiy (circa Laugh-In) and dressed up with red wigs!!
I miss it very much. Dis not do much with BearCreek.
|richard linnekin, May. 19, 2019|
|"My then 5 year little brother Jack got his safety strap caught on the footrest of that crazy chair lift and it strung him up upside down as he tried to get off at the unattended mid- station while riding with a stranger. Some quick thinking approaching skiers saw him and heard him yelling the emergency button to stop the lift when he got to the first left tower and then scrambled up the tower to disentangle him. Crazy chairlifts but fond memories of great times with my family learning to ski and race at Round Top"|
|Bruce Diamond , Mar. 25, 2019|
|"Played in a band at the Roundtop base lodge in March 1974 during the Arab Oil Embargo. Had to get up at six am each morning to drive out to a gas station and wait in line for two gallons, every day, in order to stock up for the drive home. Had a couple of good ski days early in the week, then three days of rain. We were paid at the end of the week half in cash, half by check. The check bounced."|
|Jay Bass, May. 8, 2018|
|"Wow, great memories. As a kid our family would spend a week every winter across the hywy with Rick and Mynor at the Plymouth Village Campground. We would leave our skis up at the lodge and on nice mornings after breakfast cross the road and walk up to the ski hill. I remember "Jack" in the late 70s early 80s. I'm not sure what Jack did there but everybody knew him. Jack taught me sarcasm. "it never rains at Roundtop" is how he would greet disappointed skiers seeking shelter in the lodge during a February rain."|
|Camp Butterfeet, Apr. 15, 2018|
|"We owned a house in Quechee (still have it) and Roundtop gave us a discount on lift tickets. My little children (now 43 & 45) learned to ski there. There used to be signs on the post as you traveled up the chairlift. One I remember said "Ice is Nice." I have also never forgotten the double chair safety bar, how it clicked shut on the side and most of the time I had to fight to get it open!
I still have a 1977-78 Roundtop brochure, price list, and a reprint of an article about Roundtop that was in Skiing Magazine, Spring 1978. I hung onto these things to remind me of the wonderful family times we shared there. "|
|Norma Lee, Feb. 13, 2017|
|"Yesterday I received a vintage 1977 Round Top Mountain poster as a gift. What a blast from the past. I learned how to ski there around 1973...and my parents owned one of two "round houses" at the base of the mountain-it was eventually razed to make room for a lodge or parking as part of Bear Creek. My favorite was Coolidge and Goldbrook in the morning when the sun peeked through. The history should include the '81/'82 ski season with JW Steadman and his time share scheme that untimately shuttered the mountain. "|
|Kim Shore, Jan. 29, 2017|
|"Boulder Brook, Wedel Village, Goldbrook, Salt Ash, Route 100 and Rollercoaster! So many great memories of skiing Roundtop in the 70s and early 80s. We were season pass holders and always strived to make the last run of the day. I recall the buses in the parking lot indicating whether it would be a crowded day or not. The T-Bar to ski down Tinkerbell, the rope tow and the chairlift swing. Upstairs in the lodge, a guitar player would sing "I've got Roundtop Mountain in my hands" during apres ski. The safety bars on the double chair that latched in front and frequently froze making for frequent stops due to people having to flag the attendant for help at the unloading zone. Waxing the bottoms of the lunch trays and hoofing up the mountain to have a hell of a slide down after the lifts closed was the perfect ending to a perfect day on the mountain. I'd love to have a day of skiing there again! Great memories!"|
|Dina Maggipinto, Jan. 4, 2017|
|"we learned to ski there - my parents and 3 sisters and i, in the late 60s and 70s, and skied there through the 80s too. we did so with other families from our town in ct, so there were often a dozen kids raging on wedel village, rollercoaster, woodpecker ... and while the parents drank in the bar upstairs, we sledded on the cafeteria trays. we too joined the buddy werner races and piled on 5 at a time on the t-bar ( i remember one of the lifties names was roger(. i recall skiing on easter one year and getting chocolate eggs. also, now i'm picturing the a-frame near the t-bar, and a very large pine tree across the run-out.these days i ski alta in utah, and couldn't have done it without that great learning and shredding experience at round top!!"|
|diane maggipinto, Sep. 23, 2013|
|"We bought one of the 'townhouses' on the old Roundtop Mountain about five years ago and just love it. Quite a few of the original families still own homes here; in many cases they are the grown children of the original owners, now here with their own families. We have skied Roundtop when it was closed (cars for chairlifts), as well as Bear Creek while it was operating. It is a great little ski mountain. Now we mostly ski Killington, Pico, Okemo and Magic. Looking forward to the next phase of this mountain. "|
|Phil Gibbs, Sep. 14, 2013|
|"I grew up skiing at Round Top and have many, many fond memories: -"|
|Zeb Landsman, May. 31, 2013|
|"My family skied Okemo during the pomalift days, a much earlier vintage of Killington, and even Round Top during the 1960s and 1970s. A family relative used to own the Gassetts, VT schoolhouse during this period. One memory I have of Round Top happened during the 1972-73 ski season, when my then 12 year old cousin almost fell off of the main mountain chairlift due to an unusual safety bar design. The old chairs were center-pole with crazy safety bars that latched in the center and swung around to the outside on both sides. Anyhow, my cousin, (I was then age 15), had trouble unfastening his safety bar while we were a few hundred feet away from the top unload station, and then when it released, he swung right around with it. I still don't know how I managed to do it, but with just my left hand I reached around the chair center-post, then grabbed him and threw him back into his seat on the chair. This was the same lift that is the only chairlift remaining at Bear Creek.Back then Roundtop had an old Quonset Hut for a base lodge and offered $5 lift tickets midweek, which figured for inflation might be $30 today. I also remember some older near senior skier there who we saw several times ski straight down the main lift line almost straight like a downhill skier, catching huge air off of the rolls on the way down. We always thought that he was probably an old ski racer.Since 1982 I have lived in Colorado where since 2000 my home hill is Eldora ski area west of Boulder, but I'll always remember Round Top, the pomalifts at Okemo, and the Killington that existed then too. I went back to Okemo once in the 1980s but it just wasn't the same as the sheer terror of riding the Red, Green, or Black pomas when you were a kid, getting yanked airborne 50 feet uphill out of the loading station and then maybe landing in the track or maybe not too! "|
|Mark Richardson, Mar. 2, 2013|
|"My family owned a vacation house at Round Top in the early 1970's. I learned to ski race there (Buddy Werner League) when I was about 8 to 10 years old. We spent many vacations there in both winter and summer and had great times. It's good to see that the mountain still looks basically similar after all these years."|
|Ben Farrell, Mar. 1, 2013|
Plymouth Notch - official site