ropeways.net | Home | 2018-02-07
Ski Blandford Cancels Ski Season
The new ownership hopes to reopen the historic Western Massachusetts ski area next winter.
In a Facebook posting, Ski Blandford announced it will not open for the 2017-18 season. Citing safety concerns, Ski Blandford will continue working on its infrastructure with hopes of reopening for the 2018-19 season.
In the meantime, Ski Blandford season passholders have the choice of either skiing for free at the ownership's other ski areas, Otis Ridge and Ski Butternut, or defer their unused pass until next season.
Located in the town of Blandford, the current Blandford ski area was operated by the Springfield Ski Club from 1936 to 2017. In the spring of 2017, the club's board notified membership that "Blandford Ski Area is financially insolvent" due to enrollment falling from a high of roughly 5,000 down to 1,426 in 2014-15.
Stating that it "does not have the money to continue operations," the Springfield Ski Club told members that if the area was not sold, it would be closed. On July 18, 2017, the membership approved a prospective sale to the ownership of nearby Ski Butternut. On July 25, 2017, Ski Butternut owner Jeffrey Murdock formed Blandford Properties LLC to acquire the ski area.
On September 1, 2017, Blandford Properties LLC acquired the ski area deed from the Springfield Ski Club for $269,000. Subsequently, hundreds of thousands of dollars of mortgages were discharged.
In early December, Ski Blandford took delivery of a fleet of SMI Polecat fan guns and a PistenBully snowcat. As recently as December 9, Ski Blandford made a Facebook posting that it was "Hoping to open for Christmas Vacation week!"
Snowmaking started on December 20th and continued to the point in which there was a "a good base." However, the area's vintage Hall double chairlifts, ranging from 39 to 48 years old, were not yet ready to roll due to safety issues.
This is the first known time in modern history that Ski Blandford has not operated. The area features three Hall double chairlifts, a surface lift, snowmaking, night skiing, and 465 foot vertical drop.Source: "NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com"