Quantcast

Whaleback is back: Struggling ski area reopens - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Whaleback is back: Struggling ski area reopens

Posted: Updated:
ENFIELD, N.H. -

The snow guns are fired up and the lifts are spinning; Whaleback is back, a small family ski area with a hometown feel.

"I let my 9-year-old ski the mountain all day yesterday with a friend and I had no concerns about anything because you can't get lost on it and it is just a safe environment," said Elizabeth Ellingson of Plainfield.

"It doesn't take that long to get down and if you are really frustrated on a trail, since the mountain is not that big you can just get right back on the lift and try a different trail," said Trevor Proulx, a snowboarder.

Work inside to fix up the kitchen is music to skiers' ears. And the hustle and bustle on the slopes is a pleasant sight after previous owners shut down abruptly at the end of last season. They couldn't make ends meet. In recent years, several previous owners have met the same fate and the ski area has sat dormant for multiple seasons in a row.

Ellingson has been coming here since she was a kid.

"To think that we might lose that for our children was really upsetting," she said.

Whaleback is now owned by the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation, a nonprofit created this summer to bring new life to the ailing hill. The 12-member board is made up of business people, local ski families and philanthropists. Keeping outdoor winter recreation in the Upper Valley is the goal. The nonprofit will rely heavily on fundraising and taking advantage of available grants. Mountain officials say they've already been able to bank about half a million dollars.

"Trying to capitalize this going forward so that it can survive. That has been the biggest issue in the past. The owners in the past just didn't have the revenue," said Dick Harris of Whaleback.

And volunteers have been pitching in, too, sprucing up the lodge and helping on the trails. Down the road, a Nordic center and mountain biking could be added to the mix.

"I know a lot of people got behind it," Ellingson said. "There has been a lot of donations. A lot of us bought family passes who haven't before because we really want to support the organization and make sure it is here for the long term."

It's a community hill that skiers and mountain officials say will take a lot of community support to keep the lifts operating for many years to come.

Whaleback was on the auction block this summer but didn't sell. The negotiated purchase price with the bank and new owners was $300,000.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Hit and run in Brookfield

    Hit and run in Brookfield

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:04 AM EDT2014-09-02 12:04:18 GMT
    Police say a woman was doing donuts in her soon-to-be-ex-husband's driveway in the moments before she caused a crash.
    Police say a woman was doing donuts in her soon-to-be-ex-husband's driveway in the moments before she caused a crash.
  • N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:33:55 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.