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Hard’ack Recreational Area opens new lodge, begins pool construction

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 11:58 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:37 AM EDT
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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - Community, history and skiing are some things that come to mind when you spend time at the Hard’ack Recreation Area in St. Albans.

“I had six children and all of my children learned to ski here at Hard’ack,” said Kathleen Tabor, a resident of St. Albans.

“We’ve used it for 40 years, our kids learned to ski here,” said Judy Zsoldos of St. Albans.

“This is where I learned to ski, I bet three-quarters of these people, that’s where they learned to ski,” said Tim Hurlbut, vice president of trustees of Hard’ack Inc.

Now, folks will be able to say they learned to swim at Hard’ack, too. Construction at the community pool has just begun, adding a new element to the recreation area.

“They do best when they’re part of other recreational amenities as part of the park,” St. Albans City Manager Dominic Cloud said.

St. Albans residents tell us this pool is much needed and highly anticipated.

“My grandchildren are on the swim team and so I knew what the pool was like downtown, and they really needed a new pool and I’m so glad they got it,” Tabor said.

The pool will have a seasonal cover in the winter, so it can be used year-round. But why was Hard’ack the location of choice?

“The place that we’re going to create our recreational infrastructure is Hard’ack. It’s about 150 acres combined with the oldest hill area next door, so it was a no-brainer really to put the pool here,” Cloud said.

The pool isn’t the only important addition happening at Hard’ack. Local skiers won’t be using the old chicken coop to warm up anymore. They now have the Greg Brown Ski Lodge.

John Holzscheiter, president of the Hard’ack board, says they have been planning and anticipating this lodge for 10 years.

“What we’ve really tried to do with Hard’ack in St. Albans is try to make it the epicenter, if you will, of free recreation in Franklin County. And so we’ve done a lot to expand what we have here,” Holzscheiter said.

The lodge is named in honor of a friend to many in the Hard’ack Recreation family who kept the place running when no one thought it would be possible.

“Greg grew up loving Hard’ack and throughout the years when we needed some help to keep the lodge going, he was always willing to do that, always asking what do you guys need, that type of thing, and so this is the way to commemorate and remember Greg,” Holzscheiter said.

Cloud says Franklin County is growing fast, with the greater St. Albans area anchoring this growth. The expansions to Hard’ack are a great way to add to this growth and make the community even tighter.

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