Red Bench Speaker Series: Lost and Found - How Independent Ski Areas Around Vermont Are Being Resurrected

Thursday, Mar 7, 2024 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm


The Red Bench Speaker Series presents, Lost & Found, How Independent Ski Areas Around Vermont Are Being Resurrected, at the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum.

Vermont was once home to more than 175 ski areas. Today, most of those areas are gone but some have been brought back to life in various forms. In this discussion we’re bringing together a few of the people that have played a key role in preserving some of the formerly “lost” ski areas. These range from small ski hills to once large commercial operations such as Mount Ascutney and Magic Mountain.

Lisa Lynn, editor of Vermont Ski + Ride and Vermont Sports will moderate the discussion as representatives from ski areas around the state will talk about how they have resurrected these ski hills, the value they bring to their local communities, and the new roles they play now in both preserving Vermont’s heritage of skiing and moving it forward as these hills expand to include multiple forms of winter recreation and the development of new fundraising models.

Panelists include Steve Wood of Ascutney, William Beattie of the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers, Diana Todd of Hogback Mountain, and Geoff Hatheway of Magic Mountain.

Steve Wood was raised in Hartland and began skiing at Ascutney in 1955. He was a patroller there while in high school and into his college years. More recently, he is a member of the Ascutney Outdoors board of directors and is the non-profit’s treasurer. In May he will succeed Shelley Seward as AO’s board chair.

William Beattie is the president of the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers, Ltd. (D-Hash). Beattie, a long-time skier and ski instructor, helped form the non-profit to preserve the trails of the abandoned Dutch Hill ski area for backcountry skiing and other outdoor recreation.

Diana Todd skied at Hogback Mountain Ski Area in Marlboro in the 1970's-80's and was heartbroken when it went out of business in 1986 and was bought by a developer. When the land came on the market again in the early 2000's (never having been developed), she jumped at the chance to join a local group that raised funds to buy the 600-acre property and donate it to the town of Marlboro as a public conservation area. She has remained involved over the years and is currently chairing the committee that is updating the Management Plan.

Geoff Hatheway is the founder and president of Ski Magic LLC which purchased Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry Vermont in 2016. Geoff also manages the day-to-day operations of the mountain and lives locally in Dorset.

Doors to the Museum will open at 6:00 PM and guests are invited to enjoy the exhibits and socialize. The discussion begins at 6:30 PM. Event admission is $10 and helps support the museum's mission to "collect, preserve, and celebrate Vermont's rich skiing and snowboarding history.”

Thank you series sponsors Schoeller Textil, Sisler BuildersVermont Ski + Ride, and special event supporters von Trapp Brewing and Stowe Cider.

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