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Crotched Mountain, New Hampshire Hot

DSC_0058Skiing and mountain winter sports have always been a way of life for the residents of the Crotched Mountain area of western Hillsborough County in New Hampshire.

Early settlers to this area gave it the name “Crotched Mountain” because they thought that the V-shaped mountain that is situated in Francestown, Bennington and Greenfield looked like the crotch of a tree.

Things didn’t turn out that way, though.

So, when the original Crotched Mountain Ski Area opened in 1964, it was all downhill for the residents of this familyoriented New England area. When Bobcat Ski Resort and Crotched Mountain Ski Area merged in 1980, it looked like the future was bright for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts in the Crotched Mountain area.

_MG_9659Dreams of grandeur and some failed condominium developments at Crotched Mountain helped the worst fears of the area’s residents materialize – the closing of the ski resort.

In 1989, Crotched Mountain closed its slopes and things weren’t the same for the residents of the area who had come to depend on the ease of hitting the convenient slopes. Twenty five years of ski resort fun were no more.

For many residents of the Crotched Mountain area, it wasn’t just the closing of a business, but it was the end of a vital part of the community. And the worst part was that they didn’t know if Crotched Mountain would ever reopen.

CROTCHED MOUNTAIN IS REBORN

Peak Resorts out of St. Louis, Missouri stepped in and brought skiing and winter recreation back to the residents of Crotched Mountain. In 2003, Crotched Mountain Ski Resort was officially reopened. Thirteen long years has passed since the resort had offered guests a break from the daily grind of life, but it has seemed to have been worth the wait.

“The resort was closed for so many years that it was basically like have to start from scratch,” said Pat Terry, General Manager at Crotched Mountain. “But the New England area really embraces winter sports.

“A lot of people in this area ski and snowboard. The people of the Crotched Mountain area really seem to want to see us succeed because this resort complements their lifestyle.”

Terry said that location is important in the ski resort industry, and that Crotched Mountain’s location in southern New Hampshire played a big role in its successful rebirth. According to Terry, most of Crotched Mountain’s guests travel two hours or less to get to the resort. He said that the resort’s proximity to metropolitan areas like Boston (60 miles away), Worcester (65 miles) and Concord, N.H. (35 miles) add to Crotched Mountain’s appeal.

WHAT MAKES CROTCHED MOUNTAIN DIFFERENT?

Terry said that one of the most unique aspects of Crotched Mountain is its snowmaking equipment. The resort has 100 percent FAN snowmaking technology, which Terry says allows the resort to create the driest snow possible in a very short time.

As a result of this snowmaking technology, Crotched Mountain claims to be the only ski resort that was able to remain completely open the entire season for five of the past six years.DSC_0016

Another unique aspect of Crotched Mountain, according to Terry, is the resort’s “Midnight Madness” program. He said that Crotched Mountain is the only resort that offers a program like Midnight Madness, which offers all snow activities to guests every Friday night from midnight to 3 a.m. Terry said the program has become very popular with young adults looking for some late-night entertainment.

THE NUTS & BOLTS OF CROTCHED MOUNTAIN

The base elevation of Crotched Mountain is 1,050 feet. From there, guests can ride a lift up to Satellite Summit and its top height of 2,066 feet. There are a variety of slopes, glades, and trails to experience, like the Cosmic Blast, the Milky Way, and Pluto’s Plunge.

oldFor those skiers who may not be ready to tackle Satellite Summit, Crotched Mountain offers beginner’s slopes and lessons for every skill level.

“We are a great resort for beginners,” explained Terry. “Our lodge is very easy to navigate and the rental shop is right next door to the ticket area.”

Crotched Mountain also has a terrain park for snowboarders and freestyle skiers seeking a quick adrenaline rush.

SPECIAL EVENTS AT CROTCHED MOUNTAIN

Crotched Mountain has something special planned almost every weekend from late December through the end of March. From ski races to concerts to freestyle exhibitions, the resort makes it interesting for guests.

“We offer annual events that have become very popular like the Midnight Rail Series and the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge,” Terry explained. “The Midnight Rail Series takes place most every Friday night and allows adults and juniors to race against each other in a head-to-head format.”

MIDNIGHTTerry said that most of Crotched Mountain’s advertising is done by word of mouth and email blasts. He said that word of mouth has been the best advertising platform because when the resort is giving the people of Crotched Mountain what they want, people will tell their neighbors, their friends and the people they do business with.

FOOD & LODGING

Crotched Mountain does not have lodging, but there are a number of overnight options that are not far from the resort. Terry said that because the resort primarily attracts guests who are located less than two hours away, the need for onsite lodging is not a high priority.

The resort’s base lodge offers guests a cafeteria, pizzeria, and bar. Virtually everything is available in the cafeteria to eat while sitting down or on the run, and the Onset Pub offers adult beverages of all kinds.DSC_0395

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS?

Terry said that, while he is pleasantly surprised at the growth he has seen at Crotched Mountain in his year as the resort’s General Manager, he just wants to continue to give the people of the area what they want – quality skiing at an affordable price.

“Every year we look at what our customers have asked for and we try to meet their needs,” Terry explained. “This year, as a result of customer input, we have added a freestyle program. One thing that speaks to the support of the Crotched Mountain residents is that, despite the fact that the skiing industry has been flat overall, we have continued to grow every year.”

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0 #1 Rick 2013-01-13 18:09
Great snow awesome night skiing, fun bar
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