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Stratton Mountain Resort

Stratton Mountain Resort is a ski area located on Stratton Mountain in Stratton, Vermont.

Stratton Mountain
Stratton Mountain Resort Logo.jpg
LocationStratton Mountain, Windham County, Vermont
Nearest cityManchester, Vermont
Vertical2,003 ft (611 m)
Top elevation3,875 ft (1,181 m)
Base elevation1,872 ft (571 m)
Skiable area625 acres (253 ha)
Runs97
Longest run15,840 ft (4,830 m)
Lift system1 high speed gondola, 4 high speed six packs, 3 quads, 1 triple, 1 double, 3 carpets
Snowfall180 inches (460 cm)
Snowmaking93%
Websitehttp://www.stratton.com/

Contents

HistoryEdit

Stratton was established in December 1961 with three double chairlifts and a three-story base lodge. Although the mountain was top notch, the access road was a disaster. It was paved in time for the 1962-1963 season. Stratton added two T-bar lifts in time for the third season. A big expansion took place for the 1964-1965 season when the Snow Bowl was opened, bringing a double chairlift and over 30 acres of terrain. Another double chairlift was opened and the base lodge was expanded for the 1966-1967 season giving way to the birth of European style après-ski entertainment by the Innsbruck Trio, a group of Austrian ski instructors. The group became known as the Stratton Mountain Boys and a key marketing component of the mountain.[1] In the early 1970s, following development of the initial terrain, Stratton began to develop a new beginner area; this opened in 1972 with additional trails, though plans for a new lift were not realized.[2] In the late 1980s, Stratton constructed new terrain to the south of the main mountain, and dubbed it "Kidderbrook."[2] The expansion included a new quad chairlift, and was planned to be a starting point for potential additional terrain and housing in the area, though this never occurred.[2] In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the ski area constructed several new high-speed six-person lifts,[3] and in 2007, the Kidderbrook Quad was removed and sold, as it was underused and Stratton's parent companies were in financial trouble at the time.[2] From 1985 to 2012, Stratton hosted the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships; the premier open snowboarding event in the country. In 2013, after a 27-year run at Stratton; the event moved to Vail, CO.

Early YearsEdit

Lift served skiing debuted on the northern peak of the mountain when Stratton Mountain ski area opened with 3 double chairlifts (installed using a then-unique helicopter method) in December 1961. Designed by Gene Gillis of Sel Hannah's Sno Engineering firm, the area also sported a three-story base lodge.

While the facilities were top notch, the muddy access road was called a 'tank-proving ground' by the press. The road received much needed pavement in time for the area's second season.

Stratton's uphill capacity was improved for its third season with the installation of two T-Bars.

A sizable expansion took place the following season, when 30 acres of terrain, served by a new double chairlift, were opened in the new Snow Bowl.

1966-67 saw an expansion of the base lodge giving way to the regions first Apre' Ski parties and the birth of The Stratton Mountain Boys and the installation of another double chairlift. The Grizzly Bear and Polar Bear trails were added for the following season.

The Sun Bowl was developed for the 1968-69 season, adding a new base area, 5 miles of trails, and a new double chairlift.

An additional two chairlift expansion was planned for the 1971-72 season, however Stratton became one of the first ski areas in the state to run into trouble with the new Act 250 law, when residents of Winhall forced the ski area to first overhaul its sewer system in advance of potential increases in skier visits.

The Main Line pod was partially developed in the early 1970s, however development was halted prior to the installation of a chairlift.

Snowmaking was expanded to the summit circa 1974.

Also in 1974, James Sunday was paralyzed after a fall while skiing at Stratton. In a landmark decision three years later, Sunday was awarded $1.5 million by a jury. The decision resulted in significant price increases throughout the ski industry, due to skyrocketing liability insurance costs.

Moore and Munger, Inc. OwnershipEdit

Late in 1979, Stratton purchased nearby Bromley and assumed its multimillion-dollar debt. Stratton's debt was now reportedly up to $7 million. Moore and Munger, Inc. came to the rescue and purchased Stratton in early 1980. During the 1980s, Jake Burton found an ally in Stratton, when it became the first ski area to allow snowboarding. In addition to this, Stratton also became home to the first snowboard school, and would start hosting US Open snowboard races in 1985. Stratton would later become home to the first half pipe and formal terrain park on the east coast.

In the mid-1980s, in conjunction with the expansion of Stratton Village, the lift network at Stratton was modernized. Four new Poma chairlifts were installed in 1985 and 1986, replacing aging Heron-Pomas.

In the fall of 1987, Moore and Munger, Inc. sold Bromley to the owners of nearby Magic Mountain. The following year, the famous Gondola was installed to the summit of Stratton.

Victoria USA, Inc. OwnershipEdit

In the spring of 1989, Victoria USA, Inc., a Japanese sporting goods company that owned Breckenridge, purchased Stratton. Later that year, the Kidderbrook area debuted. The Kidderbrook chairlift was the only lift installed during Victoria USA's ownership.

Intrawest OwnershipEdit

Intrawest purchased the ski area from Victoria USA, Inc. in 1994 and quickly started another round of new lift installations, eventually rolling out four new high speed six pack chairlifts. This project was named the "URSA" project after the Latin, bear, which represents their logo. The first of the high speed six packs arrived in 1995 with American Express. The lift used the same alignment as the Betwixt Double, which was dismantled. Standard Double and Suntanner Double were also removed to maintain capacity, as all three doubles were adjacent to one another and serviced the same terrain. In 1999, a new lift line was cut parallel to Grizzly Double and URSA Express was installed as the second high speed six pack. With this installation, Grizzly Double was removed and North American Quad was relocated two years later to maintain capacity. 2001 brought the final two high speed six packs, with Sun Bowl Quad being realigned so its lift line could be used for Sunrise Express and a new lift line cut above the top station of Sunrise Express for Shooting Star. Shooting Star allowed skiers to often bypass Kidderbrook on their ride to the top, and Kidderbrook became a secondary lift used only on crowded days. When Intrawest faced tough times, Stratton sold the often-idle Kidderbrook chairlift following the 2006-07 season.

Intrawest announced $6.5 million of projects for the 2013-2014 season, including new snowcats, improved snowmaking, two new glades, and base resort improvements. The aging gondola cabins were replaced the summer of 2014.

During Intrawest's ownership, Stratton developed premium real estate. The parking lot in front of Black Bear Lodge was cleared and became the Village Common. Two connected condominium buildings collectively named Long Trail House were constructed in 1999 and 2000. Long Trail was followed by Rising Bear Lodge in 2004, Hearthstone Lodge in 2005, and Founders Lodge in 2006. Construction began on an additional condominium building adjacent to Founders Lodge, but work stopped when the housing market started to collapse in late 2006. Additionally, townhouses were built on the mountain. Snowbridge was constructed from 1997-1998 on the trails "Old Log Road", "Ethan's Alley", and "Lower Wanderer" for ski-in/ski-out access. Solstice was constructed from 2001-2002 on the trails "91", "91 Extension", and "Solstice Way" for ski-in/ski-out access. TreeTop was built between 2003-2006 as ski-in properties off of the trail "TreeTop Way", but they could not be ski-out due to a contract signed with the Solstice homeowners forbidding the construction of additional ski-in/ski-out townhouses. In the late 2000s, Stratton sold 12 large plots of land above the Villager chairlift and called the ski-in/ski-out houses Tamarack Heights. This is the flagship community at Stratton and the final real estate project undertaken by Intrawest.

Alterra Mountain Company OwnershipEdit

In 2017, KSL and Henry Crown and Company acquired Intrawest. In the next few months, Mammoth Resorts and Deer Valley were also acquired. KSL and Henry Crown and Company created a new company called Alterra Mountain Company to own the 12 ski mountains they had amassed.[4] Alterra plans to invest $555 million at its mountains for the next five years.[5] For the 2018-2019 season, Alterra plans on investing $10 million at Stratton: a new high-speed quad to replace the Snow Bowl lift, a groomer, a renovated conference room at the Black Bear Lodge, and phase one of the new mountain bike center.[5]

Mountain statisticsEdit

Stratton has 99 trails over 670 acres (270 ha) of skiable terrain, 95% of which has snowmaking.[6] 40% of the trails are rated as easy, 35% are intermediate, and 25% are advanced.[6] There are eleven lifts, which can transport 33,928 people an hour.[6] The mountain's base is at 1,872 ft (571 m) and the summit is at 3,875 ft (1,181 m) for a vertical drop of 2,003 ft (611 m).[7] Stratton has an average annual snowfall of 180 inches (460 cm). Stratton also ranks in the top 10 (SKI Magazine) for snow, grooming, lifts, terrain parks, service, lodging, dining, on-mountain food, apres and nightlife. .[7]

TrailsEdit

Stratton has 99 trails covering over 670 acres (270 ha) of skiable terrain.

Easier More Difficult Most Difficult Experts Only Terrain Parks
Lower West Meadow Bear Bottom Big D Upper Grizzly Bear East Byrneside SBX
Mike's Way Black Bear Franks Fall Line Stevek Progression Park
Old Number 8 Get My Drift Liftline Cut Through Upper Spruce Old Smoothie
Upper East Meadow Interstate Lower Spruce (m) Lower Slalom Glade Tyrolienne Park
Upper Wanderer Janeway Junction Lower Switchback World Cup (m) Suntanner
Upper West Meadow Lower Grizzly Bear Polar Bear Bear Down
Work Road Upper Drifter Rimeline Free Fall
Cabot's Run Beeline The Chute Upper Down Easter
Craig's Run Betwixt Upper Liftline Vertigo (g)
Daniel Webster Duck Soup Upper Slalom Glade Free Fall Gully (g)
Detour East Byrneside Upper Standard Kidderbrook Ravine (g)
Drifter Link Lower Drifter Upper Switchback Squirrel's Nest Glade (g)
Ethan's Alley Lower Standard Upper Tamarack Why Not (g)
Flukey's Run Number 6 Lower Liftline Moon Dance (g)
Grizzly Access Snow Bowl Alley Upper Kidderbrook Test Pilot (g)
Hemlock Spillway Upper Middlebrook Shred Wood Forest (g)
Lad's Legacy Suntanner Dino's Drop
Lower East Meadow Tink's Link Dancing Bear (g)
Lower Tamarack White Birch Diamond in the Rough (g)
Lower Wanderer Yodeler Cabin Fever (g)
Mark's Run Busters Trail
Old Log Road Gentle Ben
Old Smoothie Lower Down Easter
Overpass Rick's Catch 22
Runaway Rising Star
Underpass Shooter
Yodeler Express Shortcut Big Ben
Tyrolienne Shortcut Gentle Ben
91 Sunbeam
91 Extension Sun Bowl Express
Big Ben Sunriser Supertrail
Churchill Downs Tree Top Way
Home Run Way Home
Lower Kidderbrook Eclipse (g)
Lower Middlebrook Buckshot (g)
Main Line Emerald Forest (g)
Solstice Way Moonbeam (g) west pilot(g)
Downtowner
Stage 1
Village Walk
Daniel's Web (g)
Mike's Cut-through
  • (g) – gladed trail with trees
  • (m) – trail with moguls regularly when conditions provide

LiftsEdit

Lift Name Length Vertical Type Make Year Installed
Summit Gondola 7,379 ft 1,742 ft Gondola Poma 1988 (original) 2014 (new cabins)
American Express 3,238 ft 658 ft High Speed Six Pack Doppelmayr 1995
URSA Express 4,620 ft 1,340 ft High Speed Six Pack Garaventa CTEC 1999
Sunrise Express 4,502 ft 1,122 ft High Speed Six Pack Garaventa CTEC 2001
Shooting Star 3,305 ft 798 ft High Speed Six Pack Garaventa CTEC 2001
Snow Bowl Express 4,382 ft 1,371 ft High Speed Quad Doppelmayr 2018
Solstice Fixed Quad Poma 2001
South American Fixed Quad Poma 2001
Tamarack Fixed Triple Borvig 1977
Villager 1,073 ft 155 ft Fixed Double Poma 1985

Past LiftsEdit

Lift Name Length Vertical Type Make Year Installed Year Removed Notes
SMS Poma 1,726 ft 572 ft Platter Lift Heron-Poma 1971 2018
Snow Bowl Quad 4,877 ft 1,380 ft Fixed Quad Poma 1986 2018 Sold to Magic Mountain. Replaced by Snow Bowl Express
Betwixed Double 3,235 ft 649 ft Fixed Double Borvig 1982 1995 Sold to Magic Mountain. Replaced by American Express
Grizzly Double 4,765 ft 1,317 ft Fixed Double Borvig 1977 1999 Replaced by URSA Express
Kidderbrook Quad 6,285 ft 1,476 ft Fixed Quad Poma 1989 2007 Sold to Jay Peak and Mont Saint-Sauveur
Lower T-Bar 2,455 ft 373 ft T-Bar Hall 1963 1976
North American Double 4,500 ft 1,125 ft Fixed Double Heron 1961 1985 Replaced by North American Quad
North American Quad 4,380 ft 1,173 ft Fixed Quad Poma 1985 1999 Replaced the North American Double. Relocated to Yodeler as South American.
Snow Bowl Double 4,900 ft 1,386 ft Fixed Double Heron 1964 1986 Replaced by Snow Bowl
Standard Double 3,256 ft 644 ft Fixed Double Heron 1966 1995 Removed when American Express was installed
Sun Bowl Double 4,773 ft 1,113 ft Fixed Double Heron 1968 1986 Replaced by Sun Bowl Quad
Sun Bowl Quad 4,639 ft 1,110 ft Fixed Quad Poma 1986 2001 Replaced Sun Bowl Double. Realigned and turned into Solstice
Suntanner Double 2,800 ft 650 ft Fixed Double Heron 1961 1995 Removed when American Express was installed
Tamarack Double 3,499 ft 569 ft Fixed Double Borvig 1976 1977 Converted to triple
Teddy Bear Platter Lift
Tyrolienne Double 1,700 ft 315 ft Fixed Double Heron 1961 2001 Removed when South American was installed
Upper T-Bar 1,580 ft 302 ft T-Bar Hall 1963 1978 Sold to Bradford, MA

Future ProjectsEdit

Stratton will be replacing the Snowbowl Quad with a Doppelmayr high-speed quad during the summer of 2018.[5] Stratton is also going to have a mountain bike park on the lower half of the mountain by fall of 2018.[5] In the village and the village common, phase 2 of Founders Lodge is expected to begin construction in the upcoming years and Liftline Lodge is expected to be knocked down in the near future.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stratton". New England Ski History. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Stratton Mountain". New England Ski Area Expansions (New England Ski History). Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Stratton Mountain Resort". Skilifts.org. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Announcing Alterra Mountain Company: A Family of 12 Iconic Mountain Destinations in North America". Alterra Mountain Company. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  5. ^ a b c d "New Snow Bowl Lift, Mountain Bike Trails on the Way - STRATTON MOUNTAIN BLOG". STRATTON MOUNTAIN BLOG. 2018-03-12. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  6. ^ a b c "Mountain Stats".
  7. ^ a b "Stratton Mountain Resort". Skitown. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.

Coordinates: 43°06′51″N 72°54′24″W / 43.11417°N 72.90667°W / 43.11417; -72.90667