Stratton Mountain Resort
Aerial view of Stratton Mountain Resort
|Location||Stratton Mountain, Windham County, Vermont, United States|
|Nearest major city||Winhall|
|Vertical||2,003 ft (611 m)|
|Top elevation||3,875 ft (1,181 m)|
|Base elevation||1,872 ft (571 m)|
|Skiable area||625 acres (2.53 km2)|
|Longest run||Easy Street 3.0 miles (4.8 km)|
|Lift system||13 total|
1 high speed gondola,
4 high-speed six-pack chairs,
1 high-speed quad chair,
2 fixed-grip quad chairs,
1 fixed-grip triple chair , 1 fixed-grip double chair,
|Snowfall||180 inches (15 ft; 4.6 m)|
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 1962, prior to the second season, and two T-bar lifts were added in 1963 for the third season. A big expansion took place for the 1964–65 season when the Snow Bowl was opened, bringing a double chairlift and over thirty acres (12 ha) of terrain. Another double chairlift was opened and the base lodge was expanded for the 1966–67 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.
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. In the late 1980s, Stratton constructed new terrain to the south of the main mountain, and dubbed it "Kidderbrook." 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.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the ski area constructed several new high-speed six-person lifts, 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. From 1985 to 2012, Stratton hosted the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships; the premier open snowboarding event in the country. After a 27-year run at Stratton, the event moved in 2013 to Vail in Colorado.
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 thirty 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, five miles (8 km) 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.
In 1978, Stratton hosted the World Cup tour, with technical events (giant slalom, slalom) for both men and women in early March. On the men's side, twenty-year-old American Phil Mahre won the GS and twin brother Steve took the slalom, as Ingemar Stenmark was shut out but made both podiums. Hanni Wenzel won the women's giant slalom and Perrine Pelen took the slalom; Cindy Nelson was the top women's finisher from the U.S., sixth in GS and fifth in slalom.
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 started hosting US Open snowboard races in 1985. Stratton later became 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.
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 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 Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company acquired Intrawest, combining Stratton and an assortment of other mountains into a new company called Alterra Mountain Company. Over the summer of 2018, the resort installed a new high-speed quad chairlift to replace the aging Snow Bowl lift. Stratton began offering summertime mountain biking in 2019, with mountain bike trails opening in stages in 2019 and 2020.
Stratton has 99 trails over 670 acres (2.7 km2) of skiable terrain, 95% of which has snowmaking. 40% of the trails are rated as easy, 35% are intermediate, and 25% are advanced. There are eleven lifts, which can transport 33,928 people an hour. 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). Stratton has an average annual snowfall of 180 inches (15 ft; 4.6 m).
Stratton has 99 trails covering over 670 acres (2.7 km2) of skiable terrain.
|Easier||More Difficult||Most Difficult||Experts Only||Terrain Parks|
|91||Bear Bottom||Big D||Bear Down||East Byrneside SBX|
|91 Extension||Beeline||Dino's Drop||Free Fall||Progression Park|
|Cabot's Run||Betwixt||Franks Fall Line||Lower Slalom Glade||Big Ben Park|
|Churchill Downs||Black Bear||Liftline Cut Through||Stevek||Tyrolienne Park|
|Craig's Run||Busters Trail||Lower Liftline||Upper Down Easter||Suntanner Park|
|Daniel Webster||Duck Soup||Lower Spruce (m)||Upper Grizzly Bear|
|Downtowner||East Byrneside||Lower Switchback||Upper Spruce|
|Drifter Link||Gentle Ben||Polar Bear||World Cup (m)|
|Ethan's Alley||Get My Drift||Rick's Catch 22||Vertigo (g)|
|Flukey's Run||Interstate||Rimeline||Free Fall Gully (g)|
|Grizzly Access||Janeway Junction||Rising Star||Kidderbrook Ravine (g)|
|Hemlock||Lower Down Easter||The Chute||Squirrel's Nest Glade (g)|
|Home Run||Lower Drifter||Upper Kidderbrook||Why Not (g)|
|Lad's Legacy||Lower Grizzly Bear||Upper Liftline||Moon Dance (g)|
|Lower East Meadow||Lower Standard||Upper Middlebrook||Test Pilot (g)|
|Lower Kidderbrook||Number 6||Upper Slalom Glade||Shred Wood Forest (g)|
|Lower Middlebrook||Old Smoothie||Upper Standard|
|Lower Tamarack||Rowley's Run||Upper Switchback|
|Lower Wanderer||Shooter||Upper Tamarack|
|Lower West Meadow||Shortcut Big Ben||Dancing Bear (g)|
|Main Line||Shortcut Gentle Ben||Diamond in the Rough (g)|
|Mark's Run||Snow Bowl Alley||Cabin Fever (g)|
|Mike's Way||Sun Bowl Express|
|Old Log Road||Sunbeam|
|Old Number 8||Sunriser Supertrail|
|Solstice Way||Tree Top Way|
|Stage 1||Upper Drifter|
|Upper East Meadow||White Birch|
|Upper West Meadow||Eclipse (g)|
|Village Walk||Emerald Forest (g)|
|Work Road||Buckshot (g)|
|Yodeler Express||West Pilot (g)|
|Daniel's Web (g)|
- (g) – gladed trail with trees
- (m) – trail with moguls regularly when conditions provide
|Lift Name||Length||Vertical||Type||Make||Year Installed|
|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|
|South American||Fixed Quad||Poma||2001|
|Tamarack||3,499 ft||569 ft||Fixed Triple||Borvig||1977|
|Villager||1,073 ft||155 ft||Fixed Double||Poma||1985|
|Lift Name||Length||Vertical||Type||Make||Year Installed||Year Removed||Notes|
|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.|
|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|
|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||Poma||2000||2007|
|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|
Stratton is expected to open phases 2 and 3 of its mountain biking course in 2020.
- "Stratton". New England Ski History. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Stratton Mountain". New England Ski Area Expansions (New England Ski History). Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Stratton Mountain Resort". Skilifts.org. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Mahre wins Cup GS". Lewiston Daily Sun. (Maine). Associated Press. March 4, 1978. p. 20.
- "Steve Mahre wins slalom". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). UPI. March 5, 1978. p. 7B.
- "'Cup' lead advanced by Hanni". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 3, 1978. p. 25.
- "Pelen wins last slalom". Lewiston Daily Sun. (Maine). Associated Press. March 6, 1978. p. 20.
- "Announcing Alterra Mountain Company: A Family of 12 Iconic Mountain Destinations in North America". Alterra Mountain Company. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- "Stratton to get new Snow Bowl lift under $10 million capital plan". Vermont Biz. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
- "Stratton to make another $6.5 million in capital improvements". Vermont Biz. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
- "Mountain Stats".
- "Stratton Mountain Resort". Skitown. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.