There's a new buzz around southern Vermont. One of the state's forgotten ski areas, Haystack Mountain -- now known as Haystack Club -- is making a comeback with big plans in its future.
After six years of sitting vacant, the mountain is finally on a path to success as a new, more private option for skiers and riders looking to avoid the masses.
After unsuccessful attempts to reopen the mountain in the past, most recently due to disputes with nearby Mount Snow, new owner Jim Barnes, owner of the abbutting Hermitage Inn, has gotten the mountain up and running this season with new investments in snowmaking and many more on the drawing board.
With some 450 condos planned to be built and sold at a cool $650,000, the Club seeks to offer ski, ski out access to 100 percent of the members taking a stake in the revitalized mountain. In addition to the member-only access to the slopes, the owners will offer 250 daily lift tickets at reduced cost, to Wilmington and Dover residents.
In December 2011, Haystack Club proudly spun up their lifts and resumed ski and ride operations. Photo Courtesy of Haystack Club.
The owners are aggressively pursuing the same type of EB-5 foreign investment program that made the Pump House and new hotel at Jay Peak a reality. With what intention? A waterpark of Haystack's very own to add to their lineup of four-season offerings, which currently including golf and hiking.
Among other expansion plans that could break ground as early as spring 2012 are a new base lodge and high-speed Chondola that would provide access direct to the summit.
This weekend, Haystack Club is offering locals a chance to experience all that a club membership has to offer.
Haystack Winter Festival
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 28, 8-4 p.m
WHERE: Haystack Club, Wilmington, VT
WHAT: Experience the life of a Haystack Club Member. Join the owners for a complimentary day of skiing and riding, snowmobile tours, sleigh rides, X-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, ice skating and more. The day begins with a ribbon cutting ceremony and closes with a fireworks presentation at 7 p.m.