You may not be old enough to remember Snow Valley Ski Area (circa. 1948) , but it was once among the little jewels of the Vermont ski world that once dotted the Green Mountain State landscape. That era took a hit last weekend when a "suspicious" fire destroyed the still-standing base lodge at the ski area which shut down its lifts 27 years ago in 1984.
Reports from the Brattleboro Reformer say the ski area in Winhall, Vt. (a snowball's throw from Bromley and a long downhill from Stratton Mt.) say police and fire departments were dispatched to the Snow Valley Road for a "building fire." Half of the large, long-abandoned base lodge was blazing.
Firefighters determined the building was not safe to enter so the only course of action, the newspaper said, was to attack the fire from the exterior to keep flame from spreading. Fire departments from nearby Peru (where Bromley is located) and the resort town of Manchester, were called to assist.
Police said the building was a "total loss," with damages estimated at $300,000. The cause of the fire is still officially "undetermined," but it is considered "suspicious." Investigators from various agencies were called to the scene. A $5,000 reward is offered to anyone with information about the fire, says the Reformer. Call the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at 1-800-322-7766 with information.
The building, long ago gutted of virtually all furnishings, has been used by hikers on the Long Trail as a shelter from the rain. The property owner is Patrick Robinson of Darien, Ct.
Rumors pop up in the area periodically that a "comeback" for Snow Valley is in the wind, the most recent just a few years ago before the recession.