Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me~Grateful Dead
What a long, strange trip it’s been
People both in our local Lakes Region area, and ski enthusiasts all throughout New England have no doubt by now heard of the troubles that arose for the Gunstock Mountain Resort over the summer. When the senior management team walked out en-masse, basically shutting down most operations, it sent shock-waves throughout the entire Northeast skiing community. Not opening for the 22/23 winter ski season became a very real prospect. People that follow the industry closely know that once a season is missed, the struggle to reopen becomes a near impossible task. Witness Tenney Mountain, Saddleback in Maine, and Crotched. Many have followed the tremendous struggles to reopen following closure. All will be opening this year (as of this writing) but it has been a long, tough slog. The bottom line is that New England is littered with many defunct ski areas both large and small. It’s the ski business. And it can be, at times, RISKY business. (If you are further interested in finding out about the many abandoned ski places- click here. It’s rather fascinating.) I am quite pleased that Gunstock was not added to this site.
Following a successful conclusion to the summer’s trouble, the season of discontent has ended- Gunstock opened for the season today! Thankfully, the only issue at hand that affects them currently, is the same one faced by ALL ski areas: Mother Nature. Following a week of heavy rains and dismally warm temps, that fickle lady did an about face and it was all systems go. General Manager/President Tom Day oversaw his team in what was an “all hands on deck” effort and the battle against the weather was won, albeit a day late. But that’s OK- last July and August, it was looking very much like they simply would not open at all this year- weather, or not. But thanks to the entire Gunstock staff, today put an end to the fears. The mountain opened. And it was a GLORIOUS day!
Here’s a few pics of the morning. I have set up several links at the bottom for readers that want to dive deeper into this story. For now, some eye candy:
The author got a chance to do a few runs with GM/President Tom Day. As the current chair of the Commission that oversees the county owned facility, I appreciate the opportunity for an “under-the-hood” view of the operation. I remain thoroughly impressed with how well the area is run and maintained. It’s the ski business, and, it’s work. But the end result is many happy people, including me! All’s well that ends well.
Chaos, anger, and bargaining: Inside the fallout at Gunstock
How a Municipal Ski Area Became a Microcosm of National Partisanship
Gunstock Commission splits: at GAC meeting, Commissioners Wood, Lambert demand resignation of Ness, Strang
Gunstock To Reopen and Get Back on Track For the Winter Season
The “Smoking Gun” is Here! Gunstock Audit Preview. Guess What?
Ronnie Abbott – Gunstock Audit Meeting Report
Judge dismisses case against county delegation’s Aug. 1 meeting, citing no harm from shorter meeting notice
Gunstock’s money: With annual audit, internal investigation unfinished, how did copy of donation check become public?
Strang v. Lambert: Judge denies Strang request to prevent GAC meeting, recognize him as commissioner; Strang says he never resigned
Bastion First Look Exclusive: Ruling Issued in Gunstock Case
GAC disbands controversial subcommittees, as Strang threatens legal action
Strang out, Conroy in on GAC: Delegation takes action at emergency meeting to reopen Gunstock
Strang says he’ll resign if delegation appoints new member, GAC votes to rehire management
Anyway, you get the point. If you need more information beyond the links provided, feel free to reach out to me through the Bastion, or at my Gunstock Commissioner email: [dlambert@GunstockCommissioners.org] I’m always happy to talk and try to answer questions as best I can.
Photos by Doug Lambert, Ronnie Abbot, and Gunstock Mountain’s Jenn Karnan