In the midst of the worst snow-winter in the history of my recollection, something remarkable has happened on the ski scene: Southern Vermont’s Magic Mountain has become a cooperatively owned mountain resort.
“Do you believe in Magic?? 300 shares purchased says you do!!!” the resort’s Facebook page announced last week. “Magic’s next 50 years as a skier/rider-owned mountain officially begins! Thanks and congratulations to all!”
A skier/rider funded mountain resort? This year? This is extraordinary news, given the unstable states of both our economy, and our winter: a small community of skiers and riders have made the leap of faith to financially support a small independent ski area. It’s a testament to how much Magic Mountain, and independent skiing, still matters, regardless of the industry’s rising lift-ticket prices and dwindling snowfall accumulations.
“After a nearly two-year campaign soliciting loyal skiers to buy shares at $3,000 a pop, Magic Mountain is finally a cooperatively owned ski area,” Katie Johnston reported for The Boston Globe. “The southern Vermont ski area has hit its goal of 300 shareholders, giving management access to the $900,000 raised during the campaign, which will go toward snowmaking and other infrastructure projects.”
“The sale of the 300th share triggered a change in ownership,” Johnston continues, “to a partnership that includes shareholders and Magic president Jim Sullivan.”
“This is a very exciting time for the mountain and everyone associated with it. We have taken a great step in stabilizing and perpetuating Magic’s future,” Jim Sullivan wrote on Magic Mountain’s blog.
For anyone who has developed an appreciation for the challenging, imperfect, outstanding, small-time ski scene that is Magic Mountain, this is great news indeed.
“Magic connects deeply with those who come here for two big reasons,” their website notes, “its awesome terrain and its authentic community "vibe". It's why Magic not only endures but now offers skiers and riders a true alternative to today's crowded corporate resorts.”
Magic Mountain is in Londonderry, Vermont. An hour and a half from The Valley. Check them out, say congratulations, and experience the magic for yourself.