• Vt. ski area reopens as private resort
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | January 13,2014
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    PHOTO BY HERMITAGE CLUB

    A skier travels down a trail on Haystack Mountain.
    WILMINGTON — Vermont’s former Haystack ski area in Wilmington has reopened as a private ski club.

    The Hermitage Club is now a four-season private club that includes skiing on Haystack Mountain. It opened for the season last month.

    “The experience is phenomenal,” Hermitage Club president and founder Jim Barnes told the Brattleboro Reformer. “People are getting groomed corduroy at 3 in the afternoon and getting anywhere from 25 to 40 runs in every day. They report that the zero lift lines and amenities we have are really exceptional.”

    Barnes paid $6.5 million for the Haystack ski area and nearby golf club in 2011. The ski area had been closed for several years. Barnes said the club invested more than $8 million in snow-making equipment over the last two years. A new quad lift is scheduled for certification later this month and a new 80,000 square-foot base lodge is under construction.

    The club’s website says a family membership has an initial fee of $55,000 plus annual dues of $5,150. Barnes now says the club now has more than 200 members.

    Member Debbie Ribaudo, of East Granby, Conn. described the mountain as family-oriented.

    “There’s no lines,” Ribaudo said. “I’m so used to skiing on the edges for powder. I don’t have to do it here. There’s no ice. It’s also the people that make you want to come back.”
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