Submitted to The Brattleboro Reformer 1/13/2021
In this strange and challenging time, it is very important to maintain some sense of normalcy. To that end---the T-Bar is running, the COVID plan is in place, major and minor maintenance has been completed, our dedicated snowmaking team has made over 150 hours of snow and dedicated volunteers have put in 250+ hours. The result? Since opening night (New Year’s Eve) more than 600 individuals have had the opportunity to enjoy the most amazing winter pleasure-- Skiing and riding with friends and family at the Brattleboro Ski Hill.
“Seeing so many people out here is what it’s all about, “ says Brattleboro Ski Hill Board President and primary Groomer, Bill Bailey. “We had a really solid opening weekend and it seems we’re about to have a strong second weekend. It is an amazing team effort, everybody pitching in to make it happen. Every piece is essential and 100% volunteer--special mention has to go to the snowmakers because without the snow they made we wouldn’t be open. Bellco Excavation and Howard Printing have also been essential partners in making this season happen. And of course, we have a great appreciation for Carol Lolatte and Brattleboro Parks and Recreation.”
Hannah Neff, Board Secretary, has taken on the lion’s share of scheduling the in-person volunteers that allowed us to be open these last two weekends. “Having enough volunteers who are willing to spend a few hours of their weekend to make this happen for so many skiers and boarders is essential.”
Zach Rounds, Board member, Ski Patrol Director, and former President has organized two local schools to use the Brattleboro Ski Hill for their Winter Sports programs--something that’s not possible at the bigger resorts this year. “With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, it is truly an honor to be able to provide a local and safe community option for winter sports. The amount of support we are seeing from our community this year is encouraging and we hope to see things continue just as strong through the remainder of our season. This is a different kind of year for everyone, and for us. Users and volunteers are adapting and overcoming, which is all we can ask for.”
While some things remain the same from former years--particularly the need for willing volunteers and monetary support (info to participate at the bottom), some things are different this year. Because of COVID, the warming hut is closed (bathrooms are available and are regularly cleaned). We have chosen to let go of selling concessions. Skiers, riders and staff all need to wear masks 100% of the time. Additionally, a health screening form that attests they have followed the VT State travel guidance, along with providing contract tracing name, phone and email must be completed. Lastly, part of the safety plan is to limit the number of people on the Hill to 150. If we exceed that, we’ll halt ticket sales until some people leave in order to be as COVID safe as possible.
Despite all that is different, if our last two weekends show anything, it’s that Vermonters love being outside in the Winter. The Brattleboro Ski Hill is ready for them.
Brattleboro Ski Hill Board members:
Bill Bailey, President
Hannah Neff, Secretary
Autumn Kendall, Treasurer
Ray Blow (Founding member)
Amy Ripley (newest member)
4 to 9 Friday
10 to 9 Saturday
12 to 4 Sunday
12 to 4 on certain holidays and Feb Break
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or make a monetary donation.