We’re finally here. Mt. Ellen will be opening this Saturday, December 18th. Since you likely haven’t been over to Mt. Ellen since last season, I think upon first arrival you’re going to be blown away.
The majority of our capital improvements over the summer were actually quite focused on Mt. Ellen. The biggest project was, of course, Vermont Adaptive’s new $2.5 million addition to our Mt. Ellen Base Lodge. Today we celebrated the opening of the building with them, media, local partners, and the community. Mike Murphy, longtime community member and Sugarbush employee, whose father Jack Murphy was one of the key founders of Sugarbush, had the honors of doing the ribbon cutting.
And that’s where you’ll get your first surprise. Upon driving up the access road you’ll see that the base lodge has expanded to include this beautiful addition. While siding is still finishing up on the outside, the inside is already looking spectacular. If you’re curious to check it out for yourself, Vermont Adaptive will be holding open houses on all weekend long. It’s definitely worth stopping by.
That big addition provided us at Sugarbush with an opportunity to give our own side of the lodge a major face lift. I have a feeling you’ll be extra impressed with the changes we were able to make in there, while staying true to the original 1963 lodge.
On the main level, now that Vermont Adaptive has moved to the other side of the building with their own addition, we have completely blown out and opened up the GMX side of the lodge. Believe it or not, there were windows over there! Not only have we added a ton more seating, but the entire floor now enjoys sunshine through the multitude of windows.
Throughout the entire lodge you’ll find new carpet, new paint, additional TVs and audio capabilities in each room, and a general touch up of the space. It might not sound like a lot in writing, but you really need to see if to understand the transformation. We also added these pretty cool pellet stoves to each of our fire places.
Perhaps the best part of the lodge upgrade is the expanded deck. It’s wider, it wraps around the Vermont Adaptive addition, and it’s all ready for après beers. It should be an awesome spot this spring.
Operationally, when we open tomorrow we’ll be running Green Mountain Express (GMX) from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM as we’ve done in years past. As someone working locally, I love the fact we open over there an hour early to allow for a few pre-work laps. I know many of you do too. Given the up and down weather, we’ll be opening with limited terrain off of GMX including Northstar, Lower Northstar, Main Stream, and Straight Shot. When temps cool down again tonight, we’ll start making snow on Crackerjack and Which Way to open up some new lower mountain routes while temps allow. Then we’ll proceed to move to upper mountain trails like Rim Run and Elbow to get the Summit Chair spinning.
The forecast is looking promising for snowmaking ahead. Plus this Saturday looks like we’ll see some nice natural snow as well. I hope to see you out and around at Mt. Ellen in the coming weeks!