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Progress Made at Powder Ridge

It's been a month since the Town of Middlefield sold the abandoned ski area. Patch checks in with new owner Sean Hayes to get an update on the progress of the restoration project.

 

While fall has taken care of the natural transformation, a physical transformation is also underway at Powder Ridge ski area.

It's only been a month since Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort bought the property from the Town of Middlefield but already significant improvement to the site has been made.

For one, uncontrolled weeds and tall grass that had taken over Powder Ridge making it nearly unrecognizable during summer months are no more. Gone too are the shards of glass from broken windows and piles of ransacked equipment and material left behind when the ski area closed in 2006.

During a visit to the property on Monday, owner Sean Hayes walked through the massive building that once served as the ski area's rental center and where hundreds of pairs of skis and ski boots once lined the walls.

"This building got gutted," said Hayes.

The building also got a new roof, which means Hayes is one step closer to transforming it into Powder Ridge's new welcome center and group sales area.

And while roofs have been a priority, Hayes points out that workers have also spent the first month cleaning the buildings so that he has a better idea of what exactly is needed to restore the property.

"You can only go so fast. You've got to be organized and steady. We're slowly turning as we discover new things," he said. "It's a big project."

Despite the constant activity at the site, Hayes is discouraged to find that the property continues to be vandalized. In an effort to prevent further damage he's installing solar sensors and cameras to monitor the property.

He's also busy thinking about 2013.

"We're doing mountain biking trails all over this hill next summer. That will be the first thing to open, in my opinion," Hayes said.

To that end, Hayes is inviting anyone interested in mountain biking at Powder Ridge or interested in helping design the trails to his regular meet-and-greet sessions at the Blackbird Tavern. 

The sessions are held every Tuesday from 4-6 p.m.

Next month, Powder Ridge will also welcome back the Ski and Board Swap, a regular event in the ski area's heyday. The event will be held on Nov. 3 from 10-5 p.m. at Powder Ridge.

Danno October 26, 2012 at 02:37 AM
I would love to see the bunny slope open so I can at least start to teach my nephew this year. Its so close by and convenient. I know there is a lot to do by a bunny slope for teaching would be a great start and all it would need is tow rope or "magic carpet." Think about it Sean, your doing good things, give us a taste this winter....Thanks!!
Mike November 04, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Even if only the bunny slope opens this year, it would be better than nothing. Plus, it would energize people for the future full opening. I would love to get my little one on skis this year, and powder ridge would e a perfect place to do this. I learned how to ski at Powder ridge!
Michael Hayes November 05, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Mike I believe the new owner is focused on opening in the summer of 2013, with ski activity later that year. I was told that opening a bunny slope would require paying the full insurance premium, and that would be cost prohibitive.
declan November 18, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Great news on the mountain biking. It would be nice to enjoy some lift access riding in our state.
Noel kelly November 18, 2012 at 01:18 AM
I think a bike park is a great idea especially seeing the closest bike park for ct riders is in New York, New Hampshire or New Jersey. Run one lift in the summer build quality trails and we'll ride them!!!

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