Hermitage club is not the only private ski area in the east. There are two in your home state (Holimont and Hunt Hollow)! Western NY doesn’t get a whole lot of love here

Expand full comment
Dec 6, 2020Liked by Stuart Winchester

Great episode. I went skiing this past Spring at Mt Snow, and stayed at an AirBnb near the golf course. I was so intrigued by that whole mountain just to the west of me, with snow on the slopes, a seemingly nice lodge at the bottom, and absolutely nothing happening (no skiers, no lifts spinning, deserted parking lot, etc). It all seemed so strange, especially with Mt Snow bustling just down the road. At the time, I went down the google-hole and read all about Hermitage’s history and demise, but didn’t find nearly as much detail as was in this episode. Jim Barnes sounds like quite an enigma - given the “too much, too fast” nature of his acquisitions around Hermitage and the surrounding area, it almost sounds like an episode of Netflix’s Ozark.

Incidentally, I also drove out to the Deerfield Valley Airport while I was there. Seemed like a nice facility with recent updates, but was also deserted (which wasn't surprising on an overcast day in early March). Searching the web, I’m seeing conflicting info on if it’s even still open, or closed via FAA NOTAM. Small general aviation airports often face the same uncertain future as small ski resorts, and it’s always sad to see one disappear.

Hoping to make it out to Mt Snow again this year. I look forward to seeing the lifts spinning and skiers coming down the mountain at Hermitage.

Expand full comment

Good interview! Concerning shuttered ski areas that have recently re-opened, another example (though it's in the southeast) is Timberline Mountain, which recently debuted a new six-pack express lift.

Expand full comment