"We had to come up with a model to harness the enthusiasm that surrounded the mountain"
There is a hill just north of Milwaukee named Fox Hill. It boasts 200' and three rope tows. Works much like the one described in the article.
It has been in continuous operation since before WWll.
Great timely interview! The concept is crazy enough that it just might just work out. When you think about it, they somehow will be offering a private mountain experience with a model based on volunteers and community ownership/support and a cost-per-skier-visit comparable to a regular ski area, as opposed to tens of thousands of dollars or more for some private ski areas. Will be great to follow how things turn out.
Thank you Stuart and David for your insights into Hickory! What a fantastic interview and great behind the scenes knowledge of this NY skiing Gem that is - Hickory Hill.
Fascinating and unique business model, one that supports the ski area in good times AND in bad times. This is indeed a dilemma where the small to medium sized ski areas seek balance with sustainability, without being over-run and quickly suffer a degraded product, especially those community areas that lean heavily on volunteers and have little to no snowmaking capabilities. I hope to someday check out Hickory, as this seems like as genuine of a throwback classic New England experience that can be found anywhere, with exception to MRG. I would assume there is a healthy BC and volunteer effort (Thanks Bears, haha) to keep Hickory's heart beating strong for decades to come. Good Luck to Hickory Ski Center. Thanks Stuart and David.
It may not be entirely accurate to say the former owner of Toggenburg gave up. My sources report the former owner never would have sold Tog if he had known the new owner planned to close the ski hill and prevent any future owner from operating a ski area on the property.
When bizarro worlds collide! Nice work man.