As I quite literally owe my very existence to Magic Mountain, news about its operational peaks and valleys over the decades always has caught my eye.
It is here in the Magic cosmos, dating back to 1960, where my parents were first united; my dad was one of the Swiss instructors brought in by founder and developer Hans Thorner to teach skiing, while my mom worked in the ski area’s front office.
What Thorner discovered in the picturesque Glebe Mountain landscape of Londonderry, Vt., served as the ideal canvas to craft and replicate an authentic Switzerland mountain experience, from classic trails cut into steep and challenging terrain to its vibrant village nightlife. Magic thrived in those early decades under Thorner’s guidance. But after he sold his creation in 1985, the southern Vermont ski area tumbled into an era of inconsistency. This included a period of closure in the 1990s when critical bits and pieces of resort infrastructure were broken up and sold off.
Today, the resort has undergone a complete rejuvenation thanks to historic improvements in snowmaking, grooming, terrain and lift service. These ambitious projects are fulfilling the vision of Ski Magic LLC, the investment group that took over ownership just before the 2016-17 season. It already has had an impact. Since the emergence of Ski Magic, “the road less traveled” has seen a quadrupling of season pass sales and a doubling of skier visits.