Not all mountains are blessed with 4,000-foot summits, 2,000 feet of vertical and enough high-speed ochos and quads to move a small city in an hour. The key to a ski area’s success is getting or making dependable snow and seeing to it that the customers come out, have a fun time and want to keep coming back.
New Hampshire has a pair of those gems in Pats Peak and King Pine that are both celebrating their 60th anniversaries this season.
The secrets to their success have been knowing what works for them. In a time when ownership groups are often nowhere near the mountains, these two establishments remain in the same family tree as when they started, during the Kennedy administration. The Hoyt Family, led by general manager Andrew Mahoney (his last name might be Mahoney, but his middle name is Hoyt), runs King Pine, and Wayne Patenaude serves as president of Pats Peak.
Madison’s King Pine has 100 percent snowmaking on its 17 trails and terrain park over 50 skiable acres. Its summit elevation tops out around 850 feet, with 350 feet vertical.