Just when it seemed like consolidation threatened to be the overarching theme of the burgeoning ski season in New England, a few good signs for independent ski areas have emerged, including a couple of revivals.
There’s new life being preached this winter at both New Hampshire’s Tenney Mountain and Lost Valley in Maine, where trail expansion and equipment upgrades will greet skiers and riders beginning this season.
Tenney, which had been closed for eight years until its soft re-opening back in 2018, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this season, while Lost Valley, on the verge of closing itself only four years ago, is introducing nine new gladed areas spread across the mountain.
“The glade areas we’ve cleared are going to be a great addition to the trails at Lost Valley,” ski area owner Scott Shanaman said in a statement. “We now have two intermediate glades, two advanced and five expert-only glades that will be open whenever snow conditions allow. There are some pretty gnarly ledge drops on some of these trails and skiers and riders should use caution and understand the inherent risks of skiing this type of natural terrain.”
The new glades represent more than 40 percent growth in skiable terrain at Lost Valley, upping the overall trail count from 21 to 30.
Lost Valley has a tentative opening date of Dec. 13. Full-day, weekend adult tickets are $60. Weekdays (Wed.-Thurs., 3-8 p.m.) are only $32 for all ages.
Tenney, meanwhile, saw enough success in its year-and-a-half of operating under the radar that owner Michael Bouchard felt it was time this season to announce a true renaissance. Bouchard bought 900 acres on the mountain, including the ski area, for a reported $1.2 million back in 2014, and has been slowly redeveloping the spot with hopes of making the resort a four-season attraction. The Tenney Mountain Development Group has put an estimated $4.5 million into improvements.
The ski area is also hoping to create a strong relationship with the local ski-touring community. Tenney will offer a medallion redeemable for one free lift ride for any skier who has checked in at the ticket office and opted to hike his or her way to the top of the mountain on a backcountry setup.
Tenney season passes are available for only $329. Adult lift tickets this season will be $59 on weekends and holidays, $50 weekdays.