New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Magic Mountain VT

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'd be interested in general impressions and updates on Magic Mountain. Other than the occasional trip report there's not much info on it here.

Seems to me like it would be a good home base next year if I could find a reasonable rental for the season in or near Londonderry; get season passes at Magic and take day trips elsewhere as needed if conditions are lacking or boredom sets in at Magic. Many easy day trip destinations or spots to hit on the return trip (south). FWIW, Mad River is the family favorite (but too far for a weekend place), and Belleayre our "local" spot (but too familiar for another full season).

From what I've read, I'm confident we'd like the actual skiing at Magic, but I'd like to read more. E.g., I understand the mountain went bankrupt a few years back and there is new management. T/F? How did it do this season, and what plans for next season? And what's Londonderry like? Restaurants, groceries, bookstores, cell phone, etc.? Family with non-skiing wife perspective; nightlife not a concern.
post #2 of 20
Magic is an awesome mountain to ski after fresh snow. The lack of snow making at Magic makes it a dicey choice as a season long base of operations. The terrain at Magic is varied from easy to challenging and when snow is abundant is a fabulous place to ski. Fresh powder lasts for a long time on weekends and it is lonely skiing mid-week.

Londonderry is a small town with a few restaurants and groceries, but no bookstores. Manchester is near by which offers outlet shopping.

Magic did go bankrupt and was out of business for ~7 years. It has changed hands a few times in recent years and runs on a shoe string. I enjoy skiing there, but it is like skiing in 1971 fixed grip chairs, big lodge and natural snow.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talisman View Post
The lack of snow making at Magic makes it a dicey choice as a season long base of operations.
Thanks Talisman. I had read that last year they were increasing snowmaking capacity; one question is whether in fact that has been the case and what's in store for next year. Given the great natural snow season, if there was any new capacity who knows if it was put to the test.

And even if snowmaking were still lacking at Magic, it seems near enough for daytrips to the big guns at Okemo, Stratton or Mt Snow.
post #4 of 20
I'll agree with that. In a good snow year, it's a great mountain. It's old school with unique terrain features narrowish trails and glades.

I've been familiar with the area for a while - have family up there. We used to ski it when it was bankrupt for those years sometimes. There's a grocery store in Londonderry, bank and a few restaurants. It's a quiet area which is nice but you do have to plan trips for house supplies and food etc. Stratton and Bromley are in the area and Okemo isn't too far away either.
post #5 of 20
I love Magic, but I would not buy a pass there ever again, unless something drastic changed.

I would not make Magic my home base as dull as my night live may be. There is nothing going on there.

Pay as you go at Magic.

if you wait a while, you might be able to get a house at Killington.
post #6 of 20
Ts01, have you thought about other NY options? What do you think of Plattekill? It has some similarities with Magic. Do you enjoy that type of unvarnished terrain and rustic facilities? From my experience you can quickly get bored at both Magic and Platte if less than optimal snow conditions. What about a pass at Gore and/or Whiteface? Too far?
I'm sure Magic has a good pass deal, but as you know, if bringing family on numerous ski weekends the pass is just tip of iceberg and you'll want consistent product to justify total expenses.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Jamesj - Love Plattekill, but you're right about snow conditions. Gore would be ideal but for various reasons we want to stay on the I-91 axis, hence NY options are out.

Paul -- Why would you not buy a pass there ever again? What is it that needs drastic change? And by nothing going on / night life - I'm a middle aged dad with teenage kids who'll ski first chair to last. Food and video rentals are about all we need and with Netflix (and homework), it's basically down to food. So if there's a couple of restaurants and groceries, we're fine.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
Jamesjhence NY options are out.

Paul -- Why would you not buy a pass there ever again? What is it that needs drastic change? And by nothing going on / night life - I'm a middle aged dad with teenage kids who'll ski first chair to last.
I would say Vermont is where you want to be. I am just saying that Magic is located in a depressed area of Vermont (IMHO). There is no tourism there at all.

The reason I'd avoid buying a pass at Magic is the problem with conditions. It is so hit or miss. We had a real good season this year, but they do not get as much snow nor does it stick around due to temp/altitude. There are many crappy days to be had during any given season at Magic.

Drastic change - I wouldn't change a thing - maybe a reversal of global warming, restore the climate to the 70s.

These are my reasons and I am just sharing my experience with Magic and the area.
post #9 of 20
How about Mt Snow only/classic pass? They were very aggressive about early and late openings this past season.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
How about Mt Snow only/classic pass? They were very aggressive about early and late openings this past season.
That's another good choice - I was at Mt Snow in November this year and quite impressed. Mt Snow would be a good base for getting to either Magic or Berkshire East when conditions are good - on googlemaps each is about 50 minutes away. What was intriguing about Magic though is its smack in the middle of so many more places.
post #11 of 20
They have good snowmaking and a little more to do, a Shop n Save in Wilmington. Mt Snow has a longer season and it's not too far from Magic. The North Face is fun and you can ski real fast on the other side of the hill.

They have a great freestyle/bumps clinic for kids which could be good.

You could get a house north of the mountain so that you are on the Magic, Stratton, Okemo and Bromley side.

Also, keep in mind the lift situation at Magic. It's a double, it's slow and it gets crowded when the snow is good. I don't mind once in a while, but it could be frustrating as a home mountain.
post #12 of 20
If you want to find a ton of info on and reviews of Magic, check out SnowJournal - they specialized in the New England skiing scene.

My impression of the place: great terrain, hit-or-miss snow. But when the snow falls, it's some of the most authentically "New England" terrain out there. The current owners are putting a lot of improvements into the place, bit by bit.
post #13 of 20
I would agree it's a good place to have a base from ... probably some deals to be had too. UNLESS you're looking for a lot of stuff to do in addition to skiing (apres, slopeside, shop etc).

Bear in mind because it isn't developed and touristy you're more likely to get what I would call a more authentic Vermont experience. Don't forget summer too, camping, fishing, fall hunting etc.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. Snowjournal was good for another hour wasted on the internet.

"Authentic Vermont experience" could be a good thing. Especially if the fake VT experience (i.e., snowmaking and outlet shopping) is within an easy drive as needed.

I guess the final answer will come in a scouting weekend or two this summer.
post #15 of 20
Magic is definately on it's way back. Great terrain. They have an expanded snowmaking pond which will improve their coverage greatly, all depends on their Act 250 permit. They were hoping to get in online last season.

If your going for the skiing than Magic would work well. Being not touristy is a good thing. If you want alot of dining, shopping and nightlife, maybe not. A short drive to Mt Snow, Okemo, Bromely and Stratton.
post #16 of 20
I've got the solution for Magic. Okemo and Stratton already share passes and neither really have "Expert" terrain. They should each buy 1/3 of Magic. This would give Magic an infusion of capital for snowmaking and working money. Then Stratton and Okemo could used Magic as their "outpost" for experts and both could run shuttles too Magic from their respective areas. Yes, it will create more skiers there particularly, on weekends, but skiers are a required to keep a ski area running.
post #17 of 20
Might change the place alot though. They'd install snowmaking and a high speed quad. If it were Okemo, the trees would be 'thinned out'.

This could be an interesting idea. Stratton has the money to put it all together.

Without the improvements, people would still only ski there after a dump.
post #18 of 20
I skied a bunch at Magic last winter, and had a great time (mostly). When it hadn't snowed for a while, and conditions did not allow them groom, it was pretty scary (for a bad skier like myself on super-light tele gear). But most of the time it was great!

By the way, I've never ridden the lifts there. The new owners have encouraged people to come out and earn their turns. I very much appreciate that!

I think of Magic as something like Berkshire East, but a bit bigger, and substantially gnarlier.

Dave
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Very interesting points.

Dauwhe, I'm interested just to reality check Googlemaps - how long a drive from Greenfield? Any recommended shortcuts?

Thansk.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
Very interesting points.

Dauwhe, I'm interested just to reality check Googlemaps - how long a drive from Greenfield? Any recommended shortcuts?

Thansk.
Google Maps looks right. I think I'm skiing 90 minutes after leaving home. I usually just take 91 to exit 6; coming back on Route 100 and 30 to Brattleboro seems about the same.

I don't know any shortcuts, although Windham Hill Road might be a possibility. The first bit is pretty darn steep, though! (I've only ridden it on a bike).

Dave
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel