Burke Mountain – home to Burke Mountain Academy’s world-class alpine ski racers – has announced new planned investments in the ski area in collaboration with Burke Mountain Academy (BMA). The iconic northern Vermont ski resort, which is currently being managed by SEC-appointed receiver Michael Goldberg, received court approval on joint plans to dramatically improve skiing and race training on the mountain.
“These exciting improvements highlight the ambitious collaborative vision we have with Burke Mountain and support our recent designation as an official U.S. Ski Team Development Site & High Performance Center,” said Willy Booker, incoming head of school at Burke Mountain Academy. “Most importantly, they significantly improve what was already one of our countries best alpine training and racing venues and BMA’s most important strategic asset.”
Burke Mountain is moving forward in collaboration with BMA and its supporting organization, Burke Racing, on key projects including the installation of a new T-Bar surface lift, terrain enhancements to the Warren’s Way trail and installation of new snowmaking on both the Upper Doug’s Drop and McHarg’s trails, subject to the court’s final approval which is expected within days. The McHarg’s trail, with snowmaking and select trail widening, will add a dedicated slalom race hill to Burke/BMA’s iconic race and training venue on Warren’s Way, further improving the already world class ski racing venue offered at Burke Mountain.
According to BMA and Burke Mountain representatives, replacing the World War II-era Poma lift with a new, state-of-the-art high speed Lietner-Poma T-Bar lift will increase uphill capacity by more than five times and dramatically improve reliability. The lift’s new, higher mid-station will provide better public access to numerous intermediate and expert trails. Additional trail work and snowmaking will increase public access and training opportunities by making snow conditions more reliable. All the improvements are expected to be in place for next season. The Mountain and BMA also plan to offer several free clinics for local children during the coming winter to introduce surrounding area community youth to skiing and give them an opportunity to meet and learn from the aspiring world class athletes at BMA.
“Together with the U.S. Ski Team designation, these improvements will help position Burke Mountain as an unrivaled ‘ski racer destination resort’- attracting ski racers and their families from around the East – which will help fill the hotel and bring revenue to the ski area and local economy,” added Booker.
“All of these projects and our relationships with BMA, Burke Racing and the U.S. Ski Team are about supporting a stronger Burke Mountain,” said Kevin Mack, director of resort services at Burke Mountain Resort. “It’s more than just a name that we share. It’s also a responsibility for our skiers, riders and students, the community and the mountain environment. We are excited to be in a relationship that is wasting no time in defining the future with these responsibilities guiding us.”
The new T-Bar project, which alone represents an investment of $1.5 million, is being financed in part by a grant to BMA’s “Burke Racing” from the Northern Borders Regional Commission with the remainder funded by private contributions raised by BMA, as well as forgiveness by BMA of a substantial long-standing obligation owed to the school in connection with its 2005 sale of the mountain. BMA’s interest in the project has been managed by Board Vice Chairman Ken Graham.
“The U.S. Ski Team partnership and these creative financing measures were the tangible way that we felt we could make a positive impact to reenergize Burke Mountain after some challenging years,” he explained. “We’d like to thank the many supporters of this vision including the State of Vermont, the Northern Borders Regional Commission, the U.S. Ski Team, Friends of Burke Mountain, and, of course, Michael Goldberg and Burke Mountain Resort. Local support for this project from individuals and businesses has also been great. It’s amazing to see what this community can do when faced with a challenge.”
Release courtesy of Burke Mountain Academy