As the ski industry becomes more conglomerated and commercialized, many are looking for more local ski experiences. With increased participation in winter sports this prior season following the pandemic, it could upon up the opportunity for massive resorts and even local ski hills, to open and/or reopen.
This brings us to Farr’s Hill in Randolph, Vermont. The local hill ran from the mid-1930s to the seventies, when the hill shut down due to the rise of larger local competitors(i.e. Killington, Sugarbush, and others). Decades passed without anything happening to the hill. Enter Perry Armstrong, a lifetime resident of Randolph and current member of the town’s select board. In 2018, after a prior attempt to buy the property, he bought the land and started the process of getting a permit to install a lift onto the hill. Up until this year, they had failed to get a permit to operate lifts on the property.
The most recent news about the mountain is that they have just reached an agreement with Oak Mountain in New York to purchase the T-Bar that they had just retired. The lift is currently being procured and will be delivered to Randolph this spring. Future plans past this year include adding two additional surface lifts for beginners’ terrain and sledding purposes. A base lodge could also be added, as the current setup only includes some tents set up below the hill.
The hill had a soft reopening for the Randolph Winter Festival in 2019, which was made possible after purchasing a PistenBully snowcat. Over a thousand people showed up for the event that featured sledding, snow tubing, sleigh rides, among other activities. A second Winter Fest in 2020 had double the showing as 2019 with over 2000 people showing up. The 2021 event was canceled due to Covid, but the hill continued to be groomed for sledding. Since its soft opening, TechnoAlpine snowmaking fan gun and portable pump were added to make due in challenging snow years. Hopefully, this local option sticks around to help families learn how to ski without dishing out hundreds at other mega pass resorts.
*Images are from Farrs Hill Facebook