Holiday Mountain Ski & Fun Park appeared to be knocking on heaven’s door. One of the peaks (the trails on the left side on the trail map) hasn’t operated its lift in decades, while the Turkey Trot chairlift was dedicated mostly to snow tubing, but was frequently closed. Its summer attractions, which included go-karts, batting cages, and bumper boats, had overgrown and dealt with erosion due to a motocross course situated nearby.

This spring, a developer aimed to gut the New York ski area and build a housing community. In a miraculous turnaround, Michael Taylor, who is the CEO of Combined Energy Services, bought the ski area this year. This was in spite of the developers offering $500,000 more for the land. Craig Passante, who was the prior owner of Holiday Mountain, decided to sell it to Michael Taylor, as he wanted Holiday Mountain to remain a ski area. They’ve quickly gone to work, significantly renovating their summer activities, and trying to restore the mountain to its former glory.

Two weekends ago, Michael Taylor detailed his plans in a meeting with over 150 attendees. Michael detailed what work has been done since he bought the place, and what the guest experience is going to be like in the coming years.

According to the Sullivan County Democrat, a variety of major projects are planned for this offseason and 2024. The Turkey Trot chairlift, which has dealt with mechanical issues in the past, is undergoing renovations this summer. They bought a fixed-grip quad chairlift from Massanutten Resort and will use this lift to replace Turkey Trot in 2024.

The chairlift around the North Lodge, which hasn’t operated in decades, will need to be replaced. Holiday Mountain is currently looking around for a replacement chairlift and is aiming to reopen that terrain pod during the 2024-25 season. Meanwhile, the main triple chairlift, which services the Roman Candle, Manny’s Run, and Benson’s Glade trails, will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

New trails across the mountain are also planned. Over on the main mountain, two expert trails will be added next to the main chairlift. There will be numerous cut-through trails added that will connect Turkey Trot and Kroeger Pass. When the terrain around the North Lodge reopens during the 2024-25 season, they’ll be opening a variety of connector trails to the Kroeger Pass trail, including a steep chute. The goal for these terrain expansions is to connect all three peaks.

In the photo down below, the blue trails are what was open during the 2022-23 season. The trails opening next season are labeled in green. The 2024-25 season trails are labeled in yellow. The long-range project is the steep trail labeled in white.

In terms of snow quality, new snowmaking fans & stick guns have been purchased, and they are replacing almost 9000 feet of snowmaking pipe. Their snowmaking capacity will be tripled thanks to an upgraded pumphouse. This new equipment will give Holiday Mountain the ability to cover the slopes in just forty hours. In addition, they purchased a PistenBully snow groomer.

For their twelve-lane tubing hill, they bought a magic carpet. The old Arcade building will be repurposed as the North Lodge, which will service snow tubers.

Other improvements include the replacement of its rental ski & snowboard fleet, the renovation of its summer attractions, the acquisition of new go-carts, regrading its parking lots, trail widening, the replacement of the night lights, fiber optic enhancements for improved internet at the two lodges, and more. A terrain park is also planned for the middle of the Turkey Trot trail, but this doesn’t appear to be a priority.

The casualty of the new ownership is the motocross course. This is due to erosion caused by these routes, leading to extensive damage to the trails and the summer activities.

While competing in the state with the most ski areas is challenging, the people at Holiday Mountain believe that they can pull it off. Michael Taylor explained the potential of Holiday Mountain in the public meeting:

“We’e 85 miles from 12 million people. It can’t fail. We have water, great terrain and 155 acres [to work with]. We have the population to support it. We’ll draw a crowd, once we have good terrain.” 

When you’re 85 miles away from The City That Never Sleeps, anything is possible.

Image Credits: Holiday Mountain Ski & Fun Park,

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