Tags: Freedom, Independence, Independence Day. Magic, July 4th, Londonderry, Magic Mountain, New England, Powder, ski, Ski Area, Ski Resort, skiing, Snow, snowboarding, Vermont, VT
Posted: July 2, 2013
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On July 4th the nation celebrates its independence from the yoke of tyranny and our long road down the path of democracy, freedom and liberty. When America first started on this path, there were few other nations serving as a model for democracy and freedom. And, while by no means perfected yet, the beauty of America is that we continue to try to create a “more perfect union”, never satisfied that we can’t be better than we were before.
In our own little way, Magic is also on a road with few models as we diverge from the corporate resort experience and seek to carve out an independent future which provides a bit more choice and freedom to skiers and riders. Certainly we have not perfected Magic–and maybe that’s part of its beauty too–but all of us strive to make each year better than before.
Also, the ironic thing about independence, as America found, is that you need the help and volunteerism of the people, of the community, to make it work. Certainly this is the case with Magic. Volunteers help keep the trails clear, create some new glades, check tickets, manage kids programs, and perform maintenance projects. Our ski community not only gives money for capital projects, but they are the very essence of the spirit and vibe which makes Magic so welcoming and different from major resorts. And, different is good!
Difference provides choice and variety. Without choice, we are all resigned to the same experience despite our individual desires. One of the problems with a ski industry that becomes increasingly consolidated by major corporate players, is that the ski experience over time becomes increasingly similar as they all look at the same “majority rules” research and have the same quarterly demand for higher yield and profit per customer. Skiing, already an expensive sport, not surprisingly, has become ever more exclusive with more “value added” services and “perks” created to justify higher pricing. Unfortunately many of the higher fee services are simply greater/more exclusive access to their basic product–thereby creating an unnatural “caste” system based on income stratification and restrictions. No longer is every skier or rider created equal in the eyes of the resort model.
At Magic, we want to see if we can create a natural, open, no restrictions, sport-focused model which enhances the ability for all to ski and ride (uh, like it used to be!) . This means no restrictions on passes or tickets and an open boundary-to-boundary mountain. (Now with freedom comes responsibility, so if a trail is closed, it’s still closed for safety reasons.) Freedom to start skiing as soon as the mountain opens and ski anywhere you want whether you are pass holder or ticket holder. Freedom from long lines and overcrowded slopes by retaining our non-high speed lift system to keep on-slope skier density down. Freedom from high pass and ticket prices that keep the sport out of reach for many middle class and local skiers and riders. Freedom to enjoy a variety of terrain, from groomed to all-natural, from trails to glades, from steep expert trails to gentle windy beginner slopes. Freedom to hang with family and friends in a low stress, friendly community atmosphere. Freedom to have a say in how the mountain evolves with capital improvements. While this may not be what a majority of skiers want based on the success big resorts are having, we think there are enough folks who desire a different, more personal and intimate experience–at least some of the time!
With Magic as a strong independent ski area option among the many resorts in the region, we hope to bring greater vitality and choice to the previously famed “Golden Triangle” of southern Vermont. And, we will again welcome any of our neighboring mountain pass holders to come visit us at a discount price next year just by showing their home mountain pass, so we can bring even more value to that pass. And, I’m sure some of Magic’s pass holders will be visiting other areas on days those mountains might have better conditions or they’d like a change of pace as well.
With independence comes a responsibility on our part to preserve what makes Magic different while continuing to improve the reliability of our product so our community can rely on this place for years to come. It is our hope that Magic can “set you free” from the typical resort experience. We will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we won’t strive to be better each season. And, with the help of our devoted and faithful community, we plan on celebrating many Independence Days together for years to come.
Happy 4th of July! And, we hope to see you here on the 4th for an All-American Grill on the Deck; on July 5th for the big fireworks show, cook out and The Battenkillers; and, on July 6th with the return of The Butties playing Beatle music all night long!