Located off Route 30 in West Dummerston just six miles north of Brattleboro, Maple Valley Ski Area has been closed since 2001. The overall property measures at 384.7 acres with 19 trails, where one is 5,280 feet long. However, property owner Nicholas Mercede has recently applied for a conditional use permit to resume operations as a four-season recreation area. Mercede doesn’t plan to change any of the existing structures, but wants to add new activities and events in the spring, summer, and fall to make the resort a four-seasons resort. The Dummerston’s Development Review Board will hold a public hearing and meeting on June 21.
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In addition to skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and other winter activities, Mercede developed a blueprint that includes mountain biking, hang gliding and hiking in the spring and foliage viewing and seasonal, such as Halloween, events in the autumn.
For the summer, a soapbox race course, paintball games and a circus are listed in the application, as are special events such as corporate challenge and training programs, charity events and therapeutic adventure outings. Other potential financial opportunities include Maple Valley syrup or spring water, a bicycle/outdoor equipment repair shop and rental activities encompassing everything from antique car shows and wedding symposiums to outdoor concerts and festivals
“If it only took one [public] meeting, which is highly unlikely, the Development Review Board would have 45 days to render its decision. And then from that period, there is a 30-day appeal period at the end of the 45,” Annis said. “At the minimum, it would take 75 days to get this up and running, but I’m assuming it would take more than one meeting.”
The DRB can set conditions prior to approving the permit, and will take into consideration public comments during its June 21 forum.
In the event that the facility reopens, Maple Valley will need a registered engineer to complete a thorough inspection, evaluation and report on the sewage collection, treatment and disposal. The initial inspection is required within two months of operations resuming and once a year thereafter in April.
Jen Butson, director of Public Affairs with Ski Vermont, said the news of Maple Valley’s reopening is exciting for the region.
“We don’t necessarily forecast that it would make a giant bump in the skier visits, but any ski area opening in the state of Vermont is certainly welcome in that it’s going to have more of a local scene,” she said. “Maple Valley is not a higher-elevation location, but it would be welcome for families and welcome for people who are going to be learning, and that of course is a benefit to the state as a whole.”
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