New Hampshire’s Lost Ski Area (closed since 1981)

“Tyrol was not the greatest, but he had the greatest spirit. It seems like everyone has worked here at some point. It is a place that has hosted many events and races, where the first Red Parka Challenge Cup started in 1973 when it was known as Tuborg Classic. Jim Progin, the current owner of Tyrol.

If you have over five million dollars to spend and you also have elite bushcraft skills, we may have found the lost ski area for you. The Conway Daily Sun spoke with the current owners of the former Tyrolean ski area: Jim Progin and Judy Holmes. They are selling their 207-acre property for between $5 million and $10 million. While the old trails have mostly been reclaimed by nature, there are still a few hiking trails on the mountain and three buildings. There’s the old base lodge that’s been gutted and remodeled into a stunning 4,000 square foot Swiss chalet-themed home, a guest house that was once the ski school, and the old school building. maintenance of the ski area. The zoning regulations that prevented it from becoming a commercial ski area again have disappeared, so it is possible to rebuild a ski operation.

A few factors influenced the current owner’s decision. They move to Hanover, New Hampshire, which is home to Dartmouth College. Progin and Holmes are alumni of Ivy League University, and many of their friends from their time there now live in the quaint town. Frequent intruders may also have influenced their decision. A 2020 article from the Conway Daily Sun asked landlords to plead for people to stop encroaching on their private property. Unauthorized visitors engaged “vandalism, unauthorized campfires, misuse of trails and littering.”The history of the ski area was short but eventful. The ski area was above Thorn Mountain, which was another former ski area that operated from 1947 to 1957. Tyrol’s first year of operation was in early 1965 when they opened with a Mueller T-Bar. For the 1965-66 season, a Poma lift was added near the T-bar. A double chairlift was added for the 1968-69 season, which extended its vertical drop to 1000 feet. A gondola to the town of Jackson has been considered before, but sadly it never happened. There were several unique aspects to their lift ticket operations: they offered free mid-week tickets to Vietnam veterans, experimented with hourly ski rates, and had a day pass interchangeable with other ski resorts in the valley. of Mount Washington (Attitash, Black Mt., Cranmore and Wildcat) which has been named Great. In the 1970s, financial problems began to mount for the ski area, and its last season of operation was 1980-81. Some of the reasons it closed included minimal snow production, heavy local competition, and a difficult-to-drive access road.

The story of how Judy and Jim got the property is pretty hilarious. After the mountain closed in 1981, it was eventually sold to Walter Preble III. Walter had no interest in reopening the ski area and used the land to hide his drug empire. He bragged to associates and locals that he bought the land to profit from his cannabis dealings. In 1988, Barlett Police Chief Robert Snow completed his two-year investigation into the property and arrested Walter Preble III for importing 12.5 tons of marijuana from Jamaica, Columbia and Carolina. from South. Retired property developer James Progin bought it at an auction in 1988 and announced that he had no intention of reopening the ski area. For a more detailed history of Tyrol, see NELSAP and New England Skiing History.

There are different options if a skier were to purchase the site. You could try to reopen it as a ski area with lifts like before, but that would cost millions and millions of dollars. Another concern would be the huge competition between ski resorts around the Mount Washington Valley. A cross-country ski resort is a more reasonable option, as the only thing you would have to do is clear the trails. Another option is to create a network of hiking trails. An example of a former ski area that has done this successfully is Mount Agamenticus in York, Maine. Or you could keep the property as is, but the problem is that trespassers would likely remain a problem.

If interested, you can contact the owners by emailing [email protected] or [email protected] or calling (603) 383-9051.Picture credits: Conway’s Daily Sun, New England Lost Ski Areas Project, Skimap.org, Ski Museum of New England