Suicide Six Ski Area, VT Changes “Insensitive” Name To Saskadena Six Ski Area

Yesterday, Saskadena Six Ski Resort introduced a new name and logo, retiring the “Suicide Six” name from the historic ski resort in South Pomfret, VT, owned and operated by the Woodstock Inn & Resort. Honoring the ancestral land of the indigenous people of the Abenakis of the West, the word “saskadena” means “standing mountain”, symbolizing a deep connection with the original inhabitants, the land and the heritage of almost 90 years of this treasure. community.

“The time has come to change the name of our historic ski area to better reflect its rich tradition of family fun. We recognize the need for growing awareness of mental health and share the growing concern about the callousness of the word and the strong feelings it evokes in members of our community who have been affected by the tragedy of suicide. . A great deal of time, care and thought went into the process of choosing a name that would be more representative of our values, one that celebrates its 86-year history, honors Abenaki tradition and will welcome future generations. While the name may change, the experiences offered on this beloved mountain do not.

– Courtney Lowe, President of the Woodstock Inn & Resort

Approaching the name change with consideration and respect for its historic roots, the process began in 2021 with outreach to community members to participate in a focus group. All understood the need for a name change and the discussion focused on the goal of significantly preserving the mountain’s heritage.

“We are proud to be Saskadena Six, The Standing Mountain. Our name has changed, the mountain you love has not changed.

– Station declaration

The Resort team explored a number of options in the research and discovery phase of the naming process. A line of exploration resulted in a working partnership with Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk-Abenaki Nation to offer his advice and insights on the land, its heritage and current use. Said Lowe, “We are deeply grateful to Chief Stevens for his valuable guidance and partnership throughout the nomination process.”

“As a place-based people, the Abenaki Nulhegan Tribe appreciates the opportunity to work with the Woodstock Resort team to rename this place and recognize its historical context as part of the land. This “standing mountain” has been used by thousands of Abenaki ancestors for over 11,000 years and hopefully many more in the future. By recognizing the original language of this place, the name Saskadena Six will honor the ancient heritage of the Abenaki people alongside that of the generations who have loved it over the past 90 years and into the future. It’s more than renaming this place, it’s acknowledging the original stewardship of this land and providing a cultural education to those who visit this standing mountain. I truly appreciate the partnership that connects our past, present and future stewardship in protecting this special place.

–Chief Stevens

Why “Saskadena”

In the Abenaki language, “saskadena” (sahs-kah-deena) means “standing mountain”. It was chosen by the resort team to honor the earth’s first inhabitants and the mountain’s multi-generational heritage and values ​​of community, inclusion, adventure, discovery and enjoyment. The name sends a powerful message of connection both to the mountain’s deep history with the Abenaki nation and to the current community as a whole.

New name, new logo. Credit: Hotel Facebook

The new logo positions Saskadena Six in the present while honoring its nine-decade heritage. The historic red “6” ball, first introduced in the early 1960s, retains a visual link to the past and is paired with a contemporary typeface with curves that speak to the station’s friendliness and playfulness. . The color palette in shades of yellow, red and blue is inspired by the Vermont landscape, anchoring the Saskadena Six logo in its natural environment.

The resort team tapped creative agency Origin Outside to develop the new name and logo as well as new elements for the Saskadena Six campaign. An outdoor-focused, digital-focused creative, content and marketing agency, Origin has offices in Burlington, VT, as well as Montreal and Whistler, Canada.

The Saskadena Six name and logo will change immediately, but the resort team is planning a slightly longer runway for a complete change. Lowe said, “The community’s loyalty and passion for ‘S6’, as we call it, is a blessing that will endure for generations to come.

He added that the evolution of the ski resort’s name aligns with the mission of the Woodstock Foundation, a public charity and owner of the Woodstock Inn & Resort. Both the Foundation and the complex were developed by Laurance and Mary Rockefeller and reflect the Rockefellers’ commitment to community, economic sustainability and respect for the Vermont landscape.

History of Saskadena Six Ski Resort

Recognized as one of the oldest ski resorts in the country, Saskadena Six has a storied past that boasts a number of firsts in the ski industry. America’s first tow rope, introduced near Gilbert’s Farm in 1934, evolved into the opening of Suicide Six in 1936. It is home to North America’s longest ski race, The Fisk Trophy Race, which has started in 1937 and continues today. S6 is also credited with one of the longest running ski school programs which began shortly after it opened and with starting the first youth racing program in the United States in 1956 called Woodstock Ski Runners, who are both active today. It was also the location of the first National Snowboarding Championships in 1982, or “snurfing”, considered the beginning of snowboarding. Laurance Rockefeller purchased the ski resort in 1961 from original owner Wallace “Bunny” Bertram, and it became part of the Woodstock Foundation, which includes the Woodstock Inn & Resort and Billings Farm & Museum.

One of Vermont’s premier family ski resorts, Saskadena Six offers over 100 acres of skiing on 24 trails served by three lifts with terrain suitable for all skill levels. In summer and fall, the mountain’s biking and hiking trails are open to the public and free.

Visitors can find information on seasonal activities and prices, as well as the history of Saskadena Six at www.saskadenasix.com. Information on winter ski passes, which will go on sale August 1, 2022, is available on the website.

Saskadena Six trail map.