Ski Butternut Ownership Completes Purchase of Ski Blandford
The historic Springfield Ski Club area was facing closure prior to the sale.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Financially troubled Ski Blandford has been saved, as the ownership of Ski Butternut has completed its purchase of the Western Massachusetts ski area.
Located in the town of Blandford, the current Blandford ski area was operated by the Springfield Ski Club from 1936 to 2017. In the spring of 2017, the club's board notified membership that "Blandford Ski Area is financially insolvent" due to enrollment falling from a high of roughly 5,000 down to 1,426 in 2014-15.
Stating that it "does not have the money to continue operations," the Springfield Ski Club told members that if the area was not sold, it would be closed. On July 18, 2017, the membership approved a prospective sale to the ownership of nearby Ski Butternut. On July 25, 2017, Ski Butternut owner Jeffrey Murdock formed Blandford Properties LLC to acquire the ski area.
On September 1, 2017, Blandford Properties LLC acquired the ski area deed from the Springfield Ski Club for $269,000. Subsequently, hundreds of thousands of dollars of mortgages were discharged.
A formal announcement and new Ski Blandford web site are expected to be released shortly.
Located in Great Barrington, Ski Butternut was opened by the Murdock family in 1963. Ski Butternut has a history of coming to the assistance of other regional ski areas, dating back to when Channing Murdock purchased the defunct Satan's Ridge ski area and reopened it as Ski Sundown. In 2011, Jeff Murdock's Stoney Management became involved with nearby Otis Ridge.
The Springfield Ski Club has been existence for some 80 years, making it the longest continuously operating ski club in the country. The future of the organization is not known.
The Ski Blandford facility features three Hall double chairlifts (ranging from 39 to 48 years old), a surface lift, snowmaking, night skiing, and 465 foot vertical drop.