Momentum builds at Magic Mountain

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MANCHESTER — Londonderry's revived Magic Mountain opened to skiers this weekend, and the mix of natural and man-made snow didn't disappoint according to President Geoff Hathaway.

The early start to the season sets the mountain up for a solid 2018, he says, with newfound recognition alongside innovative events working to support that progress.

"I think everyone was excited that we opened earlier than we have in prior years, and there was a lot of snow," Hathaway said. "It was a great way to open the season."

Making that snowy start a little sweeter, Hathaway says, was the mountain's recognition this week as the Overall Best in Snow for North America by the ski-commerce organization Liftopia. This is the second year in a row that Magic has won the overall award for North America, having also been awarded as the "Most Challenging" mountain in the northeast and the "number one best value."

"It's an honor for a ski community mountain like ours to receive the overall North American #1 award given the many fine and much larger resorts out there" Hatheway said. "This is an in-depth survey by Liftopia that measures customer enthusiasm about a ski area, and Magic's winning is simply a reflection of the passion people feel for skiing and riding at this special, `throwback' mountain."

The awards are decided with input from over 12,000 customer surveys, taking criteria including snow quality, grooming, accessibility, variety and difficulty, beginner terrain, and more into consideration.

"By measuring customers passion for their favorite areas, the Best in Snow Awards give consumers an opportunity to see which ski areas may become their next new favorite," said Evan Reece, co-founder and CEO of Liftopia. "Our method ensures a level playing field for ski areas of all sizes and brings skiers to lesser known ski areas in addition to the larger ones we already know and love."

To continue that momentum, quite literally, the mountain will host their first ever skiing and snowboarding speed event, "TUCK IT! The Dash for Cash." Presented on New Year's Eve in conjunction with Long Trail Brewing, alongside other organizations, competitors will fly down the straight-down-course in the all-tuck position.

The entire race will be viewable from Magic's base lodge and deck, and there will be a miles-per-hour display for spectators.

There will be multiple age categories for prizes as well, as the event aims to test competitors personal-record for speed while on skis or snowboard. The race, beginning at 1 p.m. on Dec. 31, will roll right into the New Year's celebration at Magic, which includes live music at the Black Line Tavern, dinner, DJ and dancing followed by midnight fireworks to toast the New Year.

"We've got a lot of fun momentum going into 2018, it feels like we're really starting to bring some life into this third leg of the local ski scene," Hathaway said. "It's really cool to see the three different mountains doing well, we think that as people get excited to try Magic they'll also visit local inns, businesses, and the other mountains in the area."



Reach Cherise Madigan at cmadigan@manchesterjournal.com, or by phone at 802-490-6471.

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