Magic Mtn. opens lift, ski area for beginners

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Barbara Nelson, right, cuts the ribbon on the new ‘magic carpet’ lift on Saturday. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

With students from the Ski School looking on, the Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry on Saturday opened its new Nelson Family Learning Area for beginning skiers with the mountain’s first new lift in decades.

As the sun broke over the mountain and onto the new installation, a smiling Barbara Nelson cut the ribbon for the new “magic carpet style” surface lift while daughter Kristin Nelson and SkiMagic President Geoff Hatheway looked on.

Hatheway told the crowd that the learning center – with its new 170- footlong Starlifts Sunkids conveyor lift – is a major step in making this ski area with a reputation for challenging terrain more family friendly. The new beginners area was built in a low-traffic area between the Black Chairlift and the condominiums on the westside. The location was intended to make learning to ski less intimidating.

Magic Mountain employees put the finishing touches on the area around the top of the new lift.

Magic employees were on hand an hour earlier putting the finishing touches on the top of the lift and running it through final tests. Ironically, after the frigid weather of the past few weeks, the milder temperatures made it necessary to adjust the tension on the belts that run the lift. Just before the ribbon-cutting a group of parents and students from the Ski School tromped up to the site behind a Magic banner.

Hatheway said that the learning area was named after the Nelson Family to honor all they had done for the ski area over the years. According to Hatheway, Barbara Nelson’s late husband Larry was instrumental in saving the mountain during the years it struggled with bankruptcy and foreclosure. In addition to Kristin Nelson, Barbara’s son-in-law Gary Kleiman and her grandsons Matt and Wes were also on hand.

In addition to the new learning area, SkiMagic also intends to finish a chairlift to the mid-mountain area for next season. Initial construction for the Green Chairlift was done back in 2003, but never finished.

Currently both of Magic’s chairlifts take skiers to the top of the mountain, which can be intimidating for new skiers. Hatheway says the Green Chairlift will be another big step in making the mountain family friendly.


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  1. Steven Weiss says:

    Thank-you to the Nelsons! Without your family’s commitment and perseverance we would have to ski Stratton.