Another independently-owned New England ski resort is closing under a burden of debt.
Whaleback Mountain, located right off Route 93 in New Hampshire, about ten minutes from Lebanon, will close indefinitely following its Motor Mayhem event this weekend.
“Weighed down by more than $1 million in outstanding debt,” Ben Conarck reports for the Valley News, “Whaleback is moving to liquidate and sell off its assets, according to co-owner and two-time Olympic skier Evan Dybvig.”
“The inability to open on firm financial footing was compounded by other external challenges, ranging from unusually warm snow seasons in recent years to a ski industry that is shifting away from the community-oriented mountains model and toward destination-based mega-resorts,” continues Conarck.
Dybvig and fellow owners Dylan Goodspeed and Frank Sparrow posted a farewell letter of thanks on the Whaleback website.
From comments made on the ski area’s site, as well as in the Valley News piece, it is clear Whaleback will be greatly missed in the community.
“I think obviously there are external realities of the economy and the increasing difficulty for a medium-sized ski operation to maintain profitability,” Matt Wolcott, who oversees Whaleback’s popular race leauge on Thursday nights, told the Valley News. “It’s really unfortunate because I really do see Whaleback as a community resource that allows kids and adults of all socioeconomic backgrounds to get outside and learn and really enjoy a healthy activity in the winter months.”