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Community Group Saves Whaleback Ski Area

Flickr Creative Commons

Whaleback Mountain, a one lift ski area in Enfield will open this weekend. A community fund-raising blitz helped secure the money to buy the mountain after its owners went bankrupt last year.

Whaleback was saved after a community group cobbled together $300,000 from fund-raising and a grant from the Byrne Foundation to buy the defunct ski area from the bank.

“We are wishing the weatherman was slightly more cooperative,” says John Schiffman a retired accountant in Lebanon who spearheaded the effort.

He says the speedy campaign means Whaleback will open again this weekend and not have to lose its customer base by closing for a year. The ski area will be run as a not-for-profit, and be reasonably priced for families, and kids.

“This is a community that has bred a number of Olympic athletes and they all started skiing at the Dartmouth ski-way or at Whaleback,” explains Schiffman.

He says the board and the general manager will hash out priorities for capital improvements over the coming years, including upgraded lights and a new rope tow. Schiffman’s dream is the site could eventually have cross-country ski trails and a ski-jumping facility.

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