Mad River Glen, VT Getting A Little Facelift During The Offseason

Mad River Glen is known for not only some of Vermont's more challenging terrain but for a throw-back quality that is embodied by the iconic single-chair that services the mountain. But, even with that throw-back vibe, this mountain still needs a little bit of an upgrade to keep up with the times and help drive the mountain into the future. This is exactly what's going on right now as the mountain renovates, tears down and rebuilds some of the buildings.

While some mountains may just look at projects like this as standard, run-of-the-mill capital improvement projects, Mad River Glen is looking to not only upgrade but to keep the spirit of the mountain alive, as most fans would not want a single thing to change. This lead to the mountain's aptly named Preserve Our Paradise campaign,  which secured a large chunk of the $3.2 million to improve two of the buildings on site.

The Basebox and the Patrol/Ski School buildings have not had any major renovations over the past 30 years and have seen better days. The buildings are not up to code, are not energy efficient, and do not meet the current or future needs of the mountain. To that end, these two buildings will either be going through a large renovation process or getting torn down to start anew.

The Basebox is the building that is receiving the renovations, which will not only bring the building into modern code compliance but will also service the needs of the growing fanbase of the mountain. As Mad River Glen puts it, "The rustic and simple Basebox is much beloved by all of us, but this venerable landmark needs significant work to address many years of deferred maintenance. The only major visible change from the exterior will be a bump-out of the corner adjacent to the Practice Slope Lift to accommodate a new stairway and elevator. The renovations will address long-standing issues with bathroom capacity, traffic flow, operating costs, outdated systems, and an inefficient food service area. You can rest assured that despite the renovations, the Basebox will definitely retain its simple and rustic character." The specific renovation projects include:
  • Add a new elevator and stairway on the Northeast corner to improve traffic flow and meet current codes
  • Add two additional bathrooms on the main level
  • Renovate the two existing lower-level bathrooms
  • Completely renovate the kitchen and food service area to greatly increase operational efficiency
  • Add a Pub window to order drinks from the cafeteria area
  • Add new two new fire exits and a fire alarm system to meet current codes
  • Rebuild part of the foundation under the Pub to address structural issues
  • Expand the lower-level Ski Schoolkids’ area to address overcrowding
  • Enlarge the lower-level entrance to improve the flow
  • Add additional cubby storage space
  • Perform necessary work to mechanical and electrical systems
  • Perform repairs to the foundation & supports of the Pub fireplace, add new railings, and other upgrades
  • Improve building energy efficiency

Upgrades, renovations, and repairs truly are a wonderful thing, but sometimes that just isn't enough to get the job done or, in this case, are just not the most cost-effective option. For the Patrol/Ski School building, it was determined that rebuilding on the current footprint would be the better choice. Part one of this project, the demolition, has already taken place.

The building once housed the Ski Partol's first-aid treatment area, gear and ski storage for both the Patrol and Ski School, an office, bathrooms, and storage for Coop operations. This new building, though very similar to the old, will get a bit more square footage, thus allowing more room, which will then provide for the following:
  • Add a new private treatment room in the first aid area to enhance patient care
  • Provide additional gear and ski storage space for both Patrol & Ski School to address an inadequate situation
  • Add an additional bathroom
  • Greatly increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs
  • Eliminate longstanding problems such as flooding in the spring
  • Increase basement storage space for Coop operations
  • Total project square footage: 1,956 s.f. living area, 1,500 s.f. storage area

As you can see in the video, with the demo of the old Patrol/Ski School building, the project is now underway. Currently, the project finish time is set to be in November of this year, just in time for the 2020/2021 ski season. Though a current timeline could be upset by complications from COVID-19 restrictions and weather, the demolition of a building is quite a way to get off to a good start.

For those that would like to keep up with the progress of this project, please be sure to follow Mad River Glen on social media or take a peek at what's going on during the build by checking out the mountains Birdcage Live camera feed. It's pointed right at the construction site. Though today, May 11, 2020, it's snowing like the Dickens, so there isn't much to see. But on a clear day, you'll be able to see the whole crew out there working.

Photo Credit: Mad River Glen


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