By David Schissler
(December 2012) When skiing began at Wachusett back in the ’30s, it was a long hike to the top. In 1962 Ralph Crowley installed the first T-bar and the entire Crowley family never looked back, until now.
Wachusett is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. I recently had the pleasure of attending their 50th Anniversary Celebration party. It was a very special evening that included their “extended family” as well as our group of ski writers. We were treated to dinner, live music, a commemorative craft brew, and several speeches reflecting on the history of the resort. I anecdotally learned some of the Wachusett lore first hand. For example, when the county sheriff emailed the town stating he hoped the unusually warm December temperatures would continue through the winter, Jeff Crowley, Wachusett’s president, simply emailed back “and may all of your inmates escape”! (of course he didn’t mean it but he made his point). I also learned scenes from the films Shallow Hal and The Legend of Lucy Keyes were shot at the mountain.
Wachusett has long been recognized as one of the best family-run resorts in the country. With 1,000 feet of vertical, the resort is considered a “medium” sized mountain. However, everything about how the Crowley’s operate is big. It has the only high-speed quads in Massachusetts (3 in all), night skiing, a state-of-the-art snowmaking plant, nationally recognized grooming and a first class base facility. I also must say the service was excellent. My personal thanks to Becky at the customer service desk for her help during check-in, to Samantha in the cafeteria who, when I was searching for my meeting location didn’t just give me directions but walked me to where I needed to be, and to Dan in the MtnSide ski shop, who set me up with some performance demo skis in a more than professional and efficient manner. The next time you’re in eastern Massachusetts and you have the opportunity make some turns at Wachusett please do. I guarantee you’ll be amazed at how a “medium” mountain provides a “big time” experience. For details about the events, deals, and discounts taking place as part of the year-long, on-going celebration please visit www.wachusett.com/EventsActivities/CalendarofEvents/50thBirthdayCelebration