The Springfield Ski Club’s days as one of the top rope-tow-gripper was about to end, as Blandford installed its first double chairlift for the 1969-70 season. The Glade chair provided easy access to 450 vertical feet and Blandford’s 13 trails. With a 40% increase in the membership fee resulting from the new lift, the club offered rope-tow-only memberships at the prior years price. After Mt. Tom closed in 1998, Blandford Ski put lights on the Broadway and Schoolhouse slopes for the 1998-99 season for after school programs. It was a success. Night skiing was expanded for the 2001-02 season, with lights installed on Liftline and the half pipe and new snowguns obtained. Unfortunately, the brook ran dry, forcing the club to hire tanker trucks to provide enough water for snowmaking. As the years passed, infrastructure aged, debt mounted, and membership declined, resulting in financial insolvency in 2017. That spring, the Springfield Ski Club announced Ski Blandford would either close or be sold. The ownership of Ski Butternut came to the rescue, purchasing the ski area in September of 2017. Though preparations were made to operate during the 2017-18 season, including snowmaking, lift repairs were more cumbersome than expected. As a result, the 2017-18 season was cancelled. Work continued throughout the winter and following off season, allowing for Ski Blandford to reopen on December 15, 2018. Operations continued until March 8, 2020. Later that month, the ownership announced that the area was continuing to lose money and that, with the economic uncertainties from the onset of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the area was closing. With the closure, Hampden County lost its last ski area. There are no known plans to reopen Ski Blandford. My two cents….open it back up for mountain biking and hiking in summer, a year round adventure park! support the Hilltown Hikers become a member!
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