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Bethel Outing Club, Mahoosuc Pathways to Collaborate to Run Bethel Ski Center This Winter

Fri, December 16, 2016 6:49 AM | Kirk Siegel (Administrator)

For Immediate Release                    December 15, 2016        Bethel Outing Club Contact: Norm Greenberg, ngreenberg17@gmail.com

The cross-country ski center based at the Bethel Inn Resort will be operated by a team of non-profit groups this winter. Mahoosuc Pathways and Bethel Outing Club plan to open the ski center on December 23rd, according to Bethel Inn Resort General Manager, Allen Connors. The center will continue to offer skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking on the Inn’s scenic trails. Said Connors, “We have enjoyed offering top notch trails and service to our guests for years, but this partnership with these dedicated, local organizations will create noticeable improvement this year.”

“The groups saw the ski center as a chance to save a critical recreational amenity for the community, and there is huge excitement among all of the partners,” said Gabe Perkins, Executive Director of Mahoosuc Pathways, which will orchestrate the collaboration. Perkins stated that the initiative is part of a broader vision to expand to a network of year-round, multi-use trails encompassing venues like Sunday River and Mt. Abram.

The Bethel Outing Club (BOC) will provide programming, including ski lessons, clinics, special events, and presentations for locals and visitors. Major events include the New England Nordic Ski Association Women’s Ski Day on January 22nd, Flying Moose Classic February 4th, and the New England Bill Koch League Ski Festival March 3-5. “The Bethel area has built a reputation in the Northeast for hosting successful Nordic events”, said BOC board member Carlie Casey. Casey, a veteran technical delegate for the International Ski Federation, cited the 2012 USCSA National Collegiate Championships held at the Bethel Inn and organized by former Nordic Center director Mike Cooper.

BOC members recently tested snow guns that BOC and Gould Academy purchased two years ago, which increases reliability of adequate snow cover for events and for recreational skiers.   BOC and dozens of volunteer shovelers came out in force at the eleventh hour when the regionwide U16 championships was moved to Bethel in March 2016, thanks to a heroic volunteer effort during a year with scarce natural snow. 

The groups realize the enormity of the challenge, given that they were not approached until Thanksgiving, leaving less than a month to organize a collaborative plan, raise start-up funds, and tap local skiers and trail supporters for a largely volunteer project. “We think the nonprofit model gives the Nordic operation the best chance for long-term sustainability, and so far, the community is jumping in with both feet,” said BOC Community Coach Wade Kavanagh.

Volunteer opportunities, season pass purchase options, wish list and information regarding tax-deductible donations can be found at www.mahoosucpathways.org and by contacting Mahoosuc Pathways at 207-200-8240 or info@mahoosucpathways.org.

The Bethel Outing Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. P.O. Box 637, Bethel, ME 04217    Email BOC

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