Maple Valley Ski Area back on the drawing board

Friday April 19, 2013

DUMMERSTON -- Once again, there is a proposal to transform the shuttered Maple Valley Ski Area into a busy, year-round resort.

A Dummerston Development Review Board hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 23 at the town office for review of an application by Stamford, Conn.-based MVS Associates.

The resort's owners detail a long list of potential uses on their application and on their website, which says the Route 30 parcel "is ideal to be a multiseasonal facility with skiing, banquets, business meetings and concerts."

Administrators say Maple Valley last was leased in 1999/2000.

This is MVS Associates' second application to reopen the 384-acre property. In 2011, MVS representative Nicholas Mercede submitted a similar plan. But the review board at that time declined to address that plan without more specifics, with one member reportedly labeling some concepts as "pie in the sky." Board members also asked MVS to address residents' concerns including noise from snow-making pumps and light pollution from night skiing.

MVS later withdrew its application.

While company representatives could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday, an application filed with the town lists MVS as the owner and includes a cover letter from Nicholas Mercede.

The company seeks a conditional-use permit to "resume use of property as a four-season recreational area." Potential activities are listed in the application by season and by other categories:

-- Winter: Skiing (including cross-country skiing) snowboarding and snowman/ice sculpture contests and events.

-- Spring: Mountain biking, hiking, maple syrup production and outdoor-leadership skills training.

-- Summer: Soapbox race course, paint ball, unicycle events and a circus or circus camp.

-- Fall: Foliage viewing, Halloween events and archery camps.

-- Special events: Therapeutic adventure programs, corporate-challenge and training programs, hall rentals for conferences and "charity event days."

-- Community events: Antique car shows, wedding symposiums, dances, movies (for Dummerston residents only), book/tag sale opportunity days, dinner theater and storytelling festivals.

-- Other financial opportunities: Bicycle repair, outdoor-clothing repair, ski sharpening and teaming with local entrepreneurs/businesses/camps.

Additionally, the application includes an engineering report saying cables on both of the resort's chairlifts "are satisfactory for continued use."

The resort also remains up for sale, offered by Frank Mercede & Sons. That company shares the MVS Associates address in Stamford.

A website,, encourages prospective buyers to "purchase a piece of Vermont history" and says the resort is "a prime investment property with great possibilities and the full support of the local community, which grew up skiing there."

The site includes information on the resort's three-story, 16,000-square-foot base lodge; two chair lifts and a T-bar; snow-making equipment; and lighting for night skiing.

"The front of the lodge is highly visible from Vermont Route 30, making it advertise itself," the site says. "Route 30 is one of the state's busiest highways and is the main route between Interstate 91 and the West River Valley and Stratton another 45 minutes' drive to the north."

Mike Faher can be reached at or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.


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