Living Memorial Park campaign makes rain for snowmaking
Snowmaking equipment at the Brattleboro Ski Hill at Living Memorial Park. The nonprofit group that operates the ski hill is now in the process of raising $5,000 to upgrade snowmaking capacity.

Living Memorial Park campaign makes rain for snowmaking

Crowdsourcing effort seeks $5,000 — for starters — to upgrade snowmaking, pump house repairs

BRATTLEBORO — It may be mid-summer, but volunteers are already thinking about winter.

Living Memorial Park Snow Sports, Inc., the nonprofit that operates the Brattleboro Ski Hill, has started raising money for snowmaking upgrades as well as some needed repairs to the hill's pump house to improve snowmaking capacity.

To date, $850 has been raised on the group's GoFundMe page at, and an anonymous donor has pledged another $2,000 toward the $5,000 goal, but more is needed.

“We're making progress,” says Vice President Zach Rounds. “The $5,000 goal is fluid just to get us started, because the final cost will well exceed that number.”

Last winter, the hill sold more than 6,000 lift tickets - a day of skiing still costs only $5 - and the all-volunteer crew that keeps the hill skiable in winter also works throughout the off-season to update and repair equipment.

The nonprofit receives no money from the town.

“The business is growing, and our popularity - with the neighboring ski resorts continuing to increase their prices - is growing, too,” Rounds says. “We're seeing an increase in growth, but we also have to meet the need, and the need is telling us to expand.”

Rounds says that the central piping also needs updating, an old water pump needs repairs, and the adjacent pond that provides water for snowmaking needs dredging.

“While we have continued to maintain a low-cost opportunity for skiing and snowboarding for the last 25 years, it is the support from the community we serve that keep us alive and provides this service,” Rounds says.

Nearly 85 years of history

The mission of Brattleboro Ski Hill is to provide “quality, affordable, and beautiful” skiing and snowboarding to the community.

The area opened in 1938 as the Guilford Street Ski Tow, and a 1,100-foot-rope tow pulled 300 skiers an hour to the top of the hill.

When the land the ski hill was on was bought by the town of Brattleboro to create what became Living Memorial Park, the town took over operating the hill, adding lights for night skiing and a T-bar lift.

The town continued to operate the hill, but with rising costs and no snowmaking ability, “it was complicated,” Rounds says.

Rising costs and erratic winter weather prompted the town to give up keeping the hill open for snow sports in 1995.

In 1997, a group of volunteers took up the challenge and have been running the hill ever since, with night skiing and boarding on Thursdays and Fridays, and all day skiing on Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting.

Keeping lift tickets at $5, says Rounds, “makes it affordable for everyone.” Children age 5 and younger ski free.

The hill also offers skiing and snowboard lessons.

“We encourage all ages, and we highly encourage the family atmosphere,” says Rounds, a pre-med undergraduate student at St. Michael's College who grew up in Putney. “It's a full-time job for me, but it's like a hobby.”

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