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Massachusetts Cancelled Ski Areas
Greylock Glen Ski Area
Adams, Massachusetts
Partially constructed in the 1970s
Greylock Glen location map Overview
The tallest mountain Massachusetts, Mt. Greylock's ski history dates back to the construction of the Thunderbolt Trail by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934. Decades later, a massive ski development called Greylock Glen was proposed for the area adjacent to the legendary trail. While construction started on the project, the ski area never opened. It remains a sensitive subject for many in the Berkshires today.

Map of Greylock Glen (1974)
Map of Greylock Glen (1974)
History
The Greylock Glen project rose out of the ashes of the aborted Mount Greylock Tramway proposal of the 1950s and 60s. Executive director Joseph R. Dragone of the Mount Greylock Tramway Authority purchased the Picard farm at the base of Greylock prior to turning his attention to developing the now-defunct Evergreen Valley ski area in Maine. Alan S. Canter of Elco Resort Developers, Inc. of Springfield, Massachusetts bought the property and invited Dragone to assist with the Greylock Glen project.

The Greylock Glen proposal, encompassing some 1,162 acres, included alpine and cross country ski facilities, a golf course, and a 500 room hotel and convention center. Between May 1973 and October 1974, the Alan S. Canter-led Elco Resort Developers, Inc. and Greylock Glen Corporation borrowed $3.8 million from Community Savings Bank for the project. Sno-Engineering designed the ski area.

Overview map of Greylock Glen (1974)
Overview map of Greylock Glen (1974)

In addition to trail clearing (seven trails and two slopes), lighting, and the installation of snowmaking, four Borvig lifts (one J-Bar, three double chairlifts) were partially installed in 1974. Concrete footings were poured for lift terminals, the hotel, and other buildings. With work still ongoing in November of 1974, a December 14, 1974 opening day was announced.

Overview photo of Greylock Glen (1974)
Overview photo of Greylock Glen (1974)

Greylock Glen logo (1974)
Greylock Glen logo (1974)

Greylock Glen ad in 1975 Eastern Ski Map
Greylock Glen ad in 1974-75 Eastern Ski Map
Greylock Glen rates (1974)
Greylock Glen rates (1974)

While on the surface things seemed to be going okay, financial and environmental problems arose. Work on the ski area and hotel was halted before the end of November 1974. While the golf course would open a year later, the alpine ski area would never be completed.

A 1976 photo of a golfer with the Greylock Glen ski area in the background
A 1976 photo of a golfer with the Greylock Glen ski area in the background

In 1978, Community Savings Bank foreclosed on the property. Portions of the ski area were liquidated (some lights were sold to Berkshire East Ski Area), however much of it remained in place. Subsequent attempts were made at trying to reopen Greylock Glen, including as a casino, however none progressed far beyond conceptual stages.

Greylock Glen developer Douglas Littlefield (1982)
Greylock Glen developer Douglas Littlefield (1982)

Today
The Greylock Glen area has been turned into a park, complete with hiking trails. While the ski trails are mostly overgrown, remains of the lifts, snowmaking infrastructure, and lights still remain.
A Lift (J-Bar) (2002)
A Lift (J-Bar) (2002)

B Lift (Double Chair) (2002)
B Lift (Double Chair) (2002)

B Lift (Double Chair) (2002)
B Lift (Double Chair) (2002)

C Lift (Double Chair) (2002)
C Lift (Double Chair) (2002)

C Lift (Double Chair) (2002)
C Lift (Double Chair) (2002)

C Lift (Double Chair) (2002)
C Lift (Double Chair) (2002)

D Lift (Double Chair) (2002)
D Lift (Double Chair) (2002)

D Lift (Double Chair) (2002)
D Lift (Double Chair) (2002)

D Lift (Double Chair) (2002)
D Lift (Double Chair) (2002)

Leftover snowmaking pipe (2002)
Leftover snowmaking pipe (2002)

C Lift (Double Chair) (2006)
C Lift (Double Chair) (2006)

C Lift (Double Chair) (2006)
C Lift (Double Chair) (2006)

Trail 6 (2006)
Trail 6 (2006)

Trail 8 (2006)
Trail 8 (2006)

Trail 8 lights (2006)
Trail 8 lights (2006)

Maintenance garage foundation (2006)
Maintenance garage foundation (2006)

Maintenance garage foundation (2006)
Maintenance garage foundation (2006)
Quotes
" Skiing will return to Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts, Dec. 14 with the opening of Greylock Glen.

Located at the bottom of the huge range, Greylock Glen is a 1040-acre resort which will feature every sport conceivable to the general public and guests at the 600-room hotel.
"
1974 Greylock Glen promotional flyer


" All of the lifts will be served by snowmaking, with a combination of air-water in an underground system, plus a huge airless Hedco snow cannon. "
1974 Greylock Glen promotional flyer


" The result will be unique in New England - a resort with full convention facilities to accommodate up to 1500 guests at a time, offering a range of recreational facilities at any time during the year.

The hotel, slated to open in early 1976, will have 350 guest rooms, a variety of dining and conference facilities, plus three indoor tennis courts and a health club.

Forming an integrated annex to the main hotel will be six condominium structures, with 160 sleeping or combination rooms available for rent.

There will be a large, glass-paneled pool at the hotel for year-round swimming, and the condominium complex will also have its own pool and a battery of tennis courts.

Residential condominium clusters also will be built on the golf course and close to the ski slopes.

For the winter, one of the condominium buildings will be utilized as a ski area base lodge. The building will be 186 feet long and 50 feet wide, with a walk -in-level basement area holding the main cafeteria and cocktail lounge, rest rooms, rental and repair shop, ski shop, ski school desk and lobby.

For the skimobile enthusiast, Elco owns the 350-acre Savoy Mountain off Route 116, some 10 miles to the east, where there are also more than 15,000 acres of state forest lands with hundreds of miles of old roads.
"
1974 Greylock Glen promotional flyer


" Ground was broken for Greylock Glen in September 1973; the resort-to-be is located at the eastern base of Mt. Greylock, between it and the once textile-mill town of Adams less than a mile away. Greylock Glen's developer is Alan S. Canter of Springfield, Mass. (an early-40s entrepreneur whose worldwide interests range from potato farming in Calgary to real estate near downtown Kitzbühel). What Canter has in mind is a 1,040-acre, convention-oriented resort with a 350-room hotel (to be built at a projected $15-million-plus, and to include a health club, Olympic-sized swimming pool, four indoor tennis courts, cocktail lounges and restaurants, and a ballroom accommodating 1,400 people), condominiums and homesites, an 18-hole, 6,400-yard championship golf course, facilities for riding and polo, hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing-and oh, yes...a ski area. (Canter also plans to reserve some of his acreage to build a ranch house, greenhouse, and stable, pasture his polo ponies-and graze a hundred head of Charolais beef cattle!)

If the skiing part of Greylock Glen sounds like an afterthought...it isn't. Well, not quite. It's simply what's known in the trade as an "amenity ski area"-one of a host of recreational adjuncts to an admitted real estate venture, in this case centered around a conventional hotel. It is also, ironically, within a few hundred yards of the site of some of the most heavily attended, exciting ski races in this country's history.
"
Skiing, October 1974


" [A]nd Canter has had to contend with an ongoing, vocal watchdog faction, spearheaded by the Berkshire Environmental Action Committee.

But contend he has, all the while pouring men, matériel, and money (several million, at this writing, with a projected long-term total in excess of $40-million) into his personal vision of a Berkshire four-season resort, with the ski area scheduled to be the first of its facilities to open, in December of this year. (Canter expects the resort to be fully operational by early 1976.)
"
Skiing, October 1974


" The area will be novice-intermediate, a family affair, and you'll have to shuttle your teen-aged hotshots off to the tougher skiing nearby (at Brodie, say, or Jiminy Peak) to keep them happy. What you'll find here are seven trails and two slopes (east-southeast exposure; 750-foot maximum vertical), three double chairs and a J-bar (with the J-bar and two of the chairs to be lighted for night skiing), snowmaking on 50 acres, a multi-level base lodge (located in what will eventually be a slopeside condominium cluster), and a tracked, 20-mile cross-country trail network (with an 11-mile escorted tour possible up the old Cheshire Harbor hiking trail to the top of Greylock and back down the Notch Road). "
Skiing, October 1974


" [M]ore than 1,000 acres of land has been acquired by private interests, reaching nearly halfway up the slopes of the 10,000 acre Mount Greylock State Reservation. The result is a four-season recreational resort, Greylock Glen, now under construction, with ski facilities due to be completed in time for a December opening.

Three double chairlifts, the longest 3,500 feet and rising 750 feet, and a ski school J-bar lift will provide a variety of beginner through upper-intermediate skiing. There will be a touring center and top to bottom snowmaking covering 50 acres on all lifts. The widest, easiest novice slopes in the Berkshires will be complemented by some twisting, plunging trails. The lower portion of the famed Thunderbolt will be served by the main chair.
"
Ski, November 1974


" Greylock Glen: A Borvig J-Bar, 775' long, 84' vertical, 600 per hour capacity, 270 fpm speed
Greylock Glen: B Borvig Double Chair, 1,110' long, 170' vertical, 1,000 per hour capacity, 350 fpm speed
Greylock Glen: C Borvig Double Chair, 3,341' long, 761' vertical, 1,200 per hour capacity, 500 fpm speed
Greylock Glen: B Borvig Double Chair, 1,795' long, 480' vertical, 1,200 per hour capacity, 450 fpm speed
"
1974 Lift Installation Survey - Ski Area Management


" Greylock Glen, Adams - 3 Double Chairlifts - J-bar Lift - 5 Slopes - 8 Trails - [Novice, Intermediate Expert] - [Ski School] - [Patrol] - [Snowmaking] - 2 Packers - Nights - 750' V/D - E/SE "
1975 Eastern Ski Map


" Greylock Glen, Adams - 3 Double Chairlifts - J-bar Lift - 5 Slopes - 8 Trails - [Novice, Intermediate Expert] - [Ski School] - [Patrol] - [Snowmaking] - 2 Packers - Nights - 750' V/D - E/SE "
1976 Eastern Ski Map


" Greylock Glen, Adams - 3 Double Chairlifts - J-bar Lift - 5 Slopes - 8 Trails - [Novice, Intermediate Expert] - [Ski School] - [Patrol] - [Snowmaking] - 2 Packers - Nights - 750' V/D - E/SE "
1977 Eastern Ski Map


" Greylock Glen, Adams - 3 Double Chairlifts - J-bar Lift - 5 Slopes - 8 Trails - [Novice, Intermediate Expert] - [Ski School] - [Patrol] - [Snowmaking] - 2 Packers - Nights - 750' V/D - E/SE "
1978 Eastern Ski Map


" A Burlington, Vt. businessman yesterday paid the Community Savings Bank of Holyoke approximately $100,000 for a six month option to buy Greylock Glen for $4.85 million.

Bank President Roy A. Scott said Douglas Littlefield of Littlefield Realty signed the agreement yesterday morning and gave the bank a non-refundable, certified check, drawn on a Canadian bank.
"
Holly A. Taylor, 1982


" Albert J. Siner Jr., a contractor from Waitsfield, Vt., will work as the general contractor for Littlefield. He is also negociating with the Selectmen to buy the vacant Hoosac Street School in this town and convert it to condominiums.

Siner recently told The Eagle that he and Littlefield are planning a resort catering to executives. The resort would focus on relaxation and stress management for the harried executive, providing medical services as well as recreational pursuits and conference facilities.

The project would be a "scaled-down" version of the 350-room convention resort originally invisioned by Holyoke developer Alan S. Canter.
"
Holly A. Taylor, 1982


" Plans for a golf course, housing, hotels and an amusement park on the Adams side of the mountain all crumbled when developers went bust or environmentalists protested. "
Adam Gorlick, 2006


" 1985: Greylock Glen concept plan distributed. Plan includes 40-acre lake and health facility. Legislature authorizes $8.5 million for developer.

1987: Developer selected for project. The $260 million plan includes alpine ski area and 1,275 condominiums.

1988: Greylock Glen plan curtailed.

1998-2000: The Greylock Center Project and its environmental impact report are finalized.

2001: The project is abandoned by acting Gov. Jane M. Swift
"
Berkshire Environmental Action Team


" Yet every plan to harness the appeal of the mountain collapsed. The visitors center for Greylock, and the only road to its summit, were built on the other side of the mountain, in Lanesborough. Despite numerous attempts, no resort was ever built at the base of the mountain in Adams, and residents slowly gave up hope that their proximity to the peak would ever pay off.

That may change at last. Today, officials with the state Department of Conservation and Recreation will announce an agreement with the town to build an outdoor recreation center at Greylock Glen, 1,060 acres of woods and farmland at the base of the mountain. The project will include hiking and cross-country ski trails, an environmental education center, a lodge with guest and meeting rooms, and an outdoor amphitheater -- far fewer buildings than some previous proposals.
"
Jenna Russell, 2006



Resources
  • Mount Greylock - New England's Alpine CCC Ski Trails
  • Mount Greylock - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Greylock Glen Corporation v. Community Savings Bank - Justica.com
  • "1974 Lift Installation Survey." Ski Area Management. 1974. http://www.skilifts.org/install_na1974.htm.
  • Gorlick, Adam. "Adams pins hopes on Greylock Glen development -- again." The Boston Globe. 11 Dec. 2006. 3 Apr. 2009. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/12/11/adams_pins_hopes_on_greylock_glen_development____again.
  • Hitchcock, John. (1974, November). "New area for New England." Ski, Volume 39, Number 3.
  • Morrow, Robert. (1974, October). "Approaching the Untouchables." Skiing, Volume 27, Number 2.
  • Russell, Jenna. "Greylock development may at last be realized" The Boston Globe. 11 Dec. 2006. 3 Apr. 2009. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/12/11/greylock_development_may_at_last_be_realized.
  • Taylor, Holly A. "Vt. developer pays $100,000 for Greylock Glen option" The Berkshire Eagle. 17 Nov. 1982.
  • What is Greylock Glen - Berkshire Environmental Action Team


  • Last updated: April 23, 2015
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