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SkiNewEngland.net
 
The base area as seen from the Chrysler slope (2006)
Ski Blandford
Blandford, Massachusetts
Status: Lost/Defunct
First Season:1936-37
Last Season:2019-20
Vertical Drop:465 feet
Standing Lifts:3 doubles, surface lifts
Past Lifts:Surface lifts
Left: The base area as seen from the Chrysler slope (2006)
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
3/26/2020: Ski Blandford Closing
11/7/2018: STUDY: Probability of Lost New England Ski Areas Reopening
1/26/2018: Ski Blandford Cancels Ski Season
1/16/2018: Ski Blandford Will Not Operate in January
SkiNewEngland.net Profile
Located near Interstate 90 in Western Massachusetts, Ski Blandford was one of the longest running ski areas in the country.

Springfield Ski Club's Rope Tow

Blandford circa the 1950s
Blandford circa the 1950s

The origins of the Springfield Ski Club date back to 1933, when Ken Cuddeback and Charlie Parker sought folks with similar recreational interests via a newspaper ad. That winter, the group started looking for a place to develop a ski area. While they initially looked into Mt. Toby to the north, their sights eventually were set to the west of the city.

On November 17, 1936, Springfield Ski Club was established as a Massachusetts corporation with Arthur Irving Macdonald as President, Benjamin Prescott Hazeltine III as Vice President, and Heinz John Sherbow as Treasurer. That fall, the club was able to obtain permission to develop a ski slope on Pere Persson's farm. A 1,000 foot long electric rope tow served the slope, while a nearby schoolhouse was used as a warming hut. Non-members were allowed to use the facility for a fee. By this point, the club had reportedly grown to 375 members.

Circa 1941, the club purchased the land from the Persson family, firmly establishing Blandford's future. While additional slopes were added after the initial season, the 1,000 rope tow remained the main lift for quite some time.

Blandford remained open for at least part of the World War II period, operating on weekends during the 1942-43 season. During times when fuel rationing prevented the operation of the tows, members reportedly still took the train to Blandford and earned their turns.

Blandford grew in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, eventually expanding to 7 rope tows. A new racing trail may have been cut for the 1952-53 season, hosting college races. By the middle of the decade, some 5,000 folks were members of the club, making it more than triple its 1941 size.

Modernizing

Blandford circa the 1980s
Blandford circa the 1980s

While Blandford was a popular area near a city, things were changing all around it. In the 1950s, the Massachusetts Turnpike was developed west of Springfield, passing just above the top of Blandford ski area. Later that decade, and into the 1960s, Interstate 91 was built, providing easy access to ski areas up north. Meanwhile, sizable chairlift served ski areas such as Berkshire East, Brodie, Butternut, Catamount, Jiminy Peak, and Mt. Tom were popping up across Western Massachusetts.

A second base lodge was constructed in the mid-1960s for a reported $85,000.

The Springfield Ski Club's days as one of the top Bousquet rope-tow-gripper customers was about to end, as Blandford installed its first double chairlift for the 1969-70 season. Debuting in late January, 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 year's price.

The building phase continued at Blandford throughout the 1970s. The early 1970s saw the installation of two lifts adjacent to the base area, the Broadway double chairlift and the Broadway T-Bar. To handle the increased traffic, a sun deck was constructed for the 1972-73 season. Around this time, Theodore Hellstein Jr. served as club president, while Bob Savard ran the ski school. The area remained a weekend day skiing area, with limited operations also offered on Wednesdays.

Near the end of the decade, the North double chairlift was added, helping to distribute skier traffic while also catering to experts.

As the 1990s arrived, Blandford had grown to 26 trails with a Friday-Sunday operating schedule. While ski areas across the state started to disappear, Blandford stayed in operation, thanks in large part to the countless hours of volunteer work its members contributed. Though its primary focus was skiing, the Springfield Ski Club also organized off season events at Blandford for its membership.

The Broadway double chairlift (2006)
The Broadway double chairlift (2006)

After Mt. Tom closed in 1998, Blandford put lights on the Broadway and Schoolhouse slopes for the 1998-99 season to gauge support in after school programs. The demand was indeed there, resulting in the expansion of night skiing operations thereafter.

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.

Springfield Ski Club Sells Blandford

The Glades double chairlift (2019)
The Glades double chairlift (2019)

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.

Closure

Sunrise under dark skies on Blandford's last day of operation (March 8, 2020)
Sunrise under dark skies on Blandford's last day of operation (March 8, 2020)

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.

NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
Recent Articles
Ski Blandford Closing - Mar. 26, 2020
STUDY: Probability of Lost New England Ski Areas Reopening - Nov. 7, 2018
Ski Blandford Cancels Ski Season - Jan. 26, 2018
Ski Blandford Will Not Operate in January - Jan. 16, 2018
Ski Blandford Opening Day Postponed - Dec. 31, 2017
Ski Butternut Ownership Completes Purchase of Ski Blandford - Oct. 25, 2017
Springfield Ski Club Approves Proposed Sale of Ski Blandford - Jul. 19, 2017
Ski Blandford May Be Sold to Ski Butternut - Jul. 1, 2017
Ski Blandford Financially Insolvent; Could Be Sold or Closed - May. 28, 2017
Financial Concerns Mounting at Ski Blandford - Mar. 28, 2017
Ski Blandford NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News Page

Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed
Broadway Chair circa the 1980s
Broadway Chair
Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1971-72
Glades Chair in 2014
Glades Chair
Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1969-70
North Chair in 2006
North Chair
Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1978-79

Past Lifts
Seasons
Broadway T-Bar in 2002
Broadway T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1973-74
-
2003-04

Maps
1982-83 Ski Blandford Trail Map1990s Blandford Trail Map1996-97 Ski Blandford Trail Map1998-99 Blandford Trail Map1999-00 Blandford Trail Map2002-03 Blandford Trail Map
View All Ski Blandford Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
2020s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2019-20$45.002019-20 Ticket Price Graph$289.002019-20 Season Pass Price Graph6.4 daysDecember 20March 82019-20 Skier Visit Graph
2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2018-19$45.002018-19 Ticket Price Graph$249.002018-19 Season Pass Price Graph5.5 daysDecember 15March 242018-19 Skier Visit Graph
2016-17$44.002016-17 Ticket Price Graph$369.002016-17 Season Pass Price Graph8.4 daysDecember 26March 122016-17 Skier Visit Graph
2015-16$44.002015-16 Ticket Price Graph$359.002015-16 Season Pass Price Graph8.2 daysJanuary 9March 92015-16 Skier Visit Graph
2014-15$44.002014-15 Ticket Price Graph$349.002014-15 Season Pass Price Graph7.9 daysJanuary 2March 212014-15 Skier Visit Graph
2013-14$47.002013-14 Ticket Price Graph$349.002013-14 Season Pass Price Graph7.4 daysDecember 26March 232013-14 Skier Visit Graph
2012-13$47.002012-13 Ticket Price Graph2012-13 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 262012-13 Skier Visit Graph
2011-12$47.002011-12 Ticket Price Graph$458.002011-12 Season Pass Price Graph9.7 daysDecember 26March 112011-12 Skier Visit Graph
2010-11$45.002010-11 Ticket Price Graph$448.002010-11 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysDecember 11March 192010-11 Skier Visit Graph
2009-10$45.002009-10 Ticket Price Graph$448.002009-10 Season Pass Price Graph10.0 daysDecember 13March 132009-10 Skier Visit Graph
2000s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2008-09$41.002008-09 Ticket Price Graph$398.002008-09 Season Pass Price Graph9.7 days2008-09 Skier Visit Graph
2007-08$39.002007-08 Ticket Price Graph$398.002007-08 Season Pass Price Graph10.2 days2007-08 Skier Visit Graph
2006-07$37.002006-07 Ticket Price Graph$338.002006-07 Season Pass Price Graph9.1 days2006-07 Skier Visit Graph
2005-06$37.002005-06 Ticket Price Graph$338.002005-06 Season Pass Price Graph9.1 days2005-06 Skier Visit Graph
2004-05$35.002004-05 Ticket Price Graph$324.002004-05 Season Pass Price Graph9.3 daysDecember 262004-05 Skier Visit Graph
2003-04$33.002003-04 Ticket Price Graph$324.002003-04 Season Pass Price Graph9.8 days2003-04 Skier Visit Graph
2002-03$28.002002-03 Ticket Price Graph$299.002002-03 Season Pass Price Graph10.7 daysDecember 262002-03 Skier Visit Graph
2001-02$28.002001-02 Ticket Price Graph2001-02 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 292001-02 Skier Visit Graph
2000-01$26.002000-01 Ticket Price Graph2000-01 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 232000-01 Skier Visit Graph
1999-00$24.001999-00 Ticket Price Graph1999-00 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 261999-00 Skier Visit Graph
1990s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1998-99$24.001998-99 Ticket Price Graph$199.001998-99 Season Pass Price Graph8.3 daysDecember 26March 141998-99 Skier Visit Graph
1997-981997-98 Ticket Price Graph1997-98 Season Pass Price GraphMarch 81997-98 Skier Visit Graph
1996-97$20.001996-97 Ticket Price Graph1996-97 Season Pass Price Graph1996-97 Skier Visit Graph
1995-96$19.001995-96 Ticket Price Graph1995-96 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 26March 171995-96 Skier Visit Graph
1994-951994-95 Ticket Price Graph1994-95 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 311994-95 Skier Visit Graph
1992-93$19.001992-93 Ticket Price Graph1992-93 Season Pass Price Graph1992-93 Skier Visit Graph
1991-92$25.001991-92 Ticket Price Graph$230.001991-92 Season Pass Price Graph9.2 daysDecember 261991-92 Skier Visit Graph
1990-91$25.001990-91 Ticket Price Graph1990-91 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 281990-91 Skier Visit Graph
1989-90$25.001989-90 Ticket Price Graph1989-90 Season Pass Price Graph1989-90 Skier Visit Graph
1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1988-89$24.001988-89 Ticket Price Graph1988-89 Season Pass Price Graph1988-89 Skier Visit Graph
1987-88$22.001987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price Graph1987-88 Skier Visit Graph
1982-831982-83 Ticket Price Graph$110.001982-83 Season Pass Price Graph1982-83 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1974-75$6.001974-75 Ticket Price Graph$44.001974-75 Season Pass Price Graph7.3 days1974-75 Skier Visit Graph
1972-731972-73 Ticket Price Graph$35.001972-73 Season Pass Price Graph1972-73 Skier Visit Graph
1971-721971-72 Ticket Price Graph$35.001971-72 Season Pass Price Graph1971-72 Skier Visit Graph
1970-711970-71 Ticket Price Graph$35.001970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-701969-70 Ticket Price Graph$35.001969-70 Season Pass Price Graph1969-70 Skier Visit Graph
1960s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1968-691968-69 Ticket Price Graph$25.001968-69 Season Pass Price Graph1968-69 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
"I started sking in 1955. I also worked the first aid and the rope toes.many great memories"
Edwin Howe, Aug. 22, 2020
" I started as a member at 2.5 years old in 1967/68 when the name was Springfield Ski Club. For many years I had to have someone in back of me to hold the rope tow on Fanny Hill and Schoolhouse. Those ropes were too heavy for a little kid! Many younger folks will not know what a rope tow is! There was the old lodge and the new lodge, and we always packed a picnic basket for lunch and apres ski. I feel like our group of families was always the last to leave at the end of the day. The adults always had a bottle or two of wine. A treat on the way to the club was stopping at Mrs. Murphy for donuts. I did take lessons, some with Charlotte Tilley and then with Butch and Guy, the dreamboats of the 1970s. I remember skiing down Puts Peril with Butch and Guy and feeling so accomplished. Who remembers Mr. Hart who always wore the red and black wool plaid hat with the ear flaps? So cute. And Hubert? Jubilee weekend was the highlight of the season with obstacle courses for the kids built from hay bales, boxes and poles; pots of warmed glogg wine; and the ski patrol skiing down Broadway at night with lit torches. For many years we would run into Eileen Krol at the Big E - she was a either ski patrol or an instructor and we would reminisce with her. What great times I had there and am thankful for having been a part of the club back then. If I lived closer, I would still be a member. What memories! Forgive the grammar, as I had to remove single quotes and apostrophes in order for the submission to be accepted."
Nancy McHugh, Mar. 9, 2020
"Learned to ski there when I was 11 years old in 1968.Lesson price was $1 for kids,$2 for adults,and most of the instuctors at that time were from Austria. I think a season pass back then was only $20."
Steve Olsen, May. 19, 2019
"My parents were skiing there in the 40’s and were part of the Springfield Ski Club when it was run by the members . There were many families from Holyoke who were members around the same years. I started skiing when I was 3 years old and my brother and I raced there for many years. I love Blandford and loved the rope tows. Many found memories of Blandford. "
Jeanne Lippman, Oct. 26, 2017
"1947 in backpack with Mother. Many great winters here."
Jonathan Payne, Oct. 11, 2017
"This was my first 'Big' ski area after learning in Southwick and Pawatuck in the late 60's. I remember seeing the very first of the snow boarders here which was called 'Snurfing' back then. This was the single board with a rope at the tip the rider would hold onto. They were not allowed except for very late in the day on Sunday when most ski traffic was done. Glad to hear it still thrives!"
Al Sandy, May. 12, 2016
"began skiing here as a kid around 1966 or' '67. Many scary belly flops trying to learn to ride a rope tow there and thought all the high school kids with those metal tow clips on their belts were so cool. Never could get close to the big fireplace in original lodge, too crowded. Everyone would take off their boots and line them up by the fire to warm up and dry out - back in the days of lace ups!"
Judy (Lafler) Converse, Feb. 25, 2015
"My family started skiing Blandford in the mid 60's and we would ski with other families in the neighborhood for the next 15 years. I have such fond memories of riding all the rope tows (using row 'grippers') all day long. It was during these years that I became hooked on the skiing lifestyle. I have worked as the director of engineering for Jackson Hole for over 25 years now and have contributed in creating one of the best ski resorts in the world. Thanks Blandford! "
Bill Schreiber, Mar. 9, 2014
"I spent many winter days skiing Blandford from the time I was twelve years old. I learned to ski there, as well as my son and my grandson. It is really a family oriented area. I have many fond memories of the work parties in the fall back in the 60s. We all had fun and we got alot of work done. "
Neil MacKinnon, Nov. 8, 2013
"This was my great grandfather's farm. My Dad learned to ski here and became a member of the National Ski patrol. He's stil alive at 88."
Jean Grant, Mar. 26, 2013
"Love the memories!!!!"
Robert Carey, Jan. 24, 2013
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External Links
  • Ski Blandford official site
  • Last updated: August 20, 2020

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