The 1960's

1960’s -- The Beginning:

What we know today as Wachusett Mountain had its beginnings in 1960 when Massachusetts supplied the funding and gave the go-ahead to develop a modern ski area on the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation. The state gave Worcester County authority over the ski area.

It wasn’t until December 28, 1962, however, that the first lift, a 2,000-foot T-bar, was able to whisk skiers up the mountain and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area officially opened.

At its start, Wachusett boasted four trails, ranging from 30 to 150 feet in width; parking for 400 to 500 cars; portable privies; food service but no base lodge; a ski shop operated by Strand Mikkelsen of Worcester and a ski school operated by Normand and Anneliese Letarte of Leominster. First season weekday adult lift tickets were $3.50 and weekend tickets $4. Kids skied for $2 weekdays, $2.50 on weekends.

Under the direction of Earle R. Vickery, superintendent of the Wachusett Mountain Reservation, a second T-bar, this one 3,500 feet long, started running in January, 1963.
By the end of that first season, the ski area was able to report a profit and had a 26-man ski patrol.

In March of 1963 Wachusett held the Massachusetts State Downhill Championships under the direction of Mason Flagg, who skied and raced on the mountain in the late 1930s and 1940s.

In 1967 the Worcester County Commissioners handed over control of the ski area and the reservation to the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources. The county had overseen the operations of the Wachusett Reservation since 1900.  DNR’s mission did not include being in the ski business and the state agency signed a lease agreement with Wachusett Mountain Associates in 1968. Wachusett Mountain Associates was led by Polar Beverage president Ralph Crowley of Worcester and the group took over management of the ski area in late 1968.


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