The 1970's

1970’s -- The Waiting Years:

The state maintained a policy of one-year lease agreements with Wachusett Mountain Associates during the 1970s, which limited infrastructure improvements to the ski area.
But as skiing steadily gained in popularity nationwide, Wachusett management stayed at the forefront of progress with innovative marketing and promotional efforts.

The demand for learn-to-ski programs swelled the ranks of teachers and instructors for the Wachusett Ski School. Under the direction of General Manager Bob Mignone and Ski School Director Ollie Manninen, Wachusett rode the wave of the Graduated Length Method (GLM) of ski instruction and short ski pioneer Clif Taylor even paid a visit to Wachusett in the mid-1970s to demonstrate the short ski method of skiing.

The biggest factors in Wachusett’s rise to prominence in the 1970s were night skiing and innovative marketing. Once lights were installed on the trails, Wachusett could offer two ski sessions each day. Night skiing threw open the floodgates to after school learning programs and the evening adult racing leagues.

Since the ski area was not in a position to build lifts or cut new trails, management focused on marketing the sport. Wachusett brought their customized learning programs to the area schools and soon the buses of eager schoolchildren were arriving every afternoon. Wachusett marketing even reached out the businesses in the area and presented corporate programs. Programs for adults, including racing, were created.

By the end of the decade, the Wachusett Mountain Advisory Council urged the Commonwealth to develop a long-term management plan for the ski facility. The plans were designed to carry Wachusett skiing into the 21st century.


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