Ski Resort Life

Magic Mountain’s Million Dollars (Well, Almost)

Now officially skier-owned, the ‘Mad River of Southern Vermont’ gets access to $900,000 for improvements—to ‘survive and thrive for another 50 years.’

Lost in the shuffle of another busy winter was welcome news from southern Vermont. Rugged, no-frills Magic Mountain announced on Feb. 2 (see below) that it had officially gone “skier-owned,” having sold its 300th share.

The news came on the eve of the Londonderry ski area’s 50th anniversary, as Magic lovers, paying $3,000 per share, came together for a final push to give the mountain a fitting birthday present. The 300-share threshold satisfied the legal minimum to enact the new ownership structure and, more importantly, gave the mountain access to the $900,000 raised. How will it be invested? That’ll now be partly up to the Magic’s new skier-owners, who control three seats on the board.

Magic joins Mad River Glen in adopting the skier-owned format, and the two have often been compared for other reasons. Magic is smaller (1,700 vert) but similarly soulful and underdeveloped, with creaky fixed-grip lifts and a preference for natural terrain and snow conditions. Presumably, though, the new owners will continue to allow snowboarding at Magic, while at Mad River hell has yet to freeze over.

Here are the details from Magic:

For Immediate Release

Magic Reaches 300 Share Goal New Era of Skier-Owned Partnership to Officially Begin at Magic Mountain

February 2, 2012,

Londonderry, VT — With a burst of new shareholders in the New Year, Magic Mountain has completed the sale of over 300 shares at $3000 per share to achieve the milestone required to capitalize the new skier-based ownership entity The Magic Partnership LLC.

This new entity will be a cooperative partnership between the current operator and owners and the new skier-community based shareholders. Shareholders will now elect 3 of 5 board members. The other two board seats will be held by Jim Sullivan, current president, owner and operator of the mountain, and Tom Barker, a current owner.

“After a partnership meeting in Mid-January, the community really came together to put this share offering over the finish line,” said Sullivan. “Current shareholders stepped up to buy additional shares and new people came on board who want to see this mountain survive and thrive for another 50 years.”

Despite the initial offering coming at the height of the economic downturn in 2009, Magic steadily increased its shareholder base, but the current snow-deprived winter heightened the necessity to finish the capital raise to access monies for improvement to snowmaking, as well as other key infrastructure projects. Over 42 shares were sold since the New Year in an effort to complete the transfer to the new cooperative “partnership” entity before Magic’s 50 Years celebration on February 4th.

“The Magic Partnership is really designed to let the skier community have a say in the future of the mountain,” continued Jim Sullivan. “The monies will be used to enhance the quality, reliability and consistency of the product we offer customers, without changing the character of what people love about this unique hill: its unmatched focus on the adventure and camaraderie inherent to the sport of skiing and riding.”

There are still a few more shares available to the public to complete a fully funded offering of 333 shares, but the 300 threshold marks the legal requirement to access any of the capital and fully institute the new ownership entity.

About Magic Mountain: Ski Area Magic first opened in 1960 and will be celebrating this season its 50th anniversary of peak to bottom skiing dating from 1962, which to this day, is still one of the most exciting, challenging and authentic Vermont ski experiences. Different than the corporate resorts, Magic has stayed true to the original Vermont ski culture. Magic skiers enjoy a mountain emphasizing natural, diverse ski terrain in an atmosphere of shared camaraderie for the sport both on the slopes and in the lodge after a long, rewarding day. Magic has an authentic vibe because, in reality, it still remains first and foremost a ski area, not a “resort” and a distinctly Vermont one at that. It’s a community spirit that keeps Magic thriving for those committed ski and riding enthusiasts who want to “carve their own trail” and experience real snow and obstacles that mother-nature puts on the hill. And, it’s why Magic skiers love the mountain so much that they are personally investing in the ski area via The Magic Partnership in order to enhance and preserve it for future generations to enjoy. Please visit us at and “like us” on facebook for updates.