Tenney Mountain Ski Area to reopen in February; hotel, condos, shops to follow

  • A sign for Tenney Mountain Ski Area in Plymouth on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

  • A snowcat sits on the J bar slope at Tenney Mountain ski area in 2016

  • Michael Bouchard stands in the pump house for the snowmaking equipment at Tenney Mountain.

  • Tenney Mountain Ski logo Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 1/26/2018 6:03:20 PM

Eight years after the last chairlift ran at Tenney Mountain Ski Area, the mountain may be about to reopen to the public, and that’s only one part of what may be coming to the area, judging from a recent presentation to the Plymouth Planning Board.

In a “non-binding conceptual presentation” given Jan. 18, Bruce Cunningham of Tenney Mountain Development Group told the board that public skiing will begin soon: “Worst-case scenario, second week of February,” he said.

The ski area shut in 2010 after a half-century of operation. Michael Bouchard, who co-founded an engineering firm in Nashua, bought it and 900 acres on the mountain in 2014 for a reported $1.2 million, and has long said that he wants to reopen it and use it a the centerpiece of more development.

The area’s Facebook page has been brimming for several years with videos of work being done at the site, from large-scale drainage work to rebuilding the lodge. More recently it has featured the arrival of large equipment needed for operating a ski area, including a new groomer and snow-making guns.

According to minutes and a video of the presentation, which was part of a planning board work session, the development group is planning to eventually build an 80-unit hotel, 90 townhouses, some stores, a “senior living community,” and “an apartment complex for (Plymouth State) University clientele,” with a timeline of five to eight years to get it all built.

Cunningham told the group that the first thing to be done is to open the ski area and then to build a hotel, perhaps starting as early as this summer, then a retail plaza along Route 3A.

Almost 100 condominium units already exist around the ski area. The site has zoning for hundreds more to be built.

Cunningham also discussed the site’s aquifer, which he said could be used to provide water to the town, or to be sold in bulk supplies.

In response to questions, Cunningham said he would be talking with Plymouth about paying back property taxes.

Tenney Mountain Ski Area opened in 1960. It flourished for many years but hit roadblocks in the 1980s, compounded by financial problems related to the nearby condominiums. It went through four owners, including a Japanese company, before shutting down in 2010.

Its potential rebirth has drawn huge interest in the Plymouth region.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or dbrooks@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog granitegeek.org, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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