Hickory Ski Center redevelopment plans underway, says Warrensburg town official

WARRENSBURG - Hickory Ski Center, historically an attraction for winter sports enthusiasts but closed for several years, is likely to reopen as soon as this next winter, according to Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty.

Geraghty said Thursday that William Van Pelt, a businessman from Texas, was investing enough money to refurbish the ski center and offer new amenities expected in a modern resort.

The ski center - considered a throwback to the classic days of skiing with no snowmaking, no grooming and no chairlifts - will be renovated with new lifts, grooming, and plenty of new features and offerings, Geraghty said.

"We're pleased the Hickory Hill will now have an infusion of cash to refurbish it and make it viable again," he said. It's an important attraction not only for Warrensburg, but for all of Warren County."

Not only would the new equipment allow for a longer skiing season, but the ski center, known with fondness as "Hickory Hill," might offer mountain biking activities during the summer months, he said.

"They have great plans, and this is not only important to visitors, but for local residents," he said.

The Website Skiernet.com also has a fondness for Hickory Hill, calling it a gem of an attraction for skiing purists, although it has been closed to the public for several years.

Skiernet has rated it among New York State's "Top Ten" ski centers. Hickory Hill's summit is 1,900 feet, and its longest run is 10,560 feet.

Skiernet notes that at Hickory Hill, there are virtually no crowds, it's low cost, and there's "no posturing."

"With a mix of narrow trails, open areas and glades, Hickory is skiing in the 1950s," the Website says.

Skiernet advises skiers, if there's a good snowfall, to bypass the popular Whiteface or Gore resorts and head for Hickory Hill.

"This is a ski area every purist should visit as often as possible," the Website says. "Trail approaches to vistas of Schroon River and the distant Hoffman and Pharaoh wilderness areas make for some truly spectacular skiing."

Efforts to reach Van Pelt this week weren't successful.

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