In the 1960s, when boots were leather and laced and skis were long, Dr. Harold Richman returned from a ski trip in Vermont with his wife Barbara, inspired to build a family-oriented ski area in central Connecticut. After looking around for just the right spot – aesthetic and convenient, with land and water resources – he discovered a dairy farm in Southington that was for sale. The site was perfect.
Dr. Richman partnered with other members of his family along with the Palmisano family, of Bristol, CT, and other local investors. Together they purchased the dairy farm, carved out trails, installed lifts and snowmaking equipment and began to create the Mount Southington Ski Area of today.
A red barn, now known as The Red Barn Café, was converted into a rental shop on the bottom level and an eating area upstairs. A small snack bar was located nearby. The farmhouse was ideal for offices; its windows open for ticket sales. Complete with rentals, ski lessons and the glamour of night skiing, Mount Southington opened in 1964.
The Founders’ Vision: a happy, winter outdoor place – a place for friends and family to share chair lifts up and fun runs down; to master parallel turns (and later, terrain parks and mogul fields), to show off, to teach others, to be active, to smile. To enjoy winter! Their vision became a reality, and fifty years later it remains the experience we seek to create for all our visitors.
Today boots are plastic and buckled, and skis are shorter and shaped. Rope tows and T-bars have been replaced by modern day chair lifts. Skiers and snowboarders share our slopes – whether they are carving turns or enjoying our terrain parks and competitive racers look to beat their best computer-tracked results!
Snowmaking has evolved from homemade pipe combination guns to guns using hi-tech and sophisticated technology. These guns are extremely efficient and powerful. We now have 14 snow covered trails that are well groomed and designed for all abilities and our youngest skiers and riders are learning skills faster than ever before, with new equipment and programs designed just for them.
Mount Southington Ski Area has always enjoyed hosting and supporting our community by offering our services to wonderful organizations such as - CT Children’s Medical Center, Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, CT Special Olympics, and Leaps of Faith, along with many others. Our staff – many of whom have been with us for years – are passionate about making every day a great day for the skiers and snowboarders on our slopes.
1964 to 2014 … 50 years of growth and change! If you’ve shared our journey, thank you for being a part of it. If now is the time to begin, we invite you and your family to visit our slopes, take a lesson or two, and join in on this year’s anniversary celebrations throughout the season.