Filed Under (History Updates) by admin on 11-09-2012

This is the brochure for the Red Chair from Arthur Thorner’s desk.  By the time the order was filled Heron had merged with Poma.   The Red Chair is a 1971 Heron-Poma fixed grip double chair.

Bob Heron was a pioneering lift engineer building lifts such Cannon’s Original Tramway and the nation’s first single cable double chair at Berthoud Pass, CO.  He was known as a conservative engineer with an excellent safety record.  Bob retired in 1977 but worked as a consultant on Cannon’s current Tram in 1980.

It only makes sense that America’s greatest lift designer built the Red Chair. I will ride easier next time knowing Magic has Tomorrow’s Features Today!

43 is Enough

Filed Under (History Updates) by admin on 27-06-2012

In 1987 a little bit of Strange Magic occurred.  New owner Simon Oren waved his wand and Magic Mountain became “The Magic Mountains”.  Oren built two trails to connect Timber Ridge ski area on the back of Glebe Mountain.  With the new Timberside, Magic was now poised to compete with its larger neighbors.

During this unique period at Magic, the trail count suddenly jumped to 72 trails. The blue double transformed into a black triple chair and the mid-station disappeared.  Skiers would strut their stuff on Red Top, Redline and Red 944.  While nothing screams 1987 like a Red 944, I’m glad we just call the whole thing Redline now.

With the new connector trails, Grant Goodeve could ski from his house on Timberside to Magicside for just $15 mid-week! A day might include a warm up run on Firestar before heading over to hit Duck Jibe and a ride up the Timberside Link Chair.

Rest assured Magic has resolved its identity crisis with no intention of “tricking” people into thinking it is a big resort.  Magic may be the only ski mountain to have intentionally reduced its trail count in the last ten years.    So take off your T-Tops, take a drive and see how Magic has returned to its roots.

Dostal’s Remembered

Filed Under (History Updates) by admin on 08-06-2012

Once upon a time Dostal’s was the centerpiece of Magic’s Village.  For years Trudy Dostal ran the place impeccably.  This once proud inn had everything you could want in a classic “resort lodge.” A pool, tennis and impeccable rooms, Dostal’s provided true European hospitality.

Trudy had such a good reputation for running a fine establishment that Dostal’s thrived even when magic was closed from 1991-97.   The bar at Dostal’s was a regular evening hangout for Hans Thorner’s ski instructors and was integral to Hans’ original Swiss Village concept.

Unless you are an old timer you might not know that Trudy’s Run to the right of the Red Chair was named for Mrs. Dostal herself.  Today Dostal’s serves as employee housing for a nearby mountain.  The bright red shutters, beautiful flowers and Trudy’s hospitality are certainly missed.

Spare Parts

Filed Under (History Updates, Mountain Updates) by admin on 25-05-2011

As you may have heard we are painting the Red Chair to celebrate Magic’s 50th Anniversary.  It also happens to be the Red Chair’s 40th birthday this summer.  Stay tuned all off season and learn more about the chair we all love.

To the right is a letter from Heron/Poma, manufacturer of the lift, to Arthur Thorner. The letter is a quote for spare parts for the brand new lift.  Believe it or not replacement parts are still available today for the Red Chair through a company in Spokane, WA.  This is not the case with the Black Chair, where most parts have to be machined.

142 chairs have been pledged to date.  Thank you to those who have sent in their checks!  Help paint the Red Chairs because replacements don’t cost $145 anymore!

Dig My Patch

Filed Under (History Updates, Mountain Updates) by admin on 05-05-2011

Wow! Look what I just found in my “ski drawer.” This could go on a pompom hat or a special sweater for the lodge. Ski area patches are a rare find at a ski area gift shop these days. I guess I don’t blame people for not wanting to take a needle to their Gore-Tex but it sure was a great way to represent your favorite ski hill.
Patches have a lot of uses in skiing. The most recognizable would be the big white cross. The men and women who give up their own free time to keep the hill safe. I know a bunch of them personally and they are top rate people and professionals. I find it funny I spend so much time running from them.
Other patches such as the now famous Jackson Hole Air Force logo was only given to a select group of swift, silent and deep skiers. A badge of honor that only a special few would recognize.
This is how I view my Magic patch. Now I have to find something to put it on so I can find more people who recognize just how great Magic is. I for one hope we have a swift, silent and deep season next year.

The Burton Halfpipe

Filed Under (History Updates) by admin on 24-03-2011

That nearby big neighbor might get all the credit, but little know that Londonderry was home to the original Burton factory.  Dick over at Snow Wizards recently put up a great history piece on facebook. SNOW WIZARDS

The Burton team halfpipe ran up showoff under what was the Sun Corner triple.  Competitions were held on the pipe and you could spot famous boarders like Craig Kelly.  When Magic first allowed snowboarding you had to be certified to go to the West Side of the mountain.  One of the certification specialists was Save Magic’s own Huck Eldoberry.  You had to take a run with Huck and he would decide if you were ready for the likes of Talisman and Magician.

A Rousing Swiss Polka

Filed Under (History Updates, Mountain Updates) by admin on 24-11-2010

We were sent this great article from the folks over at New England Ski Check out more on Magic’s past on their site. The following article is from the Hartford Courant< January 4, 1968. Click on the page to enlarge.  In other news Snow Wizards is running a pre-purchase special on ski/board tunes. Save 26% by buying a 3 pack of tunes good anytime all season if you purchase before Dec. 1, 2010.  So stop by the Wizard and keep your gear fresh all season long.

Two Generations of Passes

Filed Under (History Updates) by admin on 16-11-2010

My roots at Magic run pretty deep and I am sure that many of the folks who ski here have similar tales.  I was one of those nerds who saved my lift tickets.  I am glad I did because now I can explain why families are such a necessary part of Magic’s sustainability.

My story as a Magic skier pre-dates my birth by 10-15 Years.  The first ticket here was clipped from my mom’s wool ski parka.  This would place this ticket in the 1963-66 era.   During these winters, my parents rented a farmhouse over near Lowell Lake.  The family who owned the farm rented the house in the winters and moved into the barn to keep the farm afloat.

The Bicentennial arrived and so did I.  My parents still frequented Magic, but now their ski house was down route 11 in Manchester.  The next ticket once adorned my 5th grade parka, which if I remember correctly, matched the colors of this ticket.  Wearing that jacket I skied “Witch,” my first Double Diamond. I remember peering down Magician in awe, wondering if it would ever open and wondering why it wasn’t included in the 87% snowmaking coverage.

Little did I know that my favorite mountain would close three lean snow years later, before I had the opportunity to ski Upper Magician.  As ski areas evolved with high-speed quads and condos, Magic sat dormant. I dreamt of one day buying the mountain I loved and opening it back up.  In 1997-98, my junior year of college, Magic re-opened and my dream came partially true.

I have since skied Upper Magician several times and will never forget the first time I did in March 1998.  Still untrimmed and riddled with seven-foot saplings, it was one of my fondest ski memories.  A right of passage, something I never thought I would accomplish when the mountain first closed.

This takes me to the third ticket, my pass from last season. (No that is not my real hair or name).  I am proud of the Shareholder designation on the lower left corner as I am fulfilling the other part of my dream, owning Magic.  Many families now enjoy the hill raising future Magic Faithful.  I encourage others to join the Magic Partnership, as no child should ever be denied their first run down Upper Magician.

When Blackline Was Liftline

Filed Under (History Updates, Mountain Snapshots) by admin on 30-10-2010

Harley was kind enough to provide us with this shot from the top of the Blue Chair (Now Black) in 1983.  At first glance it looks much as it does today, then you start to notice some of the differences.

The lift towers look the same but there are blue double chairs hanging from the line.  In 1986 the original lift was upgraded with black triple chairs.   That year also saw the mid-station vanish.

Another cool feature are the low trees on skiers right of Blackline.  Low trees mixed in with the scattered rock bands sure must have made for fun terrain.

Notice that the back lot was plowed down to the dirt, no longer a necessity in the age of 4WD and traction control.

Come help fill that lot this year and check out the view in person.  If you haven’t seen it since 1983, come see how little has changed.

Magic Mountain – Intimate, Yet Swinging

Filed Under (History Updates) by admin on 20-10-2010

It is good to see that nothing has changed much since 1969.