Haystack Club Mothballed

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SAM Magazine-Wilmington, Vt., Jan. 15, 2006-The Haystack Mountain Club, an exclusive private ski area, golf and equestrian resort being built on the bones of the old Haystack ski area, has suspended operations and laid off all but a few employees, according to a report in the local Deerfield Valley News. Contractors working at the site have received letters instructing them to cease and desist their work.

While Haystack had sold a number of memberships, overall interest was below expectations, company president Dave Dillon told the News. As a result, "We're suspending all construction and suspending membership sales while we reassess the impact this winter has had on winter-related businesses," he added.

The project hasn't been scrapped altogether, Dillon claimed. The company is moving forward with its permit applications in case the market improves. "We've scaled back, but we have a core staff that continues," he said. "But we'll be moving forward at a different pace." A much slower pace. The company is returning the memberships collected to date, suggesting that the project won't resume anytime soon.

Dillon blamed slow membership sales on the lack of snowfall in the Northeast, but the nationwide decline in real estate sales may have also played a role.