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Paul

Owl's Head - New Ownership and Future Plans

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What about the old Panorama chairlift? Has it run or operated in any important way in the past few years?

To me, the Blue Chair over the Shady Lady trail seems to still hold a purpose, for race training and that small section of the mountain, but the old Red no longer did. The Green, in the condition it was, and rarely operating, also made sense to decommission.

Hopefully more details of the coming season's improvements will come without too much wait.

Thanks for sharing Paul.

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The Panorama chair is not used often. I had ridden it on two separate occasions I would say the last being 3 seasons ago. It was spinning one day when the Black Quad was packed one time I went during March break. Since then not sure but I believe it was in much better condition than the Green. It is primarily used when the Black Quad gets really busy. It's not a full time runner like it was when it was the Main Double to the summit back in the day.

The Blue chair still is useful but it too is getting towards the end of its life. It needs replacement but with what I don't know. It only runs on weekends and busy days during March break as well. It was not new when it was installed to replace the t-bar. I believe it came from Mount MacKay in Thunder Bay. Not 100% sure though.

The two other Heron/Poma chairlifts like the old Green Chair I know of still standing and in operation would be the "B" Chair at Bretton Woods, which I have ridden, and the Red Chair at Magic Mountain, VT.

I am interested in seeing what they will do in the chalet. 

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Guest John and June

We have been skiing here for years for a week in January and hopefully we can come again in 2019.Will there be any ski in ski out slopeside apartments still available for the season.  We always stay at the aparthotel?

j&j

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Hi John and June. Thank you for your post. I/we haven’t heard many solid details yet on the lodging at the mountain. The only thing that was mentioned at the moment is the renovation of the rooms at the Auberge and the Main Chalet. Nothing solid yet for what’s going to happen to The Apartment Hotel. There are plans for additional lodging in the next few years to come that have been announced. I am not sure about any private rentals slopeside anymore as I haven’t worked at Owl’s Head for almost 20 years now. I knew there were some back then, but owners have most likely changed since then. There are big changes and plans for OH in the next few years.

all the best,

Paul

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Just found this update posted on Owl's Head's blog. (http://owlshead.com/en/blogue-golf/official-opening-may-12-2018/)

Also mentioned is that you can follow the renewal of Owl's Head in social media with the hashtag #owlsheadrenew  (Although at the time I'm posting this, I can't find anything on Facebook or Twitter). 

Mountain area not accessible during the summer of 2018.

Destination Owl’s Head team would like to inform their members, customers and visitors that some preventative measures are being announced to ensure everyone’s safety.

Indeed, a significant number of works are carried out on the mountain. The ski chalet and the hotel apartment are currently in preparation for their complete renovations as well as all the ski lifts and the snowmaking system.

As a safety measure, we must restrict  access to the mountain for the 2018 summer season since there will be several heavy vehicles in circulation.

In addition, some development work in the mountains are carried out with the aim of improving the slopes, including the correction of the angle and certain bottlenecks affecting traffic and user safety.

We would like to thank everyone for their cooperation in ensuring safety. The team is very enthusiastic to welcome you for the 2018-2019 season for a new experience.

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I can confirm the restricted access. I was up there about 3 weeks ago now, and even then there was limited access. The entrance to the parking lot has a gate that was opened the day I went up there. There are piles of dirt in the back of the parking lot and all of the equipment and vehicles that were around the garage were moved. A lot of work being done for sure. The Green and old Baby Double are gone. Definitely going back this winter to see the results.

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Destination Owl's Head has revealed plans for the chalet renovations, keeping original architectural elements while bringing everything into modern style and functionality. It seems like it will be completed in time for the coming 2018-19 ski season.

Complete details here on http://tourismexpress.com/nouvelles/la-station-recreotouristique-de-owl-s-head-s-offre-un-nouveau-chalet-un-projet-de-4-m-pour-la-saison-de-ski-2018-2019?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter-2018-06-26&utm_content=la-station-recreotouristique-de-owl-s-head-s-offre-un-nouveau-chalet-un-projet-de-4-m-pour-la-saison-de-ski-2018-2019

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That is going to be pretty exciting to go back next season to see the finished project. It is great to see that they are keeping the original chalet as you can still make it out in the photo alongside the new deck out in front of it. The inside looks pretty amazing as well. The chalet truly needed some major work and now with new ownership, it’s getting done. Snowmaking is said to be getting updated and hopefully by the year after some new lifts will be in place.

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Some more info on the projects at Owl's Head on the OH2019 page. Mostly talking about the chalet renovations and improvements. But they feature this nice graphic showing some changes.

Nothing else mentioned yet on mountain. We will just have to wait and see.

img_plan_en.thumb.jpg.2b5b8f3bf427dd9536b3a48bcb11ba43.jpg

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More details here. It would seem like this is mostly advance news that the Québec government will make a funding announcement tomorrow (Friday). Stay tuned.

If it matches up with what happened at Orford, Bromont and Sutton, should be quite welcome news.

https://www.latribune.ca/affaires/owls-head-recevra-20-m-ou-plus-3ec29599469d7413f997393ce0654b32

Hopefully more details on what is being worked on and improved this summer come out soon, for now we know the main chalet is the primary focus but work on the mountain is also taking place, and to such a scale that access to the mountain is forbidden for safety reasons this summer and blocked off.

UPDATE : Yes the announcement will be tomorrow (Friday) at 10am at the golf chalet, I found the media advisory on CNW.

https://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/avis-aux-medias---annonce-dune-aide-financiere-importante-pour-le-developpement-et-la-modernisation-de-la-station-touristique-owls-head-689890521.html

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I caught a little nugget this morning on Facebook while getting ready for work and from what I read, Gilles Bélanger as stepped away from being director of Destination Owl's Head. He has passed the reigns over to another fellow who I forget what his name is, and the team that Mr. Bélanger had put together to see the plan for Owl's Head to progress. Since I am at work, I have no access to this link or news item at the moment. So if anyone does snoop around for details the article please post it or I will get around to it after work.

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Owl's Head Live Streamed on Facebook the event.  You can watch it here.  I have to watch it too myself to see what was discussed.

https://www.facebook.com/owlsheadresort/videos/10156105649862639

$26 million in total from the Government ($23 million in investment and $3 million in loan).

The entire project at Destination Owl's Head is valued at $162 million over the next 7 years.

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Interesting change to occur. As long as the original vision doesn't get affected, that's what matters most. It would seem now like both Owl's Head and Bromont have their sights set on becoming the next 'Tremblant' for the Townships, in terms of the massive increase in visitors, slope side lodging and expansion possibilities.

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To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about that, being the next Tremblant of the Eastern Townships. We already have one in Bromont! We don’t necessarily need another one. It is wonderful that OH is finally getting the dollars to upgrade infrastructure that desperately needs work but to expand it like this, I am not sure. You already have Jay Peak 20-30 minutes away and Bromont another say 45 minutes, it will create a lot of competition for the almighty tourist dollar. It will be interesting to see how they are planning to draw the existing clientele from Bromont and Jay Peak, and to create a new base. It is a great project don’t get me wrong here, and will help bolster the local economy that would benefit from it but to turn it into another Tremblant, that turns me off unfortunately. 

You have Tremblant as a destination resort serving the Laurentians, Bromont for the Townships, Ste. Anne’s for the Quebec City region, Le Massif with their new Club Med project for the Charlevoix area, and Jay Peak for northern Vermont/Southern Townships. I certainly hope this project is successful, knowing that it was a vision at one time the Kormans had to some extent during their time, and now becoming reality under new administration that has the resources to go about getting it done. 

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I agree. I do like seeing Bromont build towards that and I’m sure that will be successful due to their already strong popularity and visits. So to build out more and expand makes sense at this time. 

Owls Head. I don’t think or want to see another Tremblant there. It has a big mountain feel but small mountain ambiance and feel to it. That’s what makes it unique. Update the infrastructure. More trails and newer better lifts I’m definitely all for that. Ideally a hybrid lift to the summit would be a big move and maybe a summit chalet on the smaller side would be appreciated. I see those as helping open the mountain up to non skiers in the winter months to enjoy and discover the views that never let down. 

More lodging is also nice but within reason. 

Anyways we will see what is to come hopefully soon. Again other than the chalet reno’s, not much else is known for the coming winter, especially on mountain work. 

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Really wish Owl's Head and Bromont had active webcams so we could see the progress unfold over time. This blindfold over my eyes is killing me. Eager to find out if they in fact did move or realign any lifts or the summit lift at Owl's Head, as well as the other changes that are taking place beyond the chalet.

Luckily Tremblant summit webcam is still running strong. Good views of the new Lowell Thomas lift top terminal.

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That is one thing that is lacking with OH is a webcam. Maybe there will be one someday. As for lift work, what I know so far is that the Baby Double is gone as is the Green Chair. No news of the realignment of the Main Quad as of yet. The tree island that was between the Peak and Centennial is gone making one wide trail. That would tell me that this was done to accommodate the realignment of the Main Quad. What will replace the Green? No news but one would assume another Quad but fixed grip? With the current line of the Main Quad and another Quad to the top would create so much traffic it would be a nightmare! The mountain is off limits to hiking etc. until at least the end of October. 

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I agree, two quads would have too many people at the top at once which would quickly become very crowded.

The top of Bromont with three quads, and being much more spacious than Owl's Head's summit can feel quite crowded, this would be even worse.

I was just thinking, that perhaps with the dynamite they are using (one of the reasons they stated for the mountain being off limits this summer), could it be that they are flattening the top to make more room and one day have a summit chalet?

I really don't know how much vertical the little summit mountain at the top has so this may not really be possible... just a thought. Doing this and knowing from a past release that they plan to add a lift and trails to the west side of the mountain, it could potentially be an option to pull things off and add more.

What do you think?

I'm sure we will find out more details very shortly, the ski season starts in less than 3 months.

The "Shady Lady" of Owl's Head is killing me with the waiting.

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