DesLauriers Family, Local Investors, Buy Bolton Valley
Bolton Valley lifts run until 10:00 Tuesday-Saturday. (Bolton Valley)
Vermont’s Bolton Valley returns to its roots as a group of local investors led by founder Ralph DesLauriers and his son, Evan DesLauriers, closed Friday on the purchase of the resort.
DesLauriers and his father Roland owned and operated the resort from it’s founding in 1966 through 1997. Since then, the resort has changed hands several times and until Friday, was owned by two real estate developers from Burlington, Larry Williams and Doug Nedde.
“People are pretty excited about having Ralph and his family back involved with the mountain and I think staff are on the same page,” Bolton Valley’s Josh Arneson told SnoCountry.com.
The group has ambitious plans to update and renovate the property, restore summer amenities, and enhance customer service.
“Growing up, we could ski the whole mountain as kids and our parents never worried,” said Evan DesLauriers. “We don’t want to change any of that. But we know that it needs to be updated and that’s what we plan to do. Starting this summer we will embark on a gradual, multi-year plan to improve the facilities, offer more amenities to our guests, and bring summer back to the mountain. And we’re committed to doing it in a way that keeps Bolton accessible and affordable for Vermonters.”
The idea that every Vermont child should have an opportunity to learn to ski will remain a core part of the new owners’ social mission and will be the basis for expanding kids’ offerings into summer programs as well.
Each year Bolton works with local schools and rec programs about to bring about 2000 kids to their after school program. “Ralph really tried to make it affordable for kids to come up after school on the bus and learn to ski in the 60s and 70s. We are continually looking to expand that,” Arneson told us. “Bolton has a unique offering because we do it after school, so kids can finish the school day, get on the bus, and come up and enjoy some skiing.”
The purchase includes approximately 700 acres of land, six lifts, a 64-room hotel, 10 lodge condominium units, four restaurant facilities, a small general store and deli, and a 20,000 square foot indoor Sports Center. The company has contractual access and use rights for cross-country and backcountry skiing and hiking on 1,144 acres of adjacent land in Mount Mansfield State Park.