MARS HILL, Maine — The Maine Winter Sports Center, with the support of the Libra Foundation, has announced its intention to make a gift of Bigrock Mountain ski area in Mars Hill and all the mountain’s assets to the non-profit Bigrock recreational entity that was created to operate it. The gift, when combined with demonstrated strong fundraising potential, will allow the mountain to continue serving as a critical and robust community asset.
“We acquired the mountain well over a decade ago to refurbish it, to make the necessary large investments, and to give these Aroostook communities a chance to keep this remarkable institution alive,” said Andy Shepard, president and CEO of the Maine Winter Sports Center, in a press release. “It has been exciting to see the progress that has been made on grassroots support and the quality of leadership that has stepped up to take on this challenge.”
“This is the second such gift in the past few months in our concerted effort to keep historic Maine community alpine mountains firmly grounded in the communities they serve,” added Shepard, referring to the restoration and gift of Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford to its community-based nonprofit operator earlier this year.
“There have been a lot of people working extremely hard to make this transfer happen,” said Bill Getman, General Manager of Bigrock in a press release. “This generous gift from the Maine Winter Sports Center and Libra Foundation, and the amazing support from the Bigrock Community and local businesses that donated to The Friends of Bigrock Fundraising campaign has been overwhelming, and made this transfer possible. This is truly an exciting day and a new beginning for the Mountain. Bigrock Nation would like to thank all of those that donated their time and money to make this happen.”
At 980 feet of vertical, Bigrock is the tallest ski area in northern Maine and the Maritimes. More than $6 million in improvements have been made in recent years at Bigrock, including a dramatically expanded snowmaking system, a new beginner/intermediate area with a triple chair, a glade park, a magic carpet lift in the ski school park and a tubing park.
“Bigrock has been a fixture in the winter economy and culture of the region for over 50 years,” said Shepard. “The improvements from the past decade-plus are now firmly in place and there should be great opportunities for the families and supporters of Aroostook County and New Brunswick to keep Bigrock Mountain going strong.”
The Maine Winter Sports Center is a 501 c 3 corporation with a mission to create a sustainable model for rural communities in Maine.