Ski area lights get closer look in Francestown
Nighttime skiing, specifically Midnight Madness, has been part of the Crotched Mountain ski resort since it reopened in 2003. (COURTESY)
The ski resort is on track to open the first week of December for this winter season, but the debate over the illumination of the night sky continues. The board said it would reconvene Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. to review the findings from the independent consultant.
“If we don’t have the lighting, we don’t have Midnight Madness and if we don’t have Midnight Madness, that’s a problem cause it’s a very important part of our mountain,” Dupont-Roche said. “I just think they shouldn’t be able to take away such a great activity from everyone.”
Terry said Crotched Mountain follows national standards for ski areas for its lighting. Light reflects off the snow, so even shielding the lights would have little effect on the illumination of the night sky, and would make the slopes dangerous to skiers and snowboarders, Terry said.
“Midnight Madness is the identity of Crotched Mountain,” he said.
“We went to the Planning Board with alternatives to try, but the members of the Planning Board recommended we go to the zoning board,” Terry said.
Beatty criticized the light fixtures saying: “These are not well-designed lights.” But he admitted he was basing his assessment on a brief look at the plans brought in by Crotched Mountain’s lighting expert Vic Reno.
After the meeting, Laber who lives on Bennington Road/Route 47, said he moved to Francestown in 1978 to enjoy the dark skies.
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