Lights, not ski area, is the target
To the editor:
Several recent letters have implied that there is an effort afoot to do away with nighttime skiing at Crotched Mountain. Nothing could be further from the truth. The complaint is not with the prospect of reasonable nighttime skiing but rather with the poorly installed lights at Crotched that radiate out from the ski area in all directions. There is a way to light a ski area without ruining the nighttime sky for everyone else. The Francestown Planning Board knew this and required Crotched Mountain to properly shield the lights to conform with both Francestown and state regulations.
Crotched Mountain is owned by Peak Resorts of St. Louis, one of the largest ski operators in the nation. So 1,100 miles separate the corporate offices in St. Louis from the hills of southern New Hampshire. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that the company ignored the shielding requirement and did a really poor job of installing the lights. Not only are the lights an obtrusive eyesore across the region, but two nights each week they are on until 3 a.m.
All of us want Crotched Mountain ski area to succeed, but we also want them to do it right. Perhaps dark winter skies mean nothing in St. Louis, but up here they are huge. And, yes, there is a way to have both. It’s time for Crotched Mountain to quit bullying the town of Francestown and, instead, work with the town and do it right.