Mass. Ski Area Closes After Losing Insurance Coverage

January 24, 2007

The Blue Hills Ski Area in suburban Boston has shut down indefinitely while the private operator of the state-owned facility scrambles to find new liability insurance coverage.

The ski area hopes to have coverage in a matter of days, but there are no guarantees, said a spokesman for Ragged Mountain Resort, the company that operates Blue Hills.

“We are not giving up, we have not lost hope, we just need coverage,” Mark Pins told the Boston Herald. “Right now we are expecting a call anytime from our insurer to say ‘OK, we will write this.”‘

A lawsuit by an injured skier required the ski area’s former insurer to put aside $200,000 to meet a possible claim, Pins said. When a new insurer took over the ski area’s policy, it opted not to renew the liability insurance.

The state will not allow the ski area to operate without coverage, said Peter Church of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Meanwhile, the closure of the facility in Canton a few miles south of Boston has left high school ski teams that use the Blue Hills slopes for practices and races in the lurch.

Marianne Genova, ski coach at Waltham High School, said she spent part of Monday making arrangements for her team at another nearby ski area.

“This is a huge, tremendous disappointment,” Genova said. “For now, our team and our league need to look elsewhere.”

Even though there is no skiing at Blue Hills, snow guns were running Monday.

Warm winter weather has prevented the area from opening this season, except for a beginner’s slope. Weather was also cited for early closing last year.

Canton officials threatened to cut off the ski area’s water supply a few years ago because of unpaid water bills.

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Information from: Boston Herald, http://www.bostonherald.com

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