The Franconia Ski Club (“FSC”), in partnership with Holderness School, announced that it broke ground today on the Mittersill Performance Center, a lodge at the base of the Mittersill slopes of Cannon Mountain. The lodge will be open to all resort visitors as well as provide space required for alpine ski racing and training. Plans call for 9,200 square feet of indoor space and construction is expected to be completed before the end of the 2020-2021 ski season. The total cost of the project is $2,900,000 and will be provided by private donors. No taxpayer or other funding from the State of New Hampshire will be required.
“We are thrilled to begin building what we believe will be the nicest facility of its kind in the Northeast,” said FSC Program Director Eric Price. “This is a game-changer for everyone from local school kids to NCAA ski racers at UNH and Plymouth State.”
Construction of the Mittersill Performance Center continues a partnership among FSC, the State of New Hampshire, Holderness School and the U.S. Ski Team. Together, these organizations have raised nearly $7,000,000 over the past six years to add snowmaking, install a new t-bar lift, regrade two race trails and now build a lodge at the base of the Taft Training Slope. While ski racers and the general skiing public have enjoyed the improvements at the Mittersill venue, it has lacked basic amenities like rest rooms, lunch tables and sufficient warming space. The Mittersill Performance Center will provide these needed facilities and enable the resort to hold larger and more prestigious ski races such as Nor-Am Cup races and U.S. championship events. Mittersill has been an official training site of the U.S. Ski Team since 2015.
“When we have hosted events in the past like UNH carnivals and the 2017 NCAA Championships, teams told us that they absolutely loved the ski venue, but not the construction trailers we used as warming huts,” said David Lavallee, President of FSC’s Board of Directors. “We can now offer a world-class ski venue with indoor facilities to match.”
The design of the Mittersill Performance Center will reflect the traditional Austrian chalet architecture of the surrounding village. It will also incorporate modern amenities and large expanses of glass offering some of the best views of a ski racing trail in the Eastern United States. The facility will include ski tuning rooms, coaches’ offices, video review rooms and gear storage areas. The project is expected to boost employment and economic activity in the New Hampshire North Country. Bonnette, Page & Stone Corp. will serve as construction managers for the building that was designed by Port One Architects, Inc. Site work will be performed by Presby Construction, Inc. The FSC Building Committee is led by John Agostinelli.
"Transformative is sometimes an overused word, but the vision, and soon reality, for Mittersill to provide an accessible world-class training facility for Northern New Hampshire is truly exciting,” said Holderness Head of School Phil Peck. “We are honored to have played a leading role in making this remarkable facility and program a reality, not just for Holderness and FSC but for countless future generations of young New Hampshire skiers who will be able to achieve their potential thanks to Mittersill.”
"This is a monumental step forward for both Holderness and FSC's athletes and staff,” added Holderness Director of Snow Sports Ben Drummond. “We will now have a world class facility that matches the on-hill training site at Mittersill. We are paving a way for all our athletes to reach their goals, whatever they may be."
In addition to FSC, the Mittersill ski racing venue serves as home base for Plymouth State University, Holderness School and several local public high schools. UNH and many other area colleges and universities also train and race at Mittersill extensively.
"Franconia Ski Club is one of our original and most trusted partners. We've accomplished great things together for the mountain, our skiers and for ski racing at Cannon Mountain and in the Northeast, especially with the investment and development in the past five years. This base area facility is yet another crowning achievement in what is an outstanding model for great public-private partnerships," said John DeVivo, Cannon Mountain's general manager.
Fundraising for the project is approximately 95% complete and FSC is actively soliciting contributions to close the remaining gap.