Accepted offer for Glen Mountain Ski Hill spreads hope, enthusiasm across Eastern Townships

A self portrait of Peter White. He is wearing a dark long sleeve shirt with large square glasses.
Former owner of the Glen Peter White recently announced that he put in an offer to repurchase the mountain for $6.1 million after it was put on the market by current owner Maryo Lamothe. Photo courtesy of Peter White.
Taylor McClure - CIDI - KnowltonQC | 30-08-2022
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For years, the Glen Mountain Ski Hill was an economic force for West Bolton and the Town of Brome Lake, where many people passed through, with bumper to bumper traffic coming from all directions.

It holds a special spot in the memories of Townshippers and those that visited the area to specifically discover the special gem.

Development of skiing at the Glen began with Hank Rotherham and his wife Debbie Rotherham in 1960 with the help of famous skier Jackrabbit Johannsen. It was eventually purchased by Rotherham’s nephew Peter White in 1978, who partnered up with Pat Côté, until he decided to sell the mountain in 2004.

The hill has been closed to the public for the last 18 years, which changed the economic landscape of Knowlton and its surrounding villages. White recently announced that he put in an offer to repurchase the Glen for $6.1 million after being put on the market by current owner Maryo Lamothe. With the help of his former partner Côté, White hopes to recreate the family dynamic, sense of community, and vibrancy that the Glen once spread across the region.

“Out of the blue, you know the way the rumor mill works in our town, I heard that it might be for sale. I asked Reg Gauthier (local real estate broker) if there is any chance it was and Reg said ‘no, there is no chance at all,’ recounted White. “He called me back four days later and said it was for sale. I put in the offer, the offer was accepted, and it closes on the 30th of October.”

White emphasized that once the deal is officially closed, Glen Mountain will be “community based” and family oriented as it was in the past.

“We want to make sure that it’s open to everybody for all sorts of possible recreational activities that one can do on the mountain, so that’s winter, summer, spring and fall,” said White.

These activities include alpine touring and biking activities.

While there won’t be any snow-making machines (it has always depended on natural snow) or chairlifts installed at the mountain this year, White will be seeking the help of Côté to do "snow farming" on the trails to make them usable for some activities this winter.

“With really intelligent snow farming, which Pat Côté is good at, we can pretty well guarantee good snow cover a lot of the time. Pat will have a bunch of snow fences on sleds, maybe 50 feet in length, and he will move them around the mountain and place them in strategic places in advance of any big storm that is coming so that the snow will accumulate around these snow fences” explained White. “(…) If the elements cooperate, we should have wonderful skiing this winter.”

Wanting to meet the needs of the community and provide what it is looking for, White noted that “this is how the Glen always operated.” He ensured locals that there are no plans for development on the mountain.

“It’s the type of place where you can take your children and drop them off in the morning and leave them there all day in perfect safety. Everybody knows everybody, everybody is friendly, and there are all sorts of things to do,” he said. “(…) People have all of these wonderful memories.”

With his intention to keep the Glen as a community-based mountain, White explained that there will only be a small number of investors involved in revitalizing it.

“What I have suggested to a number of people, and I think it’s already happening, is that we have sort of an association, “The Friends of Glen Mountain,” that can be anyone that wants to join and it will probably be free,” he noted. “The Friends of Glen Mountain can have projects of their own. For example, one of the ideas that have been is suggested that we need a warming hub at the summit.”

Now, 18 years later, White said that he put in an offer for Glen Mountain after witnessing how its closure impacted the local economy in the winter time.

“All of the local merchants were suffered very, very, badly and a number of businesses had to close in Knowlton. (…) We’re still suffering from. We’re hoping that with the Glen reopening, that it will give a new impetus to our local economy,” mentioned White.


Listen to the full interview below: