Now The State Senate Must Approve.

Cannon Mountain is a state-owned area, famous for its aerial tram and free skiing for 65+ seniors. Credit: Cannon Mountain
Cannon Mountain is a state-owned area, famous for its aerial tram and free skiing for 65+ seniors.
Credit: Cannon Mountain

A bill that would have eliminated free skiing for NH seniors has been amended to reinstate the senior benefit and is being sent back to the Senate for approval. The bill would have charged seniors different rates for weekday and weekend skiing and was an attempt to cover the large deficit at state-owned Cannon Mountain. NH residents over 65 had skied for free at the resort for years. According to New England Ski Industry, projections show Cannon nearly $2-million in the red for 2016. Charging seniors was viewed as a way to partially fill the gap.

The challenge to free senior skiing isn’t over. The State Senate has to approve the amended bill.

The change came when senior skiers meet in a forum with state representatives and ski area management. A coalition of Republican and Democratic representatives worked together to strike the provision.

Apparently, senior skiers have a loud voice in New Hampshire.

Representative Leon Rideout raised the elephant-in-the-room question that has hung over Cannon Mountain for years: “Why is the state in the ski business?” So, the spotlight from this controversy is back on the whole concept of state management. Add to that the operational deficit and a tramway evacuation incident last winter that hit the national news, and you have an opportunity for big changes.

We’ll keep you posted on events as they occur.


  1. Do the state reps get free sking ? Or did they lose that a few years ago? So is that the real reason for taking the sking away from the senior?

    • Michael Maginn says:

      Not sure, probably not. The late-breaking news is that the amended bill now will ask senior residents to pay $5 for a lift ticket mid week with that number increasing by $5 annually until the lift ticket costs one-third of a regular priced midweek ticket. Our best guess is that will be about $25 in 2021. As for the real reason, Cannon Mountain is running a deficit. Charging seniors is a way of closing that gap, not entirely of course.

  2. The REAL issue is that Cannon Mt failed their financial audit. Basically it’s been fast-and-loose tracking of financials. The state needs to get this valuable resource under control. There are also issues with other places that DRED (Department of Resources and Economic Development) – terrible name – manages.

    FYI – The latest info is the bill has basically “failed” so the existing RSA stands – still free skiing mid-week for NG seniors.

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