PITTSFIELD — Mill Town Capital, the new owner of Bousquet Mountain ski area, is expanding its recreational holdings with the purchase of two nearby properties, which also will be placed under the Bousquet umbrella.
The company Friday announced the acquisition of the former Lakeside Christian Camp at Richmond Pond in Pittsfield, according to a news release. It also has an agreement to purchase the Berkshire West Athletic Club on Dan Fox Drive, just across from Bousquet Mountain. That transaction is scheduled to close by the end of the year.
The three properties are in proximity to one another and offer a diversity of year-round features and amenities that include outdoor recreation, indoor athletics training, watersports and lodging, the release stated.
The ski area is expected to reopen for business this month, after extensive upgrades and renovations — including the installation of a new chairlift.
“We’re excited to add these two significant properties to our portfolio of key regional assets,” Mill Town CEO Tim Burke said in the release. “Outdoor recreation is a critical differentiator for Pittsfield and the Berkshires, and we plan to cohesively connect The Camp and Berkshire West with Bousquet Mountain to create a high quality and diverse recreational experience. This will increase and improve options for local customers and will help draw new outdoor enthusiasts to the area.”
Mill Town purchased the historic Bousquet Mountain ski area in May. The purchase included 155 acres across four parcels, including the summit of Yokun Ridge and 22 trails. Adding these two new properties to the Bousquet umbrella creates nearly 300 acres of recreational offerings for the community.
The former Lakeside Christian Camp is a 135-acre parcel with 27 structures and 5 acres of frontage on Richmond Pond, according to the release. The camp, about 4 miles from the ski area, closed in early 2020.
Planning for the use of the site is ongoing, but the property is conducive to hiking, biking, kayaking and canoeing, along with providing infrastructure for lodging, events, and a variety of programming, Mill Town said. Located a four-minute trek from Bousquet Mountain, the property now will be known as The Camp by Bousquet.
“Over the past three years, we have been focused on understanding the landscape of outdoor recreation across the Berkshires — evaluating strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to improve that will help elevate our region as a leader in the outdoor community at a national level,” Carrie Holland, a Mill Town managing director, said in prepared remarks. “The Camp’s cabins and lodges, expansive waterfront, and strategic location add exciting possibilities for outdoor-themed lodging, accessible water recreation, and broader trail connections.”
The move by Mill Town follows the release this year of the Berkshrie County Outdoor Recreation Plan, a partnership between Mill Town and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. The plan outlines the existing outdoor recreation landscape of the Berkshires, as well as recommendations for growth in key areas.
“Mill Town’s investment in the camp property speaks directly to the findings of our outdoor recreation research,” Laura Brennan, a senior planner with the commission, said in the release. “Rustic lodging experiences are sought after among visitors to our region as interest in multi-day outdoor excursions grows. Expanding water access as part of a full range of activities associated with Bousquet will encourage repeat visits in all seasons.”
The Berkshire West Athletic Club is a multipurpose, 40,000 square foot facility located on 13 acres across the street from Bousquet Mountain in Pittsfield. It includes five indoor tennis courts and a covered pool, fitness equipment and a golf simulator.
The business will be rebranded as Bousquet Sport and will continue to offer racquet and fitness options via membership programs, according to the release. Mill Town hopes to offer additional programming and amenities in connection with Bousquet Mountain, including food and beverage, classes, extended trail connections and retail space.
“Thinking of the three properties as a linked hub highlights the Bousquet area as a year-round destination serving a wide array of interests,” Holland said in the release. “Guests will have options to sleep, dine, and get outside in one connected area.”