Bousquet umbrella brand

Mill Town Capital acquired the former Berkshire West Athletic Club and the former Lakeside Christian Camp, and is bringing the properties under the Bousquet brand.

PITTSFIELD — A City Council subcommittee has signed off on a request from Mayor Linda Tyer to spend $960,000 to install public water and sewer along Dan Fox Drive.

The council’s Community and Economic Development Committee unanimously approved Tyer’s order seeking the allocation from the General Electric Economic Development Fund, sending the matter back to the full council for consideration.

The money would be used to expand the city’s sewer and water service on Dan Fox Drive to the Bousquet Ski Area, allowing Mill Town Capital to proceed with development plans, including construction of a new lodge and setting the stage for future development in the area, said Community Development Director Deanna Ruffer.

“Our ambition is to build a $5 million-plus new facility at the base area of Bousquet after this ski season,” Mill Town Chief Executive and Managing Director Tim Burke told councilors Tuesday, adding that it could be completed as early as the coming ski season in December.

The current base lodge is not up to code and would cost more to renovate than demolish and start anew, Burke said. The new lodge is planned as a multipurpose space for rentals, events, and food and beverage, and will require fire-suppression sprinklers that the site’s current well-water supply cannot accommodate. Mill Town said the ski area uses an outdated private septic system.

“We don’t aspire to build that lodge with a septic system, and we don’t aspire to sprinkler it with pond water, so, this is a really critical piece of the puzzle here,” Burke said.

Councilors expressed support for the project, though Councilor Nick Caccamo questioned why it was proposed to draw from the economic development fund for the project.

“I guess I have some reservations; this is a significant investment out of this fund,” he said. “The fund is sort of waning to its end, and this is a large investment.”

Ruffer said the General Electric fund was selected because of time constraints and the project’s job-growth potential, as well as because of the city’s desire not to take on more debt.

“We want to time this to be occurring in parallel with the development of this new lodge,” she said.

The project also would ensure thatthere is public water and sewer along the Dan Fox Drive corridor that is up to city standards, which Councilor Earl Persip III said is the only way to set the stage for development of other parcels in the area.

Business Development Manager Michael Coakley said he spoke with a businessperson who is “seriously considering” building on Dan Fox Drive because of Mill Town’s work in the area and the potential for infrastructure upgrades.

All told, Mill Town Capital plans to invest over $11.3 million in Bousquet Mountain, Burke said. Late last year, the investment firm purchased the former Berkshire West Athletic Club and the former Lakeside Christian Camp, rebranding them as Bousquet Sport and The Camp By Bousquet, respectively.

Amanda Burke can be reached at, on Twitter

@amandaburkec and 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.