Date night with a view at Bousquet Mountain

Bousquet Ski Area hosts new chairlift rides to summit

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PITTSFIELD — Chairlift rides aren't just for ski season.

At Jiminy Peak, Berkshire East and other establishments, mountain bikers often hop aboard the two-seaters during the warmer months, two-wheeling their way back down. Now, Bousquet Ski Area is making the chairlift ride itself the main attraction as fall approaches.

Debuting last weekend, the Pittsfield ski area is offering "Wine, Cheese and Trees" nights from 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through at least Sept. 14. During these events, adult guests pay $20 to get a ride up and down Bousquet Mountain, a glass of wine and hors d'oeuvres. Kids' tickets cost $10.

"We've always thought, [since] the chairlift is here in place, we would get people to come and do some leaf-peeping as the colors change and see the beautiful view of [Mount] Greylock," Bousquet Ski Area owner Sherry Roberts said, noting that the series could be extended into the most vibrant foliage weeks if attendance is strong.

Those accustomed to swift ski lift rides can be assured that this trip is a slower experience.

"There's a separate speed for when you run it for scenic chairlifts," Roberts said.

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A concession tent is set up at the top of the mountain. Those 21 and over can enjoy some wine with a prominent "Bousquet" on the label. It's not an in-house creation, instead hailing from Domaine Bousquet Winery in Argentina. Roberts also mentioned that the ski area would be reaching out to local wineries and food sources for future supplies.

Initially, the events were scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m., but the ski area has decided to move that time up an hour to accommodate increasingly early sunsets. Inclement weather can also lead to cancellations, as it did last Saturday. (Bousquet's website and Facebook page will provide weather updates when necessary.) On Friday, the event had a humble beginning.

"It was a slow start, but the people that came were very happy about it," Roberts said.

Roberts enjoyed taking in the chairlift view herself, looking at Greylock, the lakes and the city of Pittsfield. The ski area has been a vital part of the community's winter recreational scene, and its adventure park, waterslides and disc golf course have kept it relevant into the summer. Its latest event series represents a more robust presence on the late-summer portion of the calendar.

"We want to express to the local community that Bousquet's alive and well," Roberts said.

Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.


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