$100K donations help resort expand Nordic area

RUMFORD — Visitors at Black Mountain of Maine ski resort on opening day Sunday are in for a surprise thanks to $100,000 in donated labor, equipment and materials.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Black Mountain of Maine Board of Directors President Roger Arsenault, left, and Garrett McPherson of Puiia Lumber carry Sheetrock into the ski resort's new timing building in Rumford on Thursday. McPherson and Skip MacFawn, right, were among the more than 100 contractors and volunteers from across Maine who donated about $100,000 in labor, materials and equipment to help the resort expand into a world-class facility.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Thanks to a $100,000 expansion project from donated labor, equipment and materials, the nation's best Nordic skiers will be the first racers next month to use this new enlarged stadium at Black Mountain of Maine ski resort in Rumford. Bob Pidacks, a Livermore contractor, and crew blasted and removed 8,000 yards of ledge this fall and brought in 3,000 yards of material to create this mass-start area for 250 skiers at once.

In the past three months, more than 100 contractors and volunteers across Maine — out of compassion for the ski area — helped the resort expand its Nordic area into a world-class facility

“It's pretty overwhelming,” said Roger Arsenault, president of the Black Mountain Board of Directors. “A lot of people with expertise in their field have stepped to the plate.”

Those people include Bob Pidacks, the owner of R.S. Pidacks Inc., a rock-crushing and screening business in Livermore.

Pidacks and his crew and equipment blasted and removed 8,000 yards of ledge to widen the Nordic competition stadium by 75 feet to enable mass starts of 250 skiers, Arsenault said.

Pidacks also brought in 3,000 yards of material to fill the area and created a 1-percent grade to the finish line.

“If we had paid for all of that, that was in the $80,000 range and that's what was insurmountable for us,” Arsenault said.

Over the past two years, Black Mountain applied for three grants to fund its vision of a $250,000 expansion and stadium timed for next month's U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's Cross Country Ski Championships.

The resort didn't get the grants, but officials decided to “go for it” anyway, doing what little they could afford. They had to renovate the old base lodge to create cabins for ski waxing, construct a new timing building, widen trails to national specifications and widen the stadium.

“This past year, we had looked for the minimum we had to do and Bob Pidacks ended up doing more than what we paid him for, and that basically opened up the floodgates for people,” Arsenault said.

Pidacks said Wednesday he wanted to “give back” to the ski area where he grew up and raced and because his father, Bob Pidacks, and Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall were in the 1952 Olympics in Oslo, Norway. His parents also did a lot of volunteer work at Black Mountain.

“We originally went there to move 3,000 yards of ledge and it got a little out of hand, but I knew they had very limited funds,” Pidacks said.

“I probably gave far more than I really planned on, but it was something that had to be done and I felt it was very important for the area and the history of Rumford,” he said.

Nichols Brothers Logging of Rumford harvested timber on the mountain to help the resort pay bills with timber proceeds. They had the logs sawed into boards in Andover and donated them for the two-story timing building, resort spokesman Craig Zurhorst said.

High-end cabinetmaker Ben Susla of Freeport donated his skills to build cabinetry in 21 new rentable waxing cabins designed by Skip MacFawn and built in the old ski lodge, Arsenault said.

“Electricians, drywallers, framers, insulators, excavators, technicians of all types, roofers, concrete guys ... the amount of in-kind support that we have received has just been gratifying, almost beyond words,” Zurhorst said.


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 's picture


This article shows how irrelevant the naysayers that post on this site are. It is wonderful to see local business support Black Mountain. Hosting an event of this stature is wonderful, and as other articles indicate, an economic boom to the businesses in the area.

I'm tired of the posters on here indicating that the mountain is only used by the "wealthy".
One could also say that the "wealthy" pay most of the taxes in town, thus the others are merely taking the money from others.

Screw the ignorant naysayers. This is good for the community.

 's picture


This blows away the misinformation stated in the comments section of another article stating that the ledge was removed by Town of Rumford employees. What kind of world do we live in where you can't believe an anonymous post by someone with absolutely no accountability for what they write?

I will be so glad to see the SJ comments when people are identified and accountable.

 's picture

Direct quote - 'nuf said

"Pidacks and his crew and equipment blasted and removed 8,000 yards of ledge to widen the Nordic competition stadium by 75 feet to enable mass starts of 250 skiers, Arsenault said."

 's picture

Check your facts

The town crew did not do the blasting. You are wrong, regardless of what may be inferred or omitted in the newspaper.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Thank you to all the volunteers!

A big thanks to all the people and companies who volunteered time, labor and materials for this project. It is an extraordinary achievement for Roger Arsenault and BMOM/Chisholm Ski Club. For those Doom and Gloomers who are determined to put a negative spin on this collaborative effort of non-profit and for-profit groups...shame on you. Your shtick is getting tiresome and predictable. Come on out of your shells and enjoy the affordable offerings in the mtns of western Maine. A breath of fresh air and wholesome winter activity may improve your negative outlook on life!


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