Black Bear Lodge | Jessica Webb for The Wall Street Journal

For Gosia and Mark Moreau and their three children, owning a New Hampshire ski home is great—but two are even better. After buying a six-bedroom chalet at Loon Mountain, in Lincoln, for $680,000 in 2018, they spent $1.21 million on Black Bear Lodge, a 5,700-square-foot home about 40 miles east in the Mount Washington valley town of Glen in January.

“Glen is a log cabin home, which is unique and cool. It’s very private and has beautiful views of Mount Attitash, and there’s also shopping at the outlets,” said Ms. Moreau, 45, a software designer who currently spends her time managing her children and her multiple homes. Whereas, “there are so many activities at Loon. For Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, they do crazy fireworks and have people ski down the mountain and make a loon out of torches.”

Despite its reputation for icy slopes and punishing winters, the Granite State is drawing ski-home buyers with its mix of year-round recreational opportunities, its family-friendly vibe and easy access to restaurants and shopping. According to a study by, home sales in New Hampshire’s White Mountains region grew 24% between January and May of 2019 compared with the same period last year. (News Corp, owner of The Wall Street Journal, also operates under license from the National Association of Realtors.]
The four-bedroom Black Bear Lodge has cathedral ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and views of nearby Mount Attitash.
Jessica Webb for The Wall Street Journal

Ms. Moreau and her husband, 47, who founded an operations management software company, own four New Hampshire homes, including their primary residence in Windham and a lake house in Meredith. Black Bear Lodge is the more remote of the two ski homes, with mountain views, its own movie theater and a playroom with bunk beds and a slide. The Loon mountain chalet is more convenient—just 90 minutes from the Moreaus’ home base—and so close to the mountain that they can watch skiers swoop downhill from their living room. A shuttle bus to the ski lifts stops across the street from their house.

Both ski homes have proved solid investments. “We were renting the Loon house so much we barely got to use it last winter,” Ms. Moreau said.
A large children’s playroom at Black Bear Lodge sleeps five and has an indoor slide.
Jessica Webb for The Wall Street Journal

A pioneer of ski tourism, New Hampshire was among the first states to offer European-style skiing schools, groomed trails and overhead wire-rope ski tows. In the late 1930s and 1940s, weekend “snow trains” ran between Boston and North Conway, N.H., near Cranmore Mountain, then one of largest ski resorts in the country.

Convenience is still a draw. Most N.H. ski areas are near major highways and many are clustered close together. Cross-country and snowshoeing are popular, and there’s growing interest in backcountry skiing at places like Baldface Knob in Chatham and Crescent Ridge Glade in Randolph.

“Our luxury homeowners are coming here for the lifestyle. They can ski at Attitash on Saturday, King Pine on Sunday and Wildcat on Monday, and hit all those locations in less than an hour,” said Diane McGregor, a real-estate broker with Badger Realty in Jackson.
The slope-side Kearsarge Brook condominium complex is part of a multiyear, $50 million development at Cranmore Mountain Resort.
Rachel Sieben for The Wall Street Journal

In July, Vail Resorts, a Colorado-based company that owns 16 ski resorts across the U.S., announced the purchase of New Hampshire’s Crotched Mountain, Attitash and Wildcat ski areas. The company acquired Mount Sunapee ski resort last year. Ms. McGregor expects the acquisition to boost home sales, largely because of its multi-mountain pass program.

Other ski resorts are upping their game. Waterville Valley Resort is in the midst of a $7.5 million upgrade and expansion, with new trails, a renovated lodge and 500 new high-efficiency snow guns for snow-making. Two months ago, the resort announced the acquisition of 33 acres of commercial land in the town center, which it plans to develop with a hotel, retail spaces and a gondola to the mountain.

Cranmore Mountain Resort’s new Kearsarge Brook condominium complex is part of a $50 million development plan that will add 106 condo units and 45,000-square-feet of new lodge space over the next six to eight years. Along with ski-in, ski-out access from its two- and three-bedroom condos, the complex has a four-season heated outdoor pool, fitness room and private locker room with mahogany storage cabinets. In the summer, there’s a mountain adventure park and a zip line ride and new bicycle paths are under construction. The first 18 condo units sold out at prices ranging from $439,000 to $629,000. Another 19 units, with top prices of $729,000, will be completed by December of 2020.
Katherine and Jamie Morse bought a three-bedroom condominium with a stacked stone fireplace, granite counters and reclaimed wood paneling at Kearsarge Brook for over $600,000 in 2018.
Rachel Sieben for The Wall Street Journal

Katherine Morse, a doctor of anesthesia practice, and her husband James Morse, an emergency medicine physician, live with their three children in the coastal town of Rye. They bought a three-bedroom condo at Kearsarge Brook for over $600,000 in 2018.

“We did look in Vermont—we were tempted—but we felt this was perfect for our family,” Ms. Morse said. “Cranmore is a very family-friendly mountain. All the trails wind back to a central area in the middle, so the kids can head off and then come back. And even if you don’t ski, they have so many other amenities. It’s becoming a one-stop kind of area.”

The Morses have embraced New Hampshire’s “loud powder” a local nickname for its icy slopes. Their children, ages 8, 9 and 11, are all enrolled in freestyle and pre-racing programs. “They’re daredevils,” Katherine Morse said. “They go downhill backward.”

For some, the masochistic pleasures of skiing in the Granite State are a point of pride. Kevin Killourie, a real-estate agent and president of the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, which maintains 60 groomed miles of Nordic trails in the White Mountains National Forest, takes a dim view of those who flee the state during sleet season.

“A friend of mine is going to Vail for February vacation,” Mr. Killourie said. “That’s a wimp.”

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