SKOWHEGAN — Eaton Mountain Ski Area will not open this winter season as owner David Beers recovers from serious injuries suffered repairing snow grooming equipment Dec. 4.

“Unfortunately we decided we’re not going to run the snow tubing park at all this winter,” Beers said in a telephone interview Tuesday, his jaw partially wired shut from fractures. “There is too much stuff to do there; and for better or worse, I’m the only guy who knows how to do it.”

Beers’ injuries included skull fractures, other broken bones and a dislocated ankle after an 18,000-pound snow groomer rolled over him at the mountain off Lambert Road and U.S. Route 2. His jaw was broken in three places.

“I’m feeling well; resting up,” Beers said. “I lucked out and had no internal injuries; all the important stuff inside was spared.”

Beers, who is from Wallingford, Conn., was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he stayed until Dec. 26. He said his wife Donna and their son Jacob, 7, stayed in Skowhegan and the family celebrated Christmas together in his hospital room.

The family is living in Framingham, Mass.


Beers said he was working on the groomer’s track and reached into the cab of the machine to circulate the hydraulic fluid system. He somehow hit the control level for the passenger-side track, causing it to move forward, off the supporting blocks and pinning him underneath the machine.

He said others who had stopped by the mountain that day immediately reported the accident.

Donna Beers said in November that she and her husband had every intention of opening the ski area to snow-tubing this season. The mountain, with a new handle-tow lift, opened for the first time last winter after a fire closed the place in 2005.

The couple bought the business in 2007 for about $400,000. The business remained closed for two years while they made repairs and maintenance upgrades.

Last year, they opened the mountain and a new snow-tubing park after investing about $100,000 to install the new handle-lift, lights for nighttime activities and snowmaking equipment.

Eaton Mountain has 18 potential trails and a double chairlift. The mountain’s chairlift for skiing and snowboarding are expected to open soon, but not this year. Donna Beers said they had a good year last winter with the snow-tubing park. She said she realizes how important a local ski mountain is to a small community.

“We’d like to thank everyone for all the good wishes and support we have received,” the family says on the Eaton Mountain website. “We encourage our customers to support other local ski areas and snowtubing parks this winter.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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