It all began with a young man’s dream and fond memories of his European childhood. Growing up, Karl Hope found it necessary to leave his home and seek a more nourishing environment to pursue his passion for painting. Fate, however dictated that Hope put aside painting to pursue a career in real estate. While on vacation in the forest lands of the Pennsylvania Lake Region, he realized that Masthope was the place to recreate his outdoor childhood memories for others to share.
Covenants for Masthope Rapids were filed by Karl Hope in 1974 and development of the community began. Karl Hope’s vision for potential buyers was “a prime piece of vacation land surrounded by the vast, unspoiled beauty of nature, where you can fish and boat or swim in clean sparkling waters.” Amenities included many of the activities Property Owners enjoy today, including skiing at Masthope Mountain.
The first meeting of the Masthope Property Owners Council (POC) took place on March 23, 1977. Covenants for the Falling Waters section of Masthope were filed by Karl Hope in 1978. In the early days, areas on the Falling Waters side of the community along Falling Waters Boulevard and Twin Rivers Road featured time share villas in addition to privately owned properties. This area became known as Country Squire Lakeshore Club. The central water and sewer systems were completed around 1979, ending the use of sewage holding tanks. Karl Hope passed in 1980 and his passing started more than a decade of developer changes that threatened the long term survival of Masthope as a planned community. Finally in 1989, the POC was recognized by the developer as the Property Owners Association for Masthope, and the POC started to manage the administration of the Protective Covenants/Deed Restrictions.
By July 1990, the POC had gained control, but not ownership, of everything in Masthope. Included were the control of funds and a lease for a POC Office. After three long years of negotiations, the POC purchased all of the amenities in Masthope, including the ski mountain.
The next seven years were still difficult, but Masthope truly turned the corner in 2000 and started moving in a positive direction. The outlook for the future of Masthope has gotten brighter each year since the community turned that corner. Along the way, the Lodge burned down on March 31, 2005. Through the skilled management of the Board of Directors and our community management team, the lodge that Property Owners and guests enjoy today opened less than nine months after the fire… an almost impossible task.
The Masthope community we know and enjoy today is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our past and current Board of Directors, management teams, staff, committee members and volunteers. Their perseverance has made Masthope the finest four-season recreational community in the Pocono Mountains.
- 1974: Karl Hope files covenants for the development of Masthope Rapids
- 1974-1976: Construction of amenities begin, including the Delaware River Park and Masthope Stables
- 1976: Masthope Mountain Ski Area opens and features 9 slopes and trails, the Thundercloud Lift and a 650′ vertical drop… one of the highest in the Poconos.
- 1978: Karl Hope files covenants for the development of Falling Waters at Masthope
- 1979-1981: Central sewer and water systems are completed.
- 1983: Night skiing is introduced at Masthope Mountain. Those in attendance on opening night enjoyed a free night of skiing.
- Early 1990s: Additional ski trails are added to the original 9 on Masthope Mountain.
- 1993: Masthope enters into an agreement with what is now Recreation Management Corp. to operate the ski area. Masthope Mountain Ski Area is renamed Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain.
- 1999: The Little Bear Lift is installed and Ski Big Bear purchases over 60 snowmaking guns, which enables 100% snowmaking across the mountain.
- 2001: The present day “L” shaped pool opens, replacing the former pool.
- 2001: The Grizzly Lift is installed to service the planned construction of additional advanced terrain… present day Screamin’ Demon and Lower Polar Bear.
- 2005: The original cedar and glass lodge burns down.
- 2006: The present day summit lodge is dedicated and opened in time for the winter season.
- 2006: The original J bar on the Snowbird slope of Ski Big Bear is replaced with a Magic Carpet.
- 2009: The original Thundercloud Lift is replaced with the 2 present day Thundercloud Lifts, which doubles uphill skier capacity.
- 2013: The Beach House is constructed on Westcolang Lake, offering an indoor space for activities, events and food service.
- 2017: Masthope opens our 9 hole mini golf course at the top of the mountain.
- 2021: Masthope opens a second pool and expands the complex to include a splash pad and waterslide.
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