Vt. ski areas off to a good start
Staff report | December 05,2012
MONTPELIER - With the first major holiday still three weeks away, Vermont ski areas are reaping the added benefit from an early start to the ski season.
Thanks to ideal temperatures and snowmaking upgrades, nearly 20 percent of the skiable terrain in the state is open. According to the Vermont Ski Area's Association, that's the most terrain open since the 2008-2009 season.
"We can certainly attribute a successful early season to our expansive 80 percent statewide snowmaking coverage," VSAA President Parker Riehle said.
Last year was a disappointing season for the ski industry. But Riehle said investments in state-of-the-art snowmaking along with early season snowfall has given resorts "the boost we need to fulfill the pent up demand of skiers and riders."
Several of the state's resorts boasted early openings, including Killington Resort, Okemo Mountain Resort, Jay Peak Resort, Smugglers' Notch Resort and Burke Mountain.
The state's resorts invested in snowmaking upgrades during the off season. Jay Peak, and Burke Mountain invested a combined $1.5 million in upgrades. Okemo added 52 energy-efficient snow guns to its arsenal while Bromley added 60 tower guns.
Middlebury College Snow Bowl plans to open for the season on Saturday; Bromley Mountain and Burke Mountain will reopen on Saturday as well.