The first major snowstorm of the 2013-14 winter season rolled through the Northeast this past weekend, dropping up to two feet of snow on ski areas from Pennsylvania through Maine.
But while ski areas rejoiced with the pre-holiday bounty of freshness, resort operators were even more excited it snowed in New York City, Boston, Hartford, Providence and Philadelphia. That “backyard” snow as they call it does something special in the ski industry - it makes the phones ring and the resort websites light up with inquiries, reservations and sales.
To add a little frosting to the cake, a second storm rolled through Tuesday to freshen up the slopes with another 2-5 inches across the region!
“We are in great shape as we head into the holidays and with this past weekend's storm bringing snow not only to the mountains, but also much of southern New England, it has people thinking about skiing over the holidays,” said Molly Mahar, marketing Director at Loon Mountain.
Snowfall in the Northeast ranged from 2 to 8 inches in New York City, Connecticut and Rhode Island to almost 11 inches in northern Massachusetts and nearly 17 inches on Maine's southern coast, according to the National Weather Service. Meanwhile, ski resorts picked up a hefty amount of powder, with areas in Central New York, Southern Vermont and Central New Hampshire received the brunt of the storm. Here are some notable storm totals from this past weekend:
Stratton Mountain 25”
Mount Snow 17”
Loon Mountain 15”
Waterville Valley 14”
Sunday River 14”
Shawnee Peak 14”
Greek Peak 14”
With Christmas and New Years falling on a Wednesday this year, all this new snow has skiers excited for a lengthy holiday vacation, and ski resorts ready to serve them a feasting of terrain options.
“A 12-16-inch dump of powder a week-and-a-half before Christmas is just stoking the flame of skiing and snowboarding enthusiasm,” added Okemo’s Director of Communications Bonnie MacPherson. “It also allowed Okemo to jump from 65 trails and just over 400 acres of open terrain to 97 trails and 500+ acres of goodness. Every section of the mountain is open: from South Face to Jackson Gore.”
“Between this most recent storm and the upcoming snows, we expect that much of our 745 acres of natural woods areas will be skiable moving into the New Year,” said Michael Joseph, communications manager at Killington Resort.
Resorts in the Northeast are banking on additional snow, and continued cold temperatures to make snow, heading into the Holiday season. But if this year is any indication, resorts are already off to a great start.
“Last season was stellar with above average natural snowfall and extended seasons for pretty much everyone, but the start wasn’t nearly as good as this one,” noted Mount Snow’s spokesperson David Meeker. “We have more than double the open terrain right now than we did the same day last season. If this keeps up, we’re in for one to remember and the holiday period will be amazing.”
Photo: Loon Mountain Powder Day / Loon Mountain Photo
Sugarloaf Powder Day / Sugarloaf photo