Thanksgiving Weekend To Be Bountiful; Nearly 200 Resorts Will Open
Many will be open Turkey Day, and others will start up Leftover Day and throughout the weekend. Be sure to check SnoCountry.com condition reports for up-to-date details.
The snowstorm that swept across the West and played havoc with New Mexico and Texas over the weekend is heading to the Northeast. Meteorologist Brian Clark at OpenSnow.com says the likely big winners will be resorts in the Northern Adirondacks of New York and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
“Turkey Day’s forecast of a blower of a storm has caused our occupancy rate for the holiday weekend to jump from 60 to 85 percent,” Jay Peak’s J.J. Tolland told SnoCountry.com. “There’s still some question as to whether this next storm will break big or small, but we picked up close to a foot of snow this past weekend, and the last few days of cold temps have allowed us to run the guns non-stop. By this Friday, we’ll have lifts spinning at both the Stateside and Tramside areas of the resort.”
All in all, Thanksgiving Weekend in New York and throughout New England looks like you’ll have your pick of some 42 small, medium and large ski areas in Conn., Mass., Maine, N.H., N.J., N.Y., Pa., and Vt.
“As of Monday morning, both resorts (Seven Springs and Hidden Valley have at least eight inches of snow and in some places drifts as high as eight feet,” says CEO Eric Mauck. “Snow accumulations of these amounts are astounding for this time of year. We are anticipating the arrival of an abundance of natural snow later this week, which will add to outstanding skiing and snowboarding conditions.”
Dropping south a bit, you’ll find about eight resorts open in the Southeast from the big guys like Snowshoe, W. Va. to Beech Mt., N.C. to Virginia’s Massanutten.
Midwest ski areas are enjoying a good snow snap and some 26 ski areas scattered across 10 Heartland states will be ready to Turkey Trot. Saturday, Nov. 30 will mark the first time in nearly 20 years that Ohio’s Mad River Mountain will be open in November. Minnesotans can polish off their Big Feast with the most choices as at least nine ski areas will be open for all or most of the weekend, including plenty of action at ski areas near the Twin Cities.
If your plans bring you to celebrate the holiday in the Rockies, you’re most certainly in luck as some 41-plus resorts in Colo., Mont., N.M., Utah, and Wyoming are off to the races. The major weekend storm left plenty of snow to play with, so you can just about have your pick in the region.
“We received an amazing early season storm and for the first time since the 2002-03 season Ski Santa Fe will be open on Thanksgiving Day,” says Santa Fe’s Debi Owen. “This storm has brought 15 inches of new snowfall and a 27-inch base. Ninety percent of the mountain will be open with great skiing and snowboarding on powder and packed powder. All lifts will be open.” Colorado tops the list claiming just over half the number of Rocky Mountain resorts open for Turkey time.
Wyoming’s Jackson Hole will open Turkey Day with more than 3,000 vertical feet of terrain. “The combination of great early season snowfall on the upper mountain and snowmaking on the lower slopes have made it possible to open so much of the mountain,” says Jackson’s Operations VP Tim Mason. The resort’s new RFID electronic ticket system comes on line opening day, so all non-pass holders will need to purchase the new J Card either online or at the Ticket Office.
Southwest ski areas in Arizona, California and Nevada come in for the weekend with 13 open from Mammoth Mountain, where some 11 of 17 lifts are already spinning in the Sierra, to Mountain High , just outside L.A., that picked up a foot of snow Sunday into Monday. The popular SoCal ski area is offering up to 40 percent savings in a Black Friday lift ticket sale.
Last on the list, but hardly the least, is a sumptuous feast for skiers/riders in the Pacific Northwest where 16 ski areas greet weekend guests from Alyeska near Anchorage, Alaska to venerable Sun Valley, Idaho. Season passholders at Alyeska can get a sneak peak by skiing Wednesday, with the public joining in Thursday. Don’t miss the rather famous Thanksgiving Buffet in the Sun Valley Lodge.
Photo: Jay Peak Resort set for Thanksgiving weekend (Jay Peak)