It’s all about the springtime vibes at Northeast mountain resorts right now, with parties galore to celebrate bluebird skies, long afternoons, soft corn snow, pond skims and beers on the deck.
Whether you’re working during the day or just looking for a way to get out with the family, twilight skiing and riding offers a chance to hit the slopes, often with great deals and special offerings. Enjoy the newly groomed corduroy in the late afternoon, and don’t forget your clear lenses for your goggles to enjoy an evening under the stars.
From efficient snowmaking to recycle stations to wind and solar generation, ski and snowboard resorts know that their survival depends upon reducing the effects of climate change.
As baby boomers were building families in the 1970s and 1980s, ski resorts were putting steel and concrete in the ground, expanding both lifts and terrain. The skiers and riders of today are benefiting from those infrastructure improvements. Lifts are faster, ticket-checking is RFID-enabled to speed up lines, and snowmaking and grooming have never been better or more energy-efficient.
Now the focus is on affordability and on-hill experiences.
Sunny spring tele turns at Cranmore. (Cranmore/Facebook)
Nothing like a consecutive string of nor'easters to put a smile on the faces of Northeast skiers and riders. Due to above average snowfall this season, resorts across the region have announced extended ski seasons.
Spectacular Berkshire views. (Jiminy Peak/Facebook)
An idyllic trip to the Berkshires should include a stop at Jiminy Peak, a resort known for its renewable-energy initiatives to make skiing and riding a sustainable activity. Without a long drive to more northern areas, Jiminy offers the full resort experience, including a new Winter Mountain Adventrue Park, with a fire pit for evening s’mores, and the mountain Coaster and Soaring Eagle rides.
In 2007 Jiminy Peak installed a $4 million 1.5 megawatt (MW) wind turbine on the mountain. (Jiminy Peak)
Seeing the damage wrought by Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont and learning about the ravages of Sandy, Harvey, Irma, and Maria to say nothing of the heat waves and the fires on the nightly news, I was struck by the rapidity and rise in extreme weather events.
Cruising by the Zephyr on a winter day. (Jiminy Peak)
In 2007, when Massachusetts' Jiminy Peak installed a $4 million 1.5 megawatt (MW) wind turbine on the western flank of its mountain, many thought the 70-year-old resort was taking a huge financial risk.
Cooling off at Bromley. (Bromley/Facebook)
Ziplines like this one at Whitefish Mountain take kids for high-flying rides at mountain resorts. (Whitefish/Facebook)
Winter resorts across the nation want kids to take up skiing and snowboarding to keep the sports growing. And, many believe that attracting youngsters to the mountains during the summer will help.
Cranmore Resort has announced plans for a $50 million condominium and base area redevelopment that will provide ski–in, ski–out ownership at the base of Cranmore and in the heart of North Conway, one of America’s most dynamic ski towns.
It's a challenge being a snow reporter staffing the desks at New England's Bromley, Cranmore, and Jiminy Peak resorts. When winter storms pound New England, at 6:30 a.m. there are just so many ways to say, "corduroy," "powder" and that other snow report staple, "stoked."
Today’s ski and snowboarding instructors range in age from 14 to 83 and don’t necessarily have to be black diamond level skiers. The Fairbank Group resorts – Jiminy Peak in western Massachusetts, Bromley in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and Cranmore Mountain Resort in the White Mountains of New Hampshire – announced plans to fill 250 ski and snowboard instructor positions by the start of the ski season in late November.
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort has partnered with solar energy developer Nexamp in constructing a 2.3 megawatt community solar facility located on 12 acres of the resort’s property. Once completed, the Jiminy Peak project will represent the largest community solar project of its kind in the Northeast.
The newest concept in teaching newcomers to ski and snowboard saw its debut this month at three New England resorts operated by The Fairbank Group. The techniques and methodology developed by Snow Operating, LLC, a snowsports instruction consulting company based in Vail, Colo., is being viewed by these resort operators as a sure-fire means of accelerating the learning curve for newbies.
Resorts across the eastern seaboard settle in for the season with a variety of learning programs to entice newcomers to the sport. With aggressive packages that include equipment, lessons and, in some cases, lodging, this is the time to get off the fence and dive into the snow: It's National Learn To Ski/Snowboard Month.
Many mountain resorts and towns throughout the east will be hosting a variety of events and activities Columbus Day Weekend Oct. 12-14. Here is a sampling.
Chief Financial Officer Jack Filiault of Jiminy Peak will transition toward a 2015 retirement. Filiault has been with the Berkshires ski resort since 1974 and in his present capacity since 1987.
A report just released by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) details more progress on implementing the principles of its Environmental Charter during the 2011-12 season.