VERNON, New Jersey — With the second measurable snowfall in as many weeks, local skiers and snowboarders are anticipating an incredible winter season at Mountain Creek. The region has seen between 6-8??? of natural snowfall to date, and the resort’s snow guns are ready to begin laying down a base as soon as temperatures permit in anticipation of opening day on December 8th.
Mountain Creek has several major improvements and enhancements in store for guests this winter, including close to a half million dollars in trail and snowmaking improvement projects. Additionally, a state of the art ticket scanning system will be introduced at all lifts, and FREE ski and board check for all guests will be offered at both base areas.
Mountain Creek has also ‘flipped’ the resort around a bit, in order to better segment and serve its diverse customer base, which includes beginners, groups, leisure and family skiers and riders, as well as terrain park aficionados. In order to reduce congestion in certain areas, and eliminate pressure points where advanced freestyle traffic crossed beginner terrain, all terrain parks have been relocated to the South area. This allows for the re-introduction of the ‘backside’ of Vernon Peak, with five great intermediate trails for leisure skiing and snowboarding, including Great Northern, Khyber Pass, Indian Pass and Independence pass (plus Half Moon). The Ski Racing program has also migrated to Vernon, and racers will enjoy an improved training area with 30% more vertical and nearly double the length. This also brings the Race Programs front and center at the resort, with awards taking place on the Plaza Stage, so everyone can celebrate the success our incredible local athletes. Vernon Base is also home to a new mountain adventure shop called Jack & Otto’s.
Mountain Creek South becomes the Largest Terrain Park in the East, with over 60 acres of freestyle terrain divided into eight districts encompassing 18 trails on South and Bear Peaks. Each District will be designed and built with progression in mind, providing terrain appropriate for anyone from the novice to expert, interested in learning or improving their freestyle skills. In order to design, build and maintain the park, the resort has doubled the size of the park staff, and the JibLab is pumping out tons of new features including lots of small intro-level rails, boxes and rollers, as well as some impressive signature pieces. The South Lodge has also undergone a makeover and will feature some new options including Grover’s, a coffee/juice bar by day and cocktail lounge by dark; South Square food court, Kink bar and grille, and The District retail shop. Plus watch for custom art and photography, as well as live DJ’s spinning music on the weekends.
For skiers and snowboarders who want to tackle the new freestyle terrain at South, whether new to the park scene or looking to sharpen their skills, Switch Academy is the way to go. The season-long Switch Academy coaching program is for kids 5-18 who are comfortable on intermediate to advanced terrain, even if they are new to terrain parks. Students will build and develop their freestyle skills with a focus on progression and safety, learning skills and proper park etiquette according to national programs like Respect Gets Respect and ATML (Approach, Take Off, Maneuver & Landing). Classes are small and grouped by age and ability level, with an average of 4-5 students, so that coaches can work directly with each skier or rider to develop and hone their skills throughout the progressive terrain at South.
Switch Academy Drop-In Sessions are three hour lessons that will also be available weekends at South. Open to everyone age 5 and up (including parents who want to shred in the park with their kids) who is comfortable on intermediate terrain and interested in learning to ride freestyle. Drop-In Sessions focus on teaching individuals how to tackle features appropriate for their skills and helping them progress to the next level. This program also features small classes, and is grouped by age and ability; so it can provide a great introduction to freestyle, or opportunity to improve your more advanced freestyle skills.
Safety is always top priority, and Mountain Creek is implementing a new Terrain Park Safety Awareness campaign which will make safety an integral part of daily life for resort guests by actively promoting the Alpine Responsibility Code, and SmartStyle programs through awareness, education and enforcement. The program stresses interaction between mountain professionals and guests, with highlights including an awareness campaign with prizes, beginner assistance program, roving instructors and a poster contest for Kids Kamp. Safety messages will also be communicated through signage, promotional items, video, interpretive centers and mountaincreek.com, among other avenues.
Lastly, this winter Mountain Creek has also introduced a whole new product line up with offerings to fit every lifestyle. For avid skiers and riders, an All Access Season Pass, which provides lift access from open to close daily, is the way to go. At $499 for adults / $449 for youth, guests can break even after just 8 visits, and it’s a bargain when compared to the pricey competition to the north and west. Or choose the new 5×7 Season Pass, which is valid from open to close weekdays, plus after 3pm on weekends. This more economical alternative is just $299 for adults and $259 for youth. (But hurry, prices go up on December 10th!). And if you have a 5×7 Pass, you can upgrade to an All Access Pass for an additional $200 for adults and $170 for youth at any time.
But even if you are planning to ski or ride just once or twice this season, Mountain Creek has a product to save you money. It’s the new $39 My Mountain Card, which includes your first lift ticket, plus $10 off every additional visit, all season long, with NO restrictions. The My Mountain Card offers the best deal on a single lift ticket, and makes a great gift or stocking stuffer. So pick one up or a whole handful of them while they last. It also makes a great companion to the 5×7 Season Pass, for anyone who would like the flexibility of skiing or riding a couple of weekend days ??вЂњ call it Powder Day insurance! The My Mountain Card is only available through December 24th. Pick yours up at Mountain Creek, www.mountaincreek.com, and at Sports Authority stores in December.
Opening day is scheduled for December 8th at Vernon and December 15th at South. Visit www.mountaincreek.com for more information.