EAST BURKE, Vermont ??вЂќ Just one week after Governor Douglas ushered in the 2005-2006 ski season at Burke Mountain, the ski area is readying itself for its strongest Christmas week in years. The combination of a generous early-season snowfall leading up to the important holiday period??вЂќincluding 2 feet in the last 9 days alone??вЂќand major off-season improvements to its snowmaking system, has enabled Burke to open 90% of its terrain for Christmas Day. Should the snow storm currently forecast for Christmas Sunday materialize, skiers and riders will likely enjoy Burke??в„ўs full array of trails.
The roaring start to Burke Mountain??в„ўs 50th anniversary season follows a slew of improvements and renovations at the ski area. A much-anticipated high-speed detachable quad chairlift, the Sherburne Express, began operating on December 17th in a ribbon-ceremony featuring a dedication from the Governor. In addition to the new chairlift and the snowmaking upgrades, capital improvements at Burke include a complete overhaul of the Sherburne Base Lodge; the introduction of a new restaurant, the Tamarack Grill; the construction of a semi-permanent ???Sprung??? structure adjacent to the Base Lodge to house children??в„ўs programs and anticipated overflow from the renovated Kingdom Cafeteria; and a new, intermediate-level terrain park on the Dashney Mile trail, increasing to four the number of terrain parks at Burke.
The renewal of Burke Mountain has already drawn a positive response from the area??в„ўs skiers and riders, with the mountain reporting more visitors to its slopes at this point than in previous years. With favorable snow conditions to go along with the new-look facilities, this Christmas week looks to be the best in recent memory for Burke.