March 26, 2012 (Jay, VT)- To horribly paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of winter’s death is an exaggeration. At least at Jay Peak. The resort today turned on its snow guns again as temperatures in northern Vermont are expected to be in the teens and even single digits over the next 36 hours.
In a highly unusual move, resort officials decided to restart snowmaking operations after what has been a challenging season for ski resorts throughout New England. Ski areas typically shutdown their snowmaking systems in mid-February. Ample natural snow and cold temperatures normally provide adequate coverage by then to allow resorts to be open well through April. But with cold temperatures arriving late this season and a string of 70+-degree days last week, most resorts in New England have closed or will be closed by next weekend.
“We couldn’t throw in the towel just yet,” said Jay Peak’s president Bill Stenger. “Our goal every year is to provide our guests with the longest season possible and when we saw this week’s forecast, we had to take advantage of it.” In addition to cold temperatures, some forecasts have Jay Peak receiving six inches of snow later in the week.
With the resumption of snowmaking, Jay Peak plans to bolster snow pack on some trails and “touch up” others that need it to ensure skiing and riding well into April. Stenger said an early Easter and the arrival of more than 600 students from the United Kingdom will keep the resort busy through mid-April.
“We had four big holiday weeks between February 18th and March 18th with Massachusetts, Vermont, Quebec, and Ontario all having week-long school breaks,” continued Stenger. “During that month skier visits outperformed expectations allowing us to make up the ground we had lost in the early part of the year. Because of that 30-day run, we are now 5% ahead of last year’s skier visits as of the end of March 2012, and that’s despite one of the warmest winters in a generation. And with Easter falling so early in April and having a number of large student groups visit from the United Kingdom, we are in the position of closing out the season on a real high note.”
For the latest resort information, visit jaypeakresort.com