LAKE PLACID, New York — The survey is complete and the numbers are in as resorts prepare for the 2007-08 winter season.
According to a record-setting 7,000 readers of SKI Magazine, Whiteface, in Wilmington, accompanied by nearby Lake Placid, ranks second among resorts in the eastern United States and third in eastern North America. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm. On average, the respondents skied 23 days last winter. SKI??в„ўs readers also ranked the region tops in North America for off-hill activities.
The Whiteface / Lake Placid region, which hosted the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, Winter Goodwill Games and continues to conduct many World Cup competitions, is highlighted in the October issue of the publication. Additionally, a feature on Adirondack skiing ??вЂњ touting both Whiteface and Gore Mountains ??вЂњappears in the same issue.
Only Mont Tremblant, Que. in the top spot and Smuggler??в„ўs Notch, Vt. second, stood ahead of Whiteface / Lake Placid in the SKI survey.
From 2000-03, Whiteface held the top spot in the eastern U.S. In 2003-04, Whiteface was ranked seventh; in 2004-05, it improved to sixth.
Among the highlights of the 2008 report, the 225 acre mountain was ranked 10th in terrain variety; fourth in challenge; fourth in lifts; third in dining; third in apr??s ski; seventh in family programs, third in scenery and sixth in overall satisfaction.
For the 15th consecutive year, the Whiteface / Lake Placid area graded tops in off-hill activities in North America thanks to its menu of Olympic-style sports. Bobsled and luge rides, ice skating, cross country skiing, ski jumping, World Cup events, hockey, figure skating, shows and concerts complement the skiing and snowboarding.
“These experiences continue to differentiate Whiteface / Lake Placid from other resorts,” said Ted Blazer, President and CEO of the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) in Lake Placid which operates all ORDA venues, including Whiteface. “The venues are offered not only to the world-class athlete, but to the recreational visitor as well.
“We thank the survey respondents for considering us so highly,” continued Blazer. “Ultimately, those who read publications such as SKI are among the most passionate and savvy skiers and boarders. Making them happy gives us the impetus to advance our resort experience.”
Added Whiteface General Manager Jay Rand, “Whiteface management and staff will continue all efforts to maintain our status as a premiere resort. It is these types of surveys and guest feedback, from the most astute skiers and riders, which will enable us to provide the best experiences possible in the future.”
To that end, Whiteface has currently embarked on another round of upgrades. For the upcoming winter campaign, visitors and residents will see further improvements in snowmaking capacity and grooming. Air compressors and snow guns are being changed over to incorporate environmental sustainability with eco-friendly, low-energy, high-output equipment.
Mountain management has also succeeded in recent years in bringing more water to the snowmaking intake, thus running more guns at one time. In addition, the grooming fleet has increased over the past several seasons with four new cats thus enabling the mountain staff to better farm this new-found, additional snow.
Patrons of Kids Kampus, growing in popularity in recent years for the self-contained nature of its operation, will now benefit from an expansion for children and families. The advantages are clearly evident, particularly during holiday periods. Also, a new, 350-car parking lot opened last winter near Kids Kampus.
In the midst of the coming season, Whiteface will celebrate its 50th anniversary in January 2008 and will mark the occasion with weekend celebrations into March.
Upcoming winter events include World Cup mogul skiing in January, followed by World Cup snowboarding (parallel giant slalom and snowboardcross), Masters ski races and the North American Alpine Series Finals, all in March.
Looking beyond 2007-08, Whiteface is currently moving into its next frontier, that being Lookout Mountain. Located to the northeast of The Slides, Lookout Mountain will open in December 2008 with a 1,600 vertical foot expert run, a 2,200 vertical foot intermediate trail, a new triple chair starting just below the first pitch on Easy Street, snowmaking and another 55 acres of glades. This will increase the skiable terrain from 18 miles to 21.7 miles. The state-mandated ceiling at Whiteface is 25 miles.
If you would like to enjoy the Olympic Region experience, complete with on and off snow activities, web cams from five locations and up-to-date weather, please log on to www.whitefacelakeplacid.com.
The top 10 resorts in Eastern North America according to SKI Magazine??в„ўs readers:
1. Tremblant, Que.
2. Smugglers Notch, Vt.
3. Whiteface, N.Y.
4. Stowe, Vt.
5. Holiday Valley, N.Y.
6. Sugarloaf, Maine
7. Sugarbush, Vt.
8. Killington, Vt.
9. Bretton Woods, N.H.