Montpelier, VT – Coming off the heels of one of the best seasons in twenty years, Vermont begins the 2013-14 season with record breaking openings. Due to investments in snowmaking and cooperating temperatures in November, Vermont will have ten resorts open to the public by November 23, 2013.
“We can attribute earlier openings to the Vermont’s expanding investments in state-of-the-art, highly efficient snowmaking,” said Ski Vermont President Parker Riehle. “Newer technology in snowmaking not only bolsters our 80% statewide snowmaking coverage, but allows resorts to produce better quality snow at variable temperatures, extending the ski and snowboard season in Vermont. We can’t recall the last time we had 10 resorts open the week prior to Thanksgiving, and it is likely the first time ever.”
Killington Resort was the first to open the weekend of October 25 and currently has top to bottom skiing with 24 trails open. Okemo Mountain Resort, Mount Snow Resort and Bromley Mountain all followed suit opening in mid-November. Okemo opened with top to bottom skiing for the first recorded time in history due to their $1 million investment called Operation Snowburst, and continues to expand terrain by pumping 7,000-9,000 gallons of water per minute into the snowmaking system.
In just 52 hours Mount Snow’s snowmaking team produced enough snow to allow the resort to open six trails on November 15 with top-to-bottom terrain and a terrain park, the earliest opening since 2007. The night prior, Mount Snow’s high output fan guns were turning about 100 gallons of water per minute into snow.
Perhaps the most surprising opening was Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, VT. Rikert started making snow on November 9 showcasing a growing trend in snowmaking investments at Nordic resorts in Vermont with seven cross-country centers boasting this critical technology. Rikert opened on Saturday November 16 to the public and photos can be found on the Facebook page.
Opening day will occur this weekend at five more resorts: Stratton Mountain Resort, Sugarbush Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort, Jay Peak Resort and Smugglers’ Notch Resort.
“I’ve never seen so much snow on the trails for opening day, and I’ve been here for 27 years,” said Stratton’s snowmaking manager Kevin Booth. “We can thank a great stretch of snowmaking weather.”
Stowe Mountain Resort will open with more terrain than usual, including one of their famed Front Four trails, Liftline. This can be attributed to their $8.1 million investment in snowmaking over the last year.
Mother Nature has also done her part at some resorts, such as Jay Peak who already recorded up to 4’ of snowfall by November 13th. Watch the video here.