Ski Vermont Turns on the Snowmaking and Gets Ready for Another Stellar Season
Contact: Sarah Wojcik, Ski Vermont Director of Public Affairs
With Killington Resort leading the way, Vermont is officially open for the 2014-15 ski and ride season. Resorts all over Vermont have been taking advantage of great snowmaking temperatures to lay down the white stuff, along with some help from Mother Nature. Find out all the resorts’ opening dates and what they are doing to prepare for another stellar snow season.
Tentative Opening Dates:
OPEN - Killington Resort: November 3, 2014 for passholders & November 4, 2014 for public
Okemo Mountain Resort: Saturday, November 15, 2014
Stowe Mountain Resort: Saturday, November 22, 2014
Sugarbush Resort: Saturday, November 22, 2014
Mount Snow Resort: Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Stratton Mountain: Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Bromley Mountain: Friday, November 28, 2014
Smugglers’ Notch Resort: Friday, November 28, 2014
Jay Peak Resort: Saturday, November 29. 2014
Bolton Valley: Saturday, December 13, 2014
Mad River Glen: Saturday, December 13, 2014 (Earlier if possible.)
Pico Mountain: Saturday, December 13, 2014
Suicide Six: Friday, December 19, 2014
Magic Mountain: Saturday, December 20, 2014
Vermont is open for skiing and riding, and Killington Pass Holders have been sampling first turns since Monday, November 3. The general public is set to join them as of Tuesday, November 4, and the Mountain Operations team plans for more snowmaking and terrain expansion as conditions permit. The North Ridge area, including an early season terrain park on Lower Reason, invites advanced skiers and snowboarders, and the Peak Lodge welcomes all for fresh food and mountain vistas.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Okemo’s target opening day for the 2014/2015 ski and snowboard season is November 15. While the resort’s operations team has been busy with the installation of a new six-pack bubble chairlift (with heated seats!), Okemo’s snowmaking crew has had a busy summer too. Okemo’s Operation Snowburst returns for a second season of snowmaking improvements with the addition of 100 new energy-efficient HKD tower guns and snowmaking pipeline upgrades. Operation Snowburst Part 2 follows a $1 million snowmaking investment that allowed Okemo to open early with top-to-bottom skiing and riding last winter. Utilizing energy-efficient, state-of-the-art technology allows Okemo to maximize its water-pumping ability and snowmaking potential from the very start of the season.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe Mountain Resort’s state-of-the-art snowmaking operations have been supplemented by a three-year $9.8 million dollar snowmaking expansion. Totals for the 3 year project include; over 100,000 feet of new snowmaking pipe (almost 20 miles), 615 HKD SV10 tower guns, 150 Ratnik Baby X-2 land frames, 20 SMI Super PoleCat snow fan towers, 8 HKD Turbo snow fan towers and a new 3,000 gallon-per-minute booster pump house on Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. In addition to supplementing its already superlative snowmaking, the improvements allow Stowe to operate with greater energy efficiency. The new snowmaking increases potential for more early-season terrain and enhances overall snow quality.
Sugarbush Resort has scheduled opening dates of Saturday, November 22 for Lincoln Peak and Friday, December 19 for Mt. Ellen. Snowmaking at Lincoln Peak is already underway, and the resort is finishing up the installation 351 new Snow Logic, HKD, and Ratnik snowguns. These new upgrades should provide more terrain earlier in the season for skiers and riders. Over $1 million in electrical and mechanical upgrades to several of the resort's lifts have been made, and Sugarbush added a Piston Bully 600 to its biodiesel grooming fleet.
Mount Snow Resort
In preparation for its 60th anniversary season, Mount Snow has undergone an unprecedented snowmaking upgrade highlighted by the installation of 645 new state-of-the-art, low-energy snow guns. These guns will benefit from the new snowmaking control system called SmartSnow, which is the same system used to monitor the snowmaking operation in Sochi, Russia that was installed specifically for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Three brand new snow cats will be welcomed to the fleet, as well. Mount Snow plans to fire up their upgraded snowmaking system once temperatures permit and will shoot to open with top-to-bottom terrain for all ability levels on or before Thanksgiving. www.mountsnow.com
Stratton Mountain Resort
With another 350 of the latest energy efficient models in Stratton’s arsenal of snowmaking tower guns, which now numbers more than 1,110, skiers and riders can look forward to a stellar early season that starts on November 26.
Opening weekend events include the Thanksgiving Day Gobble Gobble Wobble 5 K that last year brought out 300 runners and walkers, many donning festive costumes, après ski with The Peacheaters, Allman Brothers tribute band, playing live in Grizzly’s and late night with DJ Joe Bell. Stratton Village is the place to be for holiday shopping with winter’s best brands in outerwear, gear and accessories. Visit Stratton.com for a complete line-up of events.
As Bromley looks forward to opening day on November 28, team Snowmageddon is out on the hill connecting hoses and putting the finishing touches on the installation of 78 new HKD tower guns. Thanks to the extensive upgrades this season, including the new, high efficiency tower guns, plus a true Snowmaking Energy Index and a new tool to manage compressed air, called the Intelli-flow Controller, Bromley looks forward to having more ski & ride terrain on opening day than ever before, and all without the help of diesel powered compressed air, a first in Bromley Snowmaking history.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Smugglers’ plans to kick off ski and ride operations on Friday, November 28, 2014, the day after Thanksgiving, with intermediate terrain on Sterling Mountain available for skiers and riders to enjoy with early season lift ticket and lodging pricing. This season, Smugglers’ completed the transition of its snowmaking fleet to more than 400 high efficiency snowguns. This investment enhances the snowmaking product for skiers and riders, allowing more snow to be made at a wider temperature range, and improving the early and late season coverage with greatly reduced energy costs. (http://www.smuggs.com/skivtw)
Bolton Valley Ski Area, Vermont’s affordable and convenient big mountain skiing located less than 30 minutes from Burlington, anticipates opening for the 2014-2015 season on Saturday, December 13, weather permitting. Bolton Valley expanded snowmaking efforts on Beach Seal and Hard Luck this summer, which will allow snowmakers to make more snow on these trails and open them earlier in the season.
“We’ll be looking for a window of snowmaking temperatures in late November or early December that are sustainable,” said Josh Arneson, director of sales and marketing.
In addition, on average, Bolton Valley receives more than 300 inches of natural snow annually. Bolton Valley officials will be announcing opening day plans, which typically include a public snowboard demo, skiing Santas and more.
Mad River Glen
Mad River Glen, America’s only skier-owned mountain plans to open for the 2014-15 ski season for the December 13-14 weekend. That being said, Mad River Glen is famously reliant upon natural snow with only 15% of the terrain covered by snowmaking, so the actual opening date is a bit amorphous. As the old-time Vermonters always sat; Hard tellin’ not knowin’! Mad River Glen will open as soon as Mother Nature allows from Thanksgiving weekend on so the best bet is to keep an eye on their website www.madriverlgen.com for the latest prognostications.
Pico Mountain is set to open December 13, 2014, but deals on season passes, student passes and early season ticket packs are available right now. The classic Vermont resort anticipates a first day on the slopes with United Way Day, an annual tradition in support of Pico’s involvement with the local community. With new passes for college students, new ticket options for all ages and prime discounts with the Killington Express Card, 2014-15 is setting up to be a winter of great snow with even better deals.
Suicide Six’s target opening day for the 2014/2015 ski and snowboard season is December 19. Excited about their partnership with Efficiency Vermont they are removing 80% of old snow guns and replacing them with new efficiency ones allowing for the ability to have 50% snowmaking coverage this year. Also new are two terrain parks; a beginner friendly “Kids Zone” and a more advanced park. One of the biggest events this year will be held on Saturday, January 3, 2015 when they host the 25th Anniversary of the Mtn Dew Vertical Challenge - a free, fun race open to all ages and abilities. Bring Friends, bring family and join in on the fun and excitement of this race series. www.suicide6.com
This fall season has been one for the record books at Magic. They hosted two outstanding volunteer days, that have greatly improved the lower mountain glades. The Red Chair has undergone an extensive overhaul, from a new engine and electrical system to all new bearings for the shiv trains. This season they are moving our Hocus Pocus terrain park onto Carumba. There will be new features as well as a brand new layout for a dedicated terrain park. Opening day will be December 20th, so be sure to venture down the road less traveled. www.magicmtn.com
Ski Vermont, Vermont Ski Areas Assoc, 26 State Street PO Box 368, Montpelier, VT 05601 United States