With the snowfall earlier this month ski mountains across the area built a strong base for the Presidents Day holiday. Many resorts are expecting record attendance when final numbers come out.
In the week before Presidents Day some of the largest snowstorms of this winter season, followed by days of flurries, dropped more than 2 feet of snow, with higher amounts in the mountains, across Vermont, New Hampshire and the Adirondacks.
This week is considered one of the top three busiest periods of the ski season according to Ski Vermont Communications Manager Chloe Elliott, and Vermont resorts were pleased to be overwhelmed with visitors. “I just touched base with the resorts and many of them are claiming that they have been at 100 percent capacity for the Presidents holiday week, that meaning 100 percent capacity for lodging. Some resorts like Magic Mountain down in southern Vermont they stopped selling lift tickets on Sunday because they had reached capacity and didn’t want their lift lines to get any longer for their visiting skiers and riders. So we’ve had a record breaking season and Presidents week.”
In New York, Whiteface Mountain is reporting an average base depth of 48 inches and spring-like temperatures this week. The Olympic Regional Development Authority manages the ski mountain. Spokesman Jon Lundin notes that this is one of the most important times for the ski industry’s bottom line. “February has been a very strong month in terms of snow. And our marketing campaign has centered around the metropolitan areas as far north as Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa and then as far south as Philly, New Jersey and New York City. So we’ve been concentrating our efforts on those markets and I would like to say that some of it is due to marketing. But I think a large part of it has to do with the amount of snowfall that we have seen throughout the month of February.”
In Vermont, Okemo Mountain Resort reports a base depth between 32 and 42 inches. Director of Public Relations Bonnie McPherson says it has been a very good season for snow, especially in February. “The Presidents Day week, holiday, the three day weekend and the vacation period following is a huge part of our seasonal business. You know that and the Christmas week vacation and all those three day weekends throughout the winter season they’re hugely important to us. And we’ve seen some really strong visit numbers, you know, upwards of twelve-thousand people last Saturday and Sunday. So we’re really happy to report some great business levels.”
McPherson believes that skiers are coming out after a disappointing season last year. “We’ve had more powder days this winter than we’ve had in the last decade. I think all told it’s just been amazing.”
According to Ski Vermont, about 4 million skiers and riders visit Vermont’s 20 alpine resorts every year.