Several of the larger ski areas in Vermont and northern New York have opened, ahead of the scheduled, and traditional, Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Whiteface Mountain in New York’s Adirondack Mountains near Lake Placid opened last Saturday, six days ahead of schedule, its earliest opening since 2003. In Vermont, Stowe Mountain Resort and Sugarbush also opened last Saturday. Killington and Okemo had opened even earlier in November. The open ski areas have limited trails and most of their base is man-made, although there has been some natural snowfall, according to Vermont Ski Areas Association Spokesperson Sarah Neith.
Getting those folks to the mountain is something the resorts are hoping they can do, after a disappointing season last year. Olympic Regional Development Authority Spokesperson John Lundin.
ORDA’s Jon Lundin believes the early skiing at Whiteface presents opportunities for other winter recreational sectors.
The early opening of the ski resorts may not have a substantial impact on overall tourism, but will help bring in some revenue, according to Jim McKenna, President of the Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.
Investments in low-energy, high-efficiency snow-making technology is helping some ski areas open earlier. More resorts plan to open during the upcoming holiday weekend, including Smugglers' Notch, Jay Peak, Bromley, Burke and Stratton in Vermont, and Gore and Belleayre in New York.