A snowstorm that was only expected to dump a few inches has buried many northern New England ski areas in more than 2 feet of powder, giving resorts a “huge boost” as they gear up for the holiday season.
“Vermont is open for business,” declared Jen Butson of Ski Vermont, a trade group that represents the Green Mountain state’s 15 major ski resorts.
Bolton Valley in northern Vermont took the prize of reaping the most white stuff with as much as 3 feet blanketing its trails, and its chairlifts don’t even officially start spinning until Friday.
“Opening weekend is going to be sick,” Bolton Valley spokeswoman Kim Jackson said of the superb conditions that riders and skiers will be treated to when the resort kicks off its season Friday, followed by edible treats, like free cookies and Cabot Cheese, over the weekend.
J.J. Toland of Jay Peak said forecasters predicted between 2 to 4 inches from the storm that began late Sunday, but by Monday it had dumped 15 inches. When it finally stopped snowing this afternoon, 27 inches had accumulated.
“It just set up shop right on top of us,” he said of the three days of snow. “It’s just absolutely, chokingly good. One, because you can’t make a turn without getting snow blowing in your face – it’s so deep – and, two, there’s a huge smile on your face.”
The bounty of powder was a huge relief for ski areas that had been blasting their snowguns and making man-made snow day and night in an effort to get their trails coated as the holidays near and the crowds return.
“Mother nature did our marketing for us the last couple of days,” said Killington’s Tom Horrocks, whose resort got 20 inches of snow in 48 hours. “This storm was a blessing for all of New England … This is definitely a huge boost for us. It lets everybody know that winter is here and it’s time to book that Christmas vacation.”
Vermont’s mountains weren’t the only ones smothered in snow. Parts of New Hampshire and Maine also got hammered by the storm.
“It’s just that beautiful champagne powder. It’s fluffy and light. It’s sort of a skier’s dream,” said Craig Clemmer, spokesman for Bretton Woods, which picked up 10 inches since Sunday and up to 29 inches this season, allowing it to run six lifts serving 29 trails.