Killington and Sunday River broke the seal on New England’s 2013-14 ski season last week, and though a warming trend is expected to hit New England over Halloween, it was enough to get everyone in the region thinking about ski season. Ski Vermont released tentative opening dates for their 15 member resorts. Meanwhile, Ski The East caught up with New England Cable News meteorologist Tim Kelly for his predictions on how the early season will shape up. Hint: It’s all about the nuts!
Tentative Opening Dates in Vermont
Killington Resort: October 25, 2013 (passholders); October 26, 2013 (public)
Okemo Mountain Resort: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Stowe Mountain Resort: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Sugarbush Resort: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Stratton Mountain: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Jay Peak Resort: Thanksgiving Week
Mount Snow Resort: Thanksgiving Week
Bromley Mountain: Friday, November 29, 2013
Smugglers' Notch Resort: Friday, November 29, 2013
Magic Mountain: Friday, December 13, 2013
Bolton Valley: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Burke Mountain: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Mad River Glen: Saturday, December 14, 2013 (earlier if possible)
Middlebury College Snow Bowl: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Pico Mountain: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Jay Peak Resort and Burke Mountain
The two Northeast Kingdom resorts plan to continue offering the Kingdom Pass, the season pass that offers access to both Jay Peak Resort and Burke Mountain. Jay Peak plans to start making snow around November 1st (and got a boost from nature over the weekend) with Burke Mountain following suit on November 15th. Both plan to be open by Thanksgiving.
Smugglers' Notch Resort
Smugglers' Notch Resort 100 new snow guns to intermediate and advanced terrain on Sterling and Madonna Mountains. New tower fan guns will provide additional coverage on the learning area on Morse Mountain and at the Sterling base. Last winter Smugs invested $1,000,000 in snowmaking. Smugglers' plans to kick off on Friday, November 29, 2013, the day after Thanksgiving, with intermediate terrain on Sterling Mountain and early-season lift ticket and lodging pricing.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Not to be out-done by it’s neighbor over the pass, Stowe Mountain Resort invested an additional 3.4 million dollars in new equipment and upgrades. The new snowmaking should increase Stowe’s early season terrain and raise the overall snow quality.
Trapp Family Lodge
Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Center upgraded trails and added a stadium facility for the 2013-14 winter season. The cross-country ski center outside of Stowe hopes to open in mid-December, possibly earlier with some natural snow.
Burlington’s local hill updated a third of their rental fleet with new goods from new equipment from Rossignol and Burton. Bolton Valley plans to open on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Renovations on Mt. Ellen's base lodge and Lincoln Peak's Valley House are expected to be completed when Sugarbush Resort opens on Saturday, November 23 with Lincoln Peak (December 20 for Mt. Ellen).
Middlebury CollegeSnow Bowl
The Snow Bowl added 15 new snowmaking towers, and plans to start blowing snow just after Thanksgiving.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Okemo added $1 million in snowmaking improvements,including 225 new tower guns and upgrades to the entire system. Snowmaking is scheduled to begin November 1, with a target opening day of Saturday, November 16.
Magic Mountain hosted Volunteer Days to add some steep new glades to the area. Magic added another snowmaking trail on the West Side. Magic also plans to open its snow tubing park and base beginner area for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Stratton Mountain’s $6.5 million investment is taking shape around the mountain. Upgrades include new snowcats and snowmaking enhancements, new look and menus for the Mid-Mountain Lodge, and a total remodel and rebranding of the Black Bear Lodge.
Mount Snow Resort
Thanks to snowmaking efficiency improvements, Mount Snow's is hoping to hit their traditional goal of opening before Thanksgiving. Once temperatures permit, the resort plans to fire up the fan guns on Launch Pad and hold its annual early season rail garden with all lift ticket sales benefiting the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry.