DOVER -- This year was the earliest opening of Mount Snow since 2007.
"This was thanks in large part to getting an extended cold snap the week starting Nov. 11," said Mount Snow Communications Manager Dave Meeker. "That coupled with the fan gun technology, it only took 52 hours to open on Nov. 15."
After that weekend, lifts stopped spinning for the following week. Then the mountain was opened again on Nov. 22 for daily operation.
Meeker told the Reformer that during this time of year, people are eager to get on snow.
"We're very happy to provide them with a great product to get them out there when we did," he said. "There's a lot of enthusiasm, which is a great indicator of what to expect."
This winter, the candy shop Sweet Stash and the Bullwheel Pub are open for visitors. Sweet Stash is located inside the base lodge at the main face, while the Bullwheel Pub is at the summit. It can be accessed by the Bluebird Express lift.
More terrain is opening every day.
As of Nov. 29, the plan was to open popular cruisers such as "Ridge," "Deer Run" and "Snowdance." The North Face's "Free Fall" had already opened that day.
"The fact that we are usually opening around Thanksgiving time and that we are skiing on three mountain faces is remarkable," said Meeker.
He also mentioned that the Carinthia Park Crew had done a great job. The all-park mountain face Carinthia was voted number one terrain park on the East Coast for the 2013/2014 season in both TransWorld Snowboarding Magazine and SKI Magazine.
Although "Nitro" has been open with no features, it will be closed midweek for the crew to build one of its several parks.
"The first build of the season will be what we had mid-winter," said Meeker. "Over 20 features from top to bottom."
On Nov. 23, Stratton Mountain opened for the winter. The following Friday, it was expected that double the terrain would be open for skiing and snowboarding.
"They made snow for a good stretch going into opening and throughout the weekend," said Stratton Mountain Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications Myra Foster. "We had 300 guns going on that Sunday."
She told the Reformer that the mountain opened five days sooner than anticipated.
"The smiles were everywhere. People were so excited to get out and take some runs," added Foster.
Traditionally, she said, opening ceremonies are held during the Thanksgiving weekend and many out-of-state visitors come to celebrate the holiday.
There was the 8th Annual Gobble Gobble Wobble 5k run with $2,000 at stake, then the village grand reopening along with fireworks and rail jam.
Approximately $7 million has been spent this year in capital investments at Stratton Mountain. This includes three snowcats, two new trails and a remodel of the Inn at Stratton Mountain, which is now called the Black Bear Lodge.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or email@example.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.