'Snow brings people' to mountain resorts

Thursday January 17, 2013

DOVER -- This winter, the snow has been good for business when it comes to the local mountain resorts and its surrounding businesses.

"The one truism of the ski industry is ‘Snow brings people,'" said Mount Snow Communications Manager Dave Meeker. "With this series of snow, starting Christmas week, going through to that big dump we got between Christmas and New Year's, the timing thus far has been incredible."

Meeker explained that the weather affects not only business at the mountain, but the local businesses as well.

"During winter time, in resort towns like Dover and Wilmington, our livelihoods revolve around snow," he said. "When the mountain has snow, rooms are full, tables at restaurants are full and shops are full of people who want to take home souvenirs. Snow is the best thing to happen to people around here in the winter time."

With Martin Luther King Jr., weekend just around the corner, staff from resorts such as Mount Snow and Stratton have been counting their blessings. This will be the third holiday that has presented the area with snowfall.

The snow on Wednesday has been welcomed by the Mount Snow and Stratton resorts' spokespeople.

"It's perfect because it makes conditions that much better and gives the road crews enough time and gives the people time to get up Friday," said Meeker. "The timing has been fantastic."

"In a word, it's been terrific," said Stratton Mountain Communications Manager Myra Foster. "We had over 30 inches over Christmas and the New Year holiday. And two days before Martin Luther King weekend, we already have four inches on the ground and it's still snowing."

Foster told the Reformer that last year at Christmas time, Stratton had "very little snow." There had been about 30 trails open then. People were saying that the weather had made it seem like spring conditions.

"This year, we had double the terrain open, double the base depth and a winter storm warning," she said. "Which is certainly music to your ears if you're a snowboarder or skier."

Snow is important to keeping the mountains busy, but snowmaking temperatures are important as well. Being able to make snow on the mountain helps keep all the terrain open.

With last week's rising temperatures, some were worried that less trails would be available to visitors.

"The biggest thing is to have regular snow fall," said Meeker. "It gets people back into the motive that this is what winter's supposed to be like in Vermont. It's supposed to be this busy. It's refreshing for us at the mountain and for all the local business owners."

Mount Snow just started their second consecutive week of College Week, which drew a large group of people.

"It's nice to see crowds here mid-week," Meeker said. "With the efforts we've put into promoting College Week, coupled with the great snow we've had."

On Thursday, skiers and snowboarders can purchase a lift ticket for $29 at Mount Snow.

Stratton has a lot to offer this week, too.

"We have a lot of live music at Grizzly's (Bar and Restaurant) and activities for the family," said Foster. "There's always snowmobiling and dogsledding."

She mentioned that it is also National Safety Awareness Week, which means there will be activities based on the theme of safety.

"Everyone's excited," said Foster. "All you have to do is see Facebook. We posted photos this morning and had hundreds of likes. Everyone loves to see snow. It's just coming at the perfect time. Everything looks so beautiful with a fresh coat of white. It just makes everyone smile."

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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