Mount Snow recently held their annual winter warm-up preview at the Grand Summit Hotel, on Tuesday, November 16. Dozens of innkeepers, business owners, and local officials were on hand to hear what is in store for 2010-2011. According to local weather reports, Mount Snow is expecting cold weather patterns in the days ahead. “If it bears fruit, we hope to open next Tuesday or Wednesday,” said Moulton at the time.
John Redd, of Ski Home Realty, agreed with Moulton that cold weather and snow will come early this year. Redd gives the annual winter season weatherpredictions and this year he consulted multiple sources. He said the Olde Farmer’s Almanac, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Longrangeweather.com, and Accuweather.com all agreed New England will be covered in snow this season.
“Thanks to La Niña, 2011 will be colder and snowier than normal,” said Redd. “There will be no record amounts, but it should be 10% to 25% above average with the coldest and snowiest periods near the full moons of December and January. That is right before Christmas and the Martin Luther King Jr. holidays.”
In other news, Mount Snow made several changes during the off-season. According to general manager Kelly Pawlak, Mount Snow staff improved and updated the resort’s custodial plan and the resort will have a much cleaner presence this year. Mount Snow has implemented a new safety program for skiers and riders to prevent potential collisions and accidents, and the MOOver will be taking over shuttling duties to provide faster and more efficient service from the parking lot to the base area. “The (parking lot) wait will be no more than five minutes to take you to the base area,” said Pawlak.
Pawlak also said that Mount Snow is almost finished with the permitting process for the West Lake project and they are now beginning the Act 250 process for the master plan, a 30- to 40-year plan that will change the aesthetics of the base area.
Mountain operations have been hard at work this summer. Moulton said they built a two-and-a-half mile mountain bike and hiking trail, starting at the base area, expanded the winter tubing area to 10 lanes.
Moulton said mountain operations also upgraded water pipelines along Handle Road, replaced up to 6,000 feet of pipeline on the mountain, and spent up to $60,000 on new seat pads for the chair lifts. They also added two more Snowcats and several fan guns to improve their snowmaking efforts. “As long as it’s cold, we don’t have to worry about how much snow we get. We’ll be making snow,” said Moulton.
Mount Snow events director Greg Fisher highlighted the resort’s marketing strategies for 2010-2011. Mount Snow will be advertising in print, radio, billboards on Interstate 84, and in New York City’s Times Square on Christmas Day. Mount Snow is also increasing their online advertising presence. They will be advertising on various websites.
This year, Mount Snow will be introducing a first-time-visitor program. Skiers and riders who are visiting Mount Snow for the first time will be given a yellow zip tie to wear. Mount Snow ambassadors will identify them, answer any questions they may have, and help make their stay a pleasant one. “We want to make sure they come back. We will make them feel like VIPs,” said Fisher. Mount Snow will be offering discount specials and entertainment this year. They include Youth Pay Their Age Day, College Weeks, Valentine’s Day specials, $17 lift tickets on Saint Patrick’s Day, the first Mount Snow film festival, torchlight parades, and the famous duct tape relay race and reggae festival.
Lewis announced the special skier and snowboarder events they will be hosting in 2010-2011. From Friday, April 1, to Sunday, April 3, Mount Snow will host the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge finals, a nationwide series in which amateur skiers and riders race to qualify for a national championship. The event will draw up to 2,500 skiers and riders from across the country and Lewis said it will be a great opportunity to attract more visitors.
On Saturday and Sunday, May 8 and 9, Mount Snow will host the Tough Mudder competition. Tough Mudder is not a race but a physical challenge for extreme sports enthusiasts. It features military style obstacles from mud pits to water, fire, and snow. The goal for participants is to finish.
Lewis expects the event will draw tens of thousands to the Mount Snow area. “Up to 8,000 people registered for the Tough Mudder competition in New Jersey,” said Lewis. “This event will benefit everyone in the valley. It will be much better than the Dew Tour.”