Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bring on the snow guns!

The crisp, autumn air that hovered over New England will subside for a few days as less seasonable temps take over, but with the ski season so close, resort all across the country are getting ready to fire up their sun guns and fans and start laying down the white stuff, as soon as Mother Nature permits.
With the recent announcement from Sugarloaf/USA that they will go for an October 26th opening, they will try to stake claim to a prize that for many years had been held by Killington.
In the 1990's, both Sunday River and Sugarloaf tried competing with Killington each year for the first to open. Each were successful couple of times, but the reigns quickly were handed back to Killington as ASC got into financial trouble.
And yet the big surprise came a few year back when Killington again got beaten to the punch. This time is wasn't another eastern giant, but a hill in Connecticut called Ski Woodbury. Woodbury had flown under the radar and was able to surprise everyone in the industry. The same mistake would certainty not happen again, until the very next year.
Some don't count such openings are Woodbury's due to the fact they are not able to sustain warm November spells and almost always end up closing. This was the case last year when Ski Cataloochee in North Carolina was the first to turn it's rope tow for skiing. Like most others, this small, but high altitude ski area had to close before re-opening for the season, but for a couple of weeks, "The Cat" was the buzz of the eastern ski world.
In a few short weeks, the guns and fans around the east will start to roar. Powdr Corp, the new operator of Killington and Pico, have said that early skiing and riding is not an option for their them, but one wonders if this is just a ploy to get Killington back on top. Or maybe Boyne really will deliver the goods in western Maine and having us skiing Tote Road on Halloween.