Bolton, Vermont - January 11, 2012
The end of 2011 was forgettable for the ski industry here in the Northeast, as well as many of the mountain chains out west and in Europe. Resorts are now hoping to turn the corner in this new year.
"Early January now, we hope to be 100 percent open. Usually we have good cold snowmaking temperatures to get us going and then maybe 100 inches plus of snowfall by now," said Josh Arneson of Bolton Valley resort.
A little more than 50 inches of snow has fallen at Bolton Valley so far this season, following a banner year last year.
"I almost think we were spoiled a little bit," skier Phil Baker said. "Vermont winters are so up and down, you have to take it when you can get it."
The resort hopes that as more snow starts to pile up, the skier visits will follow.
"People are ready to come skiing, so as soon as we can get some extra snow and more trails open, they'll be a lot more people out on the slopes," Arneson said.
It's been a slow process trying to open up terrain this year but more than 6 inches of snow over the past week has helped Bolton Valley open several more trails.
The new snow, along with favorable snow making temperatures over the past couple of weeks, definitely helped out the ski conditions. The open trail count at Bolton Valley has climbed into the mid 20s, almost double the number of just a couple weeks ago.
"About a dozen of the trails we have open now are just on natural snow," Arneson said.
The fresh coating of snow made for some great midweek turns at Bolton. The skiers and riders are ready for more.
"It feels like the ski season is just starting and it's the middle of January, but at least it's starting," skier Emma Schneider-Ferrari said.
"Velvet snow today. It's a lot of fun, but hopefully we get a big storm soon," Baker said. "Twelve to 15 inches would mean a world of difference."
A season-changer that is welcome on these hills any day now.
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