Vermont's mountains are a lush green but many can't wait until they turn white.
Ski resort season passes are selling slightly better than last year, despite a lack of snow in-state and across the country in the 2011-12 season. At least one mountain, Jay Peak, is seeing a 10% boost in pass sales.
Industry spokespeople say the bump is due to pent-up enthusiasm, secondary offerings, and early season deals.
"We had no so-called 'hangover effect' from kind of a tough winter that we had last year," said Ski Vermont President Parker Riehle, "that's great news for the coming season, it really shows consumer confidence with our market, our core market of season pass loyalists."
At Sugarbush, in the Mad River Valley, the deadline for early season pass rates is almost here. Early passes represent the bulk of all those sold at the mountain.
"Generally speaking, I would say that they're probably 80 - 90 percent bought by the early deadline rate," said P.R. Manager Patrick Brown, "right now we're trending above our year-to-date averages from last year."
Brown says not only does buying early provide value for the customer, but it also firms up the financial footing of the resort as they wait for the soft stuff to fly. "It's good for our revenue and our bottom-line to have the dollar values coming in early season as we prepare, as we ramp up, as we make purchases for the season," he said.
Since last season's snow melted, Riehle said many Vermont mountains updated snow-making as part of that ramp-up.
"We'll be armed and all the more ready to go in case Mother Nature is a little fickle again," he said, "with the additional snow-making investments and upgrades that have occurred, Vermont - statewide - now has 80% coverage."
That means 1,300 more acres will be under the snow-making gun in Vermont than are ski-able in all of New Hampshire. A better year on the slopes is almost guaranteed.
Riehle said many resorts are also beginning to reap the rewards of an increased emphasis on summer revenue streams. He says they're generally more stable and can help hedge against bad winters like last year's.
Monday, December 9 2013 8:18 AM EST2013-12-09 13:18:48 GMT
Soldiers and families at the region's largest military base are getting some holiday cheer Monday morning. About 700 farm-grown Christmas trees will be delivered to the 10th Mountain Division headquartersMore >>
Soldiers and families at the region's largest military base are getting some holiday cheer Monday morning.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 8:01 AM EST2013-12-09 13:01:55 GMT
Police in Jericho are looking for the culprits behind vandalism at the elementary school. They say this weekend, four windows were damaged when rocks were thrown at them. Police say Saturday, three kidsMore >>
Police in Jericho are looking for the culprits behind vandalism at the elementary school.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 7:52 AM EST2013-12-09 12:52:05 GMT
This year's Gift of Life marathon is set for December 17, and organizers in Rutland have their sights set on knocking off the Manchester, New Hampshire's one-day record with 1,968 pints. Here with anMore >>
We have an update on the preparations for Rutland's big Gift of Life Marathon later this month.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:58 AM EST2013-12-09 10:58:56 GMT
An American singer with Vermont ties is making waves with her music halfway across the globe. Jennifer Grout has emerged as the unlikely singing sensation on the overseas reality show Arabs Got Talent. UnlikelyMore >>
An American singer with Vermont ties is making waves with her music halfway across the globe.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:51 AM EST2013-12-09 10:51:48 GMT
Usually the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service is busy saving lives or responding to emergencies. But right now, members are selling Christmas trees to raise money for the finishing touches on theirMore >>
Many different groups sell Christmas trees this time of year to raise money for their organization. And for the third year, that includes an ambulance service.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:44 AM EST2013-12-09 10:44:43 GMT
Police say a Killington driver hit and killed a New Hamphire man. They say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson of Enfield went out for a walk overnight Saturday in Killington and never came back. Friends went outMore >>
Police say a Killington driver hit and killed a New Hamphire man.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:56 PM EST2013-12-09 04:56:59 GMT
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. It happened Saturday night on the Killington Road. Police say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson wentMore >>
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:36 PM EST2013-12-09 03:36:50 GMT
A Burlington congregation made a short pilgrimage to it's new home Sunday. The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decidedMore >>
The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decided not to renew its lease.More >>