A little white gold is finally falling in the Green Mountain State and skiers are saying it's about time. But we could really use some more. Even with the fresh snow, fewer than half of Vermont Ski Areas have opened. Bolton Valley's condos and lifts sit empty.
"And certainly Christmas week is a big piece of business for us. It really kicks off the whole season for us. It's when we see a tremendous amount of migration from down country. Hotel is usually packed, tons of people coming up to go skiing and riding from out of town, as well as pass holders, so it's a pretty significant hit," said Josh Ameson from Bolton Valley.
Luckily the weather pattern is turning around. Temperatures will tend to stay colder over the next week and Bolton Valley will finally open up on New Year's Eve.
Bigger resorts managed to open with limited terrain for several weeks.
"Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning. It took about 20 minutes to dig out the car this morning and that's when we knew we were in for good skiing," said James Radley from Alabama.
Skiers like Radley and his sons traveled all the way from Alabama to make some turns at Stowe.
"We were a bit worried because there wasn't any snow when we first came, but it came and we were able to ski," said William Radley.
So far, Stowe opened 21 of their 116 trails, which is less than 20 percent.
Ski conditions are variable. Areas of natural snow are light, soft and fast. Be careful though, the man-made base underneath is firm with icy spots.
And chances are good that you'll have to ski through some snowmaking.
After all, since 2012 Stowe has spent more than $10 million on snowmaking equipment.
The Radleys think conditions as a whole are improving.
"I think it's much better. Before it was sleet and slushy," said William.
The new snow is drawing big crowds at Stowe.
"A couple days ago this place was like not many people. But now it's busy," said Annie Simmons from Australia.
Hopefully, busy days like this help to compensate for the lackluster season so far.
"There's no doubt that the weather has impacted our business. Luckily, we've had a good snowmaking plan, but nowhere near the averages of the past four or five years," said Michael Colbourn from Stowe Mountain Resort.
It's going to take a lot of cold and snow in the coming weeks to make up for the slow start. And some skiers will still be out there making the most of it no matter what.
"I think it's fun because you get to ski down a mountain and just the atmosphere of it is really cool," said Oliver Radley.
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