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Slopeside: Mad River Glen - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Slopeside: Mad River Glen

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WAITSFIELD, Vt. -

Last week's snow brought a boost to business for the ski industry, and for ski areas that rely on natural snow, it was even more important. 

"This is our tradition every year," said Mark Bisanzo, a skier from Shelburne.

Bisanzo has spent numerous days at Mad River Glen over the past 25 years, but this day is extra special for him and his son Cavin.

"It's his 4th birthday," Bisanzo said.

This father-son day on the slopes almost didn't happen. If it wasn't for all the snow last week -- Mad River Glen saw almost 4 feet of it -- it wouldn't even be open right now. That's a testament to how important skiing is to Vermont's economy. 

This past weekend the ski area had more than 1,200 skiers at the mountain. "This weekend there would have been very few people skiing without the storm. It brought a lot of people to the state," Bisanzo said.

Another added bonus of the snow -- momentum for next season. "This season has been extended relatively long, and that's good news for season pass sales going into next year," said Mad River Glen's Eric Friedman.

Before the storm the area had about 15 open trails. Now all 45 are open. Already though that strong March sunshine is causing some bare spots to show up, so trail count may start to decrease again in the coming days.

Snow surfaces are variable--typical of spring. "Packed powder. A couple of spots a little icy -- a little firm -- but it's ski the east and that's what we live for," said George Husack, a skier visiting from Pennsylvania.

"They're awesome. It's a great spring day. We're having a good time out here," Bisanzo said.

During the middle of this week a cold shot of air will put a halt temporary to the snowmelt. Cold temperatures will also translate into firm and fast snow surfaces. Still, now that it's late March skiers know it's just a matter of time before the snow is gone.

"I want to be able to chase him around when he's older," Bisanzo said. 

That's why these father-son days on the slopes are priceless.

"Because it's my favorite thing," Cavin said.

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