DOVER, Vt. (WCAX) With colder than normal temperatures, ski areas are getting a jump start on the upcoming season. At Mount Snow, not only do they have Mother Nature to thank, but a huge investment from the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program.
Blue skies, low humidity and 30-degree temperatures are the perfect combination for massive amounts of snow making. And it comes just in time for Saturday's opening day.
Reporter Adam Sullivan: How good is the snow here at Mount Snow?
Eric Barnes/Mt. Snow: It's the best in the country.
It's a big boast, with a $30 million investment to back it up. That includes more energy efficient guns, a new pump house, and a 120 million gallon man-made lake down the road.
"We pumped over 14 million gallons so far just getting the north side open and a trail down from the summit on the front side," Barnes said.
The project was made possible through the federal government's EB-5 program that offers green cards to foreigners who are willing to fork over millions in investments. A new $22 million base lodge scheduled to open soon is also part of the project. Mount Snow officials call it an EB-5 success story. "It has been a great opportunity for us to get some low-interest dollars and pump some money back into Vermont," Barnes said.
They say more snow and better amenities means more winter tourists, something area businesses are looking forward to.
"I think it is going to be an awesome season. Hopefully a lot of snow, so people come up and ski and have good business this year," said Frank Indelicato with the Snow Mountain Market.
This weekend's opening day is the earliest start in Mount Snow's 64 year history. Some seasonal business have yet to open their doors, but those that have say the ski season can't come soon enough for this tourist town.
Frank Indelicato: We always get a mountain of people coming in here.
Reporter Adam Sullivan: Pun intended?
Frank Indelicato: Pun intended.
For the time being, Mount Snow will only be open on weekends, but officials say, weather permitting, they hope to have full coverage as early as Thanksgiving.