By David Young, courtesy Killington Resort
A young skier practices tricks in a park at Killington Resort. Conditions have been great and local resorts are 100 percent open. Now Killington, Pico, Okemo and Suicide Six look ahead to the spring – where events and discounts are hallmarks of the season. But don’t get too excited for warm weather, March is Vermont’s snowiest month!
Resorts and and area businesses said Presidents week was stronger than past recent years.
Killington saw a 25 percent increase in visitors over last year, said Killington Resort Marketing Manager Jordan Spear. “We had a great Presidents week here at Killington/Pico with 100 percent of our terrain open most days and great weather,” Spear said.
Okemo was also 100 percent open with all 20 lifts running.
“Presidents week was everything we could have hoped for,” Okemo Communications Manager Bonnie MacPherson said. “We saw very strong skier visits, lots of smiles and many many positive comments on our social media channels. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
The area saw about a foot of snow in the days leading up to Presidents week, followed by several bluebird days and brief bits of additional natural snowfall.
“It felt very busy,” MacPherson said.
Zack Wilkins, a ski technician at Peak Performance in Killington, said business was about 20 percent busier than last year. “The snow was better,” he said. “Everyone was pretty happy and conditions were good.”
Last year’s unseasonably warm temperatures created unfavorable ski conditions for President’s week. About 40 percent of the season’s snowfall came in March last year, after vacation weeks had ended.
This month, about 26 inches have fallen at Okemo, which is down from 41 inches that fell in February last year, but the snow quality has held better for vacation weeks this season. A total of about 114.5 inches have fallen at Okemo so far this year.
“It was way better than the last two years,” said Jean Pierre of Basin Sports. “It wasn’t cold or hot. Skiing was consistent everyday.”
While some said this week was busier than others, Greg Hart, the owner of Blue Sky Trading Company in Ludlow, said visitation was about average.
“It was fairly comparable to previous years,” he said.
Sunday, the last day of vacation week, was the only day with unfavorable weather. A combination of rain and snow made conditions difficult.
“I think people hightuned it early,” Macpherson said.