GM Blog: Early Season Storms

Friday, November 4, 2011

October 30th Awake to 15+” of Snow!

Early season storms – blessing or menace? As I walked around the resort this weekend it depended on who you were talking to.

Over at the new barn site the Poma guys were digging out their hangers (arm that attaches to bubble chair) with a goal of getting all the chairs in the barn by the end of the weekend. I asked Jeff (leading this project for Poma) if he was still feeling like we would be ready to open the lift around Nov 19 and he nodded and smiled. I took that as a kinda-sorta yes. I also asked Jeff when he needed to make it to the summit next. He said end of week. So I am loving the snow but hoping for a thaw so we can start moving enormous lift terminal parts to the summit soon!

Over at Launch Pad the guys were digging out the park features and they were welcoming the snow as the hill was looking a little worn out after 400+ people tried out the terrain park on Saturday.

420 tickets were purchased on Saturday, or should I say $4,200 was raised to help North Star Bowl rebuild their bowling alley, which was heavily damaged during Irene flooding.

I really hope we have a big turn out today so we can give North Star Bowl $10,000!
Despite the headaches an early storm can cause, when it comes to snow my attitude is anytime is a good time. Today’s headache could be tomorrow’s season pass or snowboard sale. Let’s face it, when it snows down country it is the best advertising available to ski areas and I am hoping this pre-Halloween trick will treat us to an early season boost in business.
Although rare, early season storms are not that uncommon in the mountains. Back in the 80’s I remember Mount Snow opening on Halloween. I am pretty sure we skied off the summit. Can anyone refresh my memory?
And before Mount Snow had its official opening, an early season storm resulted in an on-snow meeting that would form a strong bond between man and mountain. Here are the details from the pages of our history:

November 14, 1954 – The First Skier Descends Mount Snow
Pat Danahy, from Boston, hears about this new ski area soon to open. After a Saturday night snowfall leaves behind 8” of fresh snow, he decides to check it out. He hikes up to the first pitch near the current Canyon trail where workers are still laying cable for lift #2. He makes a few turns and is met at the bottom by two men; one, a tall, lanky man with a crew-cut. “Where are you from?” the man asks Pat. “Boston,” Pat replies. At this response, the tall man is visibly excited. Turning to his companion, he exclaims: “I told you they would come!” Pat later learns the tall man is none other than Walt Schoenknecht. And on this date Pat begins a 50-year relationship with Mount Snow.

I guess not a lot has changed in 60 yrs. Early season storms will continue to catch us off guard and depending on how you view it, will determine how your day goes. I have to think that the folks out on Launch Pad have the right attitude but I am grateful for all of our staff and the Poma crew who will muscle through the knee-deep snow to get the job done.

So when is opening day? That depends on Mother Nature – our goal is November 19th. I know, I know. How can we NOT open with all this snow? It is a hard decision to make but we are going to focus on building the Bluebird Express and getting everything ready for a Nov 19 opening.

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