Friday, November 11, 2005

Return Of Colder Temps Has Resorts Targeting Next Weekend

Killington, VT (Friday, November 11, 2005) - Warm weather throughout early November has stymied eastern ski and snowboard resorts' attempts to open or reopen, but a return to colder temperatures has a number of ski areas firing up their snowmaking systems.

Following a late-October snowstorm that allowed Vermont's Killington Resort to open for two days, warm air has prevented the resort from sticking to its planned Nov. 11 opening. Resort officials are now shooting for next week. "We will open as soon as we can provide a quality top to bottom skiing and snowboarding experience," said Dave Rathbun, vice president of brand management for Killington. "Right now, looking at the current weather forecast, we're targeting next week to re-open the season."

Warm air has forced nearby Okemo Mountain Resort to twice reschedule its planned opening already. The current target date for Okemo's opening is Friday, Nov. 18. "The temperatures came in to where we like them at around 10 o'clock on Tuesday night," says Okemo Mountain Operations Director Barry Tucker. "We've had staff on call and equipment in position for several nights now, and it looks like the temperatures are holding fairly well for us."

Preliminary efforts are focusing on three trails on the upper mountain at Okemo but that will expand quickly, according to Tucker. "We're staffed to make snow," he said.

Across the border in northeastern New York, Whiteface Mountain ski and snowboard area near Lake Placid had 64 guns roaring from the top of Little Whiteface (Excelsior trail) to Upper Valley to mid station today, its first day of snowmaking.

And in Massachusetts, snowmaking crews were ready to fire Jiminy Peak's snowmaking system overnight at press time. Jiminy is planning to begin full-time snowmaking next week with the goal to be open for the weekend of Nov. 19th and 20th.

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