Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Written by Win Smith
As Thanksgiving approaches, we here at Sugarbush are very thankful for the cold days that Mother Nature provided us with this November. Because of cold temperatures all the way down to the base area, we were able to open last Thursday afternoon for passholders and Friday morning for everyone else. This was two days ahead of our originally planned Opening Day on Saturday.. Our entire team did a great job making this happen.
Ever since we installed the Valley House Quad two years ago we have been hoping to open Snowball and Spring Fling first, but have not had the temperatures to do so. As a result we had to begin snowmaking higher on the mountain and open with Downspout and Jester last season, where we had to open with downloading on the Super Bravo. Many of you commented how nice this year’s experience has been, and I too loved the ability to get first carves on these two trails. It was the perfect way to test my knee after this summer’s orthoscopic surgery. It is fun knowing that we have opened and will close in the spring on these two trails.
The snowmaking thus far has been significant. Thanks to Mother Nature we have now already put out over 25% of the water that we normally do in an entire season. That is quite a start.
This morning, we opened more terrain and ran three lifts (Valley House, Bravo and Heaven’s Gate) and opened Jester, Organgrinder, Downspout, Allyn’s Traverse, Valley House Traverse, Snowball and Spring Fling for some great top to bottom skiing and riding. Our Parks crew also has some features on Snowball. As temperatures fall Wednesday evening we will resume snowmaking on Stein’s, Lower Jester, and Coffee Run with the hope of having them open for the weekend. We will then move to expand additional terrain as temperatures allow.
While we do not open Mt. Ellen for the general public until later in December, we have already completed snowmaking on Inverness so that GMVS may begin practicing there. And we have already dialed in Rim Run and Elbow so we can now start working down the mountain in preparation for opening day. In fact, Wednesday evening we will be inaugurating our new snowmaking pipe on Which Way, as we begin blowing there.
The Women’s Swiss Alpine Ski National Team practiced here on Tuesday, and it was really fun watching them rip through a slalom course on Spring Fling early in the morning before we opened to the public. They might return again prior to this weekend’s competition at Killington.
Our new AXXESS gates are working well. That is, IF one places the card correctly. Please remember it needs to be in a pocket on your left side and be there by itself. Nothing else should be in that pocket next to your SugarXpress Card. Sadly it worked well in another way as one of our lift operators caught someone trying to use another’s SugarXpress Card. The picture of the passholder came up on the tablet and the operator recognized it as a different individual. The lift operator received a cash reward, and we have now confiscated that pass. While RFID’s primary purpose is for a better guest experience it also serves as a deterrent to the fraudulent use of a pass as well.
This Thanksgiving, Rumble’s will be serving a delicious Thanksgiving buffet, and Lili and I plan to dine there. There’s still space available if you’re interested in a Sugarbush Thanksgiving. You can call 802-583-6800 to make a reservation. For the first time in many years we are empty nesters and all the kids have other plans, so we will be enjoying a meal prepared by others. However, we will have a chance to see two of my children and three of the grandchildren over the weekend, and we are really looking forward to enjoying a few days of skiing with them. I find nothing more fun that doing turns with family and enjoying camaraderie afterwards with them.
Please remember that our Quad Pack sales end at midnight on November 30th. As you know, this is the best value for those who do not purchase a season pass.
I hope that everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family, and we look forward to seeing you on the slopes. Think snow!