Thursday, April 19, 2012
I remember a fellow classmate in school who was brilliant and always got depressed when he received a 98 on a test instead of the perfect score of 100. I guess I feel a bit like him right now, having skied only 98 days this year instead of 100, which is always my goal. Putting the winter into perspective, however, I would have to say that despite one of the warmest and driest winters in memory, I had 98 days on the slopes and enjoyed each and every one of them.
Of course, some were better than others and some were truly spectacular, like those powder days in February and the early spring days in March. In case you forgot how awesome this season has been, click here for this season's photos.
All season long we were pleased to hear guests remark, “Your team has done an excellent job. I am amazed at how good the conditions were!” That is the way the season went. We were also pleased to here from you in the Boston.com Skiing Showdown where you voted Sugarbush “Best Ski Resort in New England.”
We were 100% open almost every day from mid-January through mid–March. I think we were 100% open more often than any other mountain in the Northeast and maybe anywhere in the US other than Alaska or the Pacific Northwest. Our snowmakers and groomers really worked hard to make up for what Mother Nature did not deliver this winter. I could not have been happier with their performance. In fact, our entire team did everything they could to deliver a good guest experience, and they appreciated the many nice comments that we received throughout the winter.
We opened for skiing and riding on Thanksgiving Day and closed for the season on Sunday, April 8. An incredible March heat wave just ate the snow and left nothing but Stein’s to be skied on the final day. If we had received just a few less 70–degree sunny days in late March, the snowpack would have held up on many more trails and the overdue high-elevation April snow would have allowed us to remain open longer.
But it was a tough year. After incurring damages totaling more than $800,000 from Hurricane Irene, we were nevertheless feeling good about the winter season. Our season pass sales were up significantly, as were our seasonal Ski & Ride programs. Unfortunately, as the season progressed our nemesis – The Weather Channel – kept broadcasting news of a snowless winter everywhere and many people just could not believe that we were actually open, much less 100% open. Fortunately, many of you were wiser than the weather gurus and made it up here. But when the March heat wave hit, it seemed like most people just put their skis and boards away for the winter and turned to other activities. Skiing on Stein’s on the final Saturday was really nice, but only a few diehards came out to enjoy the day.
To those of you who purchased either a season pass or made the visit, I want to express my thanks for your support and loyalty this year.
Looking forward to 2012/13, we are keeping our early spring-season pass rates the same as last year, despite the challenges of the season and some inevitable cost increases. For pass details, including how to earn a Sugarbush Gift Certificate by referring a new pass purchaser, click here. Remember that these prices are good only through May 2nd.
Next season, we plan to open Lincoln Peak on Saturday, November 17 and close no earlier than Sunday, April 14, 2013 (if Mother Nature allows). Mt. Ellen only passholders can ski and ride at Lincoln Peak from opening day until Mt. Ellen opens in December and then ski at Mt. Ellen until it closes on the last Sunday in March. Mt. Ellen patrons looking to extend their season into April and wanting to ski at Lincoln Peak for five days during the regular season should consider the Mt. Ellen Plus Pass. For those of you in your 20s, we are once again offering our unique For20s Pass, also.
As the days grow longer now, we are turning our thoughts to summer. It will be a very busy season at the resort this year, with weddings that begin on Saturday, May 5 and continue most every weekend well into October. New England Tennis Holidays will again be partnering with us for multi-day adult camps and two kids camps. And our summer camps for kids will be in full swing late June through late August.
Some of our top summertime events include the Mad Triathlon on May 12, our second annual Sugarbush Brew–Grass Festival on June 16, the Green Mountain Opera Festival Emerging Artist Concert on June 21, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra on June 29, the Fourth of July post–parade celebration, the Mad Marathon on July 8, and the popular Taste of the Valley that kicks off the month-long Festival of the Arts in August. At the Sugarbush Resort Golf Club, the front nine are now open and passes are on sale. And our mountain adventure passes for lift–served mountain biking, disc golf, lift rides, and zipline can be purchased by winter passholders at reduced rates.
If you are one to take advantage of everything that we offer year–round, check out our Fancy Pass.
Once again, thank you for your support this winter and let’s all hope for a snowier and longer season next year. As always, please do not hesitate to send me any comments or suggestions on ways to make your experience even better here in the future.
With best regards,
President of Sugarbush Resort