Win's Word

Opening Sugarbush and Retiring the 'Old Blues'

Monday, November 14, 2011

I have been hiking with Rumble around the mountain checking things out during the past two weeks while Lili was visiting her daughter in Morocco.

We were able to make snow starting Friday (before it warmed up late Saturday) and had guns running down all of Upper Jester and Downspout to the intersection of Upper Organgrinder. The weather is going to stay warm through most of Wednesday and then it is turning cold enough to resume snowmaking up high. Next week the forecast is calling for much better temperatures and hopefully this will allow us to make snow all the way to the base. It looks highly doubtful that we can open for this weekend.  If we don't make the 19th, we will shoot for Thanksgiving Day. Hopefully, cold temperatures will return and stay. It is time.

In addition to making snow at Lincoln Peak, we are also set up to begin over at Mt. Ellen. We have twenty of our new Snow Logic guns set up on Inverness so that we can get GMVS on the slopes as soon as possible, and then we will turn our production efforts to the rest of the mountain. These new guns will allow us to make snow productively in higher temperatures and this should allow GMVS to begin training on Inverness earlier than in past years.

In addition to hiking around the mountain, I took the time to buy a new set of boots from Brook at Mountainside Ski Service. There was a big crowd in his newly renovated shop, so it is clear that everyone is getting stoked for winter. After five years I am finally retiring my blue Lange boots in favor of Lange Super Blasters and I can't wait to try them out.

While it has been relatively slow at the resort these first few weeks in November, we have continued to host corporate retreats and school fundraising events. The Vermont Business Roundtable had their Board Retreat here last week and CVU High School held a fundraiser for their ski team this past weekend. The prior weekend, Spring Hill School held their annual Bid and Boogie fundraiser. Our facilities really do lend themselves nicely to this type of retreat and fundraising event. 

The annual Boston Ski Show was held this past weekend and there were a number of showings of the new Warren Miller film in the Boston area.  While I did not attend the show this year, members of our sales and marketing teams reported that there was a great crowd. We gave away a ton of posters, stickers, magazines and there was a lot of excitement about the upcoming season at Sugarbush. 

You may have seen that The Boston Globe had an online survey for "your favorite ski resort." Globe readers ranked Sugarbush number three behind two Maine mountains. Given prolonged and extensive marketing campaigns by these resorts in the Boston market, we are honored to be ranked number three currently trailing only two Maine mountains but ahead of all the other Vermont and New Hampshire resorts. Boston continues to be a great market for us. All votes are appreciated. 

Our job fairs have attracted a qualified group of new people looking to work here this winter and we are happy to have so many returning veterans from prior years. This week we have orientation sessions for our groomers and lift operators and that is the sure sign that opening day is right around the corner. If you are in the neighborhood this weekend, join us at Big Picture Theater for The Big Kicker.

Don't forget to make reservations for Thanksgiving Dinner at Timbers. Gerry Nooney and Tim Chalifoux will be preparing a delicious feast.

See you on the slopes real soon.


Don't forget to check out our latest video...

About Win Smith
President & Owner

So what would you expect a former Executive Vice President of Merrill Lynch to do when he retires? Lay low in the islands? Nope. He moves north and works seven days a week right here at Sugarbush. Check out what he's been thinking.

Learn More about Win Smith >


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