Spring is finally here, but at least one New Hampshire ski resort is holding out for another weekend of running the ski lifts. Wildcat Mountain is open this weekend. There's still snow on some trails. The ski area began operating daily for the 2013-2014 season on Nov. 3. It plans to close again on Monday, April 28, through Friday, May 2, with the possibility of opening again next weekend.
It was a long, cold and snowy winter- that was good news for New Hampshire’s ski areas. Karl Stone, Marketing Director for Ski NH says the numbers are good for the resorts AND the state’s economy in general.
How has the 2013/2014 season stacked up?
Right now the numbers look really good… last year was our 5th best on record, and we’re tracking relatively even with that.
Every chair lift ride up Pats Peak in Henniker looks full on this mild winter day. Skiers and snowboarders are coming down the mountain, one after the other.
Joni Aubin and her colleagues spent much of the day before getting ready for these crowds – and not just on the slopes, either. Though she manages the snow sports office, Aubin helped out in the Tradewinds Café, wrapping up stacks of a Pats Peak specialty: the giant M&M cookie.
With only 6 to 8 inches of fresh powder, most New Hampshire ski areas aren't exactly reeling from the storm. But even a little snow can bring skiers to the mountains.
Greg Kwasnik, marketing director at Loon Mountain is expecting a surge of skiers.
Up here we didn't have such a huge impact that people had in Southern New Hampshire so I think a lot of people will shovel their driveways and then get up here. They might get here a little later than they anticipated but I think we'll see some strong business today.
While the storm is causing some problems around the state people at the ski resorts are delighted: Typically the resorts are reporting at least a foot of new snow.
“Conditions are great this morning. Lots of powder out there,” says Greg Kwasnik a spokesman for Loon Mountain. “I just went out and did a couple of runs. The winds aren’t that bad. They have not affected us at all.”
Kwasnik says crowds are about normal for a Saturday and he thinks some skiers probably decided to stay home because of the heavy snowfall in the southern part of the state.