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Strong Vermont Ski Season Winds Down

Chandler Burgess
Killington Resort
In this Feb. 10, 2014 photo provided by Killington Resort, a skier glides in the Natural Woods area of the ski resort. This year's long winter has been a boon for skiers and resorts across the state.

Many of us may be dreaming of summer. But Killington reported an inch of fresh snow on Sunday. This year’s seemingly never ending winter has been a boon for skiers and ski resorts across the state.

Parker Riehle, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association, said it’s not often that Vermont can best Colorado when it comes to skiing, but this past weekend, Vermont did. “Colorado and Utah both had two resorts still open for May skiing and riding,” said Riehle.  “But we had three with Sugarbush, Killington and Jay Peak so we’re pretty proud of that.”

Sugarbush has now closed for the ski season, but Killington and Jay Peak remain open.

Riehle said his organization won’t have final numbers for the season until June, but he said most resorts around the state have enjoyed a very good year. Whether or not it’ll top last year’s near record of 4.5 million skier visits remains to be seen.

While Rielhe said there was plenty of natural snow this year, rain in January and a colder than normal spring caused some hiccups across the state.  “Some folks just never got their spring skiing in, so some folks [resorts] really saw it drop off very quickly at the end rather than get those extra couple weekends that they saw come through last year.”

Despite that, a number of resorts, including Mount Snow are reporting slightly higher skier visits this year compared to last.

Dave Meeker, a spokesman at Mount Snow, said 72 inches of natural snow in February, a record at the resort, coupled with all the storms in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut boosted their business.

Officials at Killington and Okemo say they too have enjoyed a bump in skier visits this year compared to last. 

Bonnie McPhearson, a spokesperson at Okemo, said skiers were spending more this year too. “It’s really important to see that increase in revenue,” she said, “because in the long term that’s really how we’re able to gage grow and to see the economy rebounding.  It’s a really good indicator that things have turned around and are moving to the positive side of things.”

McPearson said season pass sales for next year are up by double digits as well and she says next year, if the weather cooperates, the ski season may be even better.

Updated, May 9, 2014: This story was updated to correct snowfall figures at Mt. Snow. The snowfall record was set in February, not for the entire winter."

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