Snow Report: Saddleback’s Future Remains in the Air, Unlike Snow
Winter has officially started (yay!), but the weather most certainly does not reflect the official change in seasons. Boston is looking at possible record highs on Christmas with projected temperatures in the high 60s. It’s not fun for snow lovers. Of course, this string of unseasonably warm weather is spread across New England, not just Boston.
Slow Going In Vermont
The Wall Street Journal took a deep dive into the headaches the lack of winter weather is giving Vermont ski areas and found that just eight of the state’s 20 hills are open. Even the big ones like Killington, Jay Peak, and Mount Snow only have a smattering of terrain open to the general public. Most resorts in New England, particular in Vermont, aim to be open by Christmas, but that does not appear to be in the cards for many of them this year.
Wintry Mix Looks At Forecasting
Alex Kaufman of Ski The East and Vermont Public Radio launched a great New England-oriented podcast for skiers this season called Wintry Mix. You can find it on SoundCloud and in the iTunes Store. In the latest edition, Kaufman talks with Paul Sisson of the National Weather Service’s Burlington office. Sisson isn’t just a weather geek, however, he’s also a telemark skier who is bothered by the winter. “It’s not that uncommon to see a warm start to the winter, but this year it’s pretty far above normal. If we keep going the way we’re going, and it looks like we are, we’ll have the warmest December on record,” said Sisson.
Poor Saddleback. It’s the biggest question mark in the New England ski world. Will it open at all this season? We don’t know, but the resort insists they will open by the end of January. In the meantime, they’re offering three options to season passholders unhappy with the resort’s current situation:
1. WAIT FOR A SNOWY OPENING DAY: By waiting for opening day, you will receive an additional 50% resort credit bonus added to your season pass that can be used anywhere in the resort: food, tickets, lessons, rentals, seasonal locker rentals, future season or day passes etc. This may be used this year or next.
2. CONVERT YOUR SEASON PASS INTO A GIFT CARD: The amount of your pass purchase will be placed on a gift card and by waiting for opening day you will receive an additional 50% resort credit bonus that can be used anywhere in the resort: food, tickets, lessons, rentals, seasonal locker rentals, future season or day passes etc. This may be used this year or next. With the abbreviated season this may give you more flexibility.
3. RECEIVE FULL REFUND: Receive a Full Refund of your season pass.
At any time from now until opening day, if you wish to not wait any longer you may request your season pass refund and pass up on the additional 50% resort credit bonus opportunity.
The resort’s future is in limbo due to an unfinished sale of the property. In a Facebook posting, the resort’s current owners, the Berry family, said they are confident they will seal the deal with a new owner soon, but provided no additional details. The Berry family has owned Saddleback since 2003, but has reportedly struggled to keep the place afloat.