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When does snowmaking stop?
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Updated one month ago
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one month ago

Been thinking about snowmaking as we’re starting to come up into March and was wondering - when does snowmaking typically end?  I’m guessing there’s a point where they just stop - even if they get a cold night or two - as the melt rate and/or skier visits don’t make financial sense to continue.  I remember RT made a lot quickly last year with a cold snap in March to “rise from the ashes.”

Do you think they’ll try to hold on to the season more into April since this year had a crappy start?  I know ST was hurting as they missed the holiday season and didn’t really get going good until mid-January.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

Varies quite a bit between ski areas from my observation the last decade.  As you noted, it’s a business decision that has very less to do with the weather after the first weekend of March.  Did you follow what happened last spring?  Meaning when there was good snowmaking weather in the first half of March.  No one was expecting the mid-Atlantic season to last until late March 2018 after all the warm weather in February.

Seasonal staffing is another business reality.  Even out west there are plenty of destination resorts that can’t decide in March to stay open late when there is deep snow coverage in April because their staff are already gone.  Those that do stay open (e.g., Snowbird, Mammoth, Bachelor) start closing lifts somewhat before the snow is unskiable on the lower mountain.

one month ago

Canaan Valley and Timberline (when it used to actually not be a joke of a ski resort) would typically stop after this holiday weekend and rely on the built up bases they had plus natural snow.   Many other more local places would usually be closed totally be the end of Feb or early March, but as marzNC says last year was really unique with places like Liberty, WT and RT staying up longer than Wisp, CV and Timberline.   Even little Bryce I think beat those places.   That was because they all had committed to continued snowmaking into March as it got colder after some really, really warm Feb weather which had trails looking like more grass than snow.   Was really surprised and happy to see that commitment and how it paid off for them.   In the end it comes down to whether it will be profitable to make snow so late in the season for ski resorts so the more we as skiers can get out and support them when they do it will be a benefit to all of us.

one month ago

Only time I’ve seen or skied a Mid Atlantic or Midwest resort open for lift served skiing after March was following a highly off the charts dump of natural snow that allowed a couple places to re open for a day or two.  Killington will try to make it as long as possible in the east.  Mammoth and A-Basin in the west keep the lifts spinning as long as there’s still skiabe base.

one month ago

There have been plenty of years in the past where I have been skiing at 7 Springs into the 1st or 2nd week of April. Typically snowmaking there stops after Presidents Day Weekend, with the exception of a few critical spots where traffic is high.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

With Easter being late, I wonder if Snowshoe is going to try to stay open until the third week of April?  Be a good way for Alterra to sell Ikon passes.  Especially if they repeat the idea of offering late season plus all of 2019-20.  The mid-Atlantic is one region that Alterra doesn’t compete directly with Vail Resorts.

Also could show off the upgrades to the snowmaking infrastructure.  Assuming Mother Nature coopeerates with some cool weather in late March and/or early April.

one month ago
SS announced closing date is already March 24.
one month ago

Weekend after St Pats seems to be the perrenial projected closing date most resorts around here put out there.

one month ago

Last year, Hidden Valley and 7Springs made snow well into the month of March.

Shout it from a mountaintop.
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