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  • 28 Jul 2015

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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673

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The 2007 season marked by dearth of snow, but no lack of enthusiasm


By Lisa Loomis
"It's been pretty grim, but we're remaining hopeful and after this week's snow we expect be able to re-open for the Martin Luther King weekend," said Mad River Glen spokesperson Eric Friedman.

"We're not packing it in. We were never going to pack it in for the season. Those rumors were just not true. After Christmas we did have to lay off most of our seasonal employees and all the rest took 60 percent pay cuts or worked without pay. Then last Sunday we were forced to close down again and laid off everyone except senior management and we're working on the planning and other stuff that needs to get done right now anyway," he added.
He said staffers would be back for this weekend's re-opening and was optimistic that the weather trends would hold.

The Fayston ski resort has extremely limited snowmaking.

At Sugarbush, in Warren and Fayston, there's snowmaking aplenty and that has been used to the maximum whenever temperatures have allowed, according to spokesperson JJ Toland. The warm weather has nevertheless taken its toll at Sugarbush as well.

"The warm days have given us a chance to work on our base tans. As to resort traffic, skier visits are down, as you'd expect with the stretch of weather we've had. Heading into the holiday weeks they were off considerably, but the foot and a half of snow we got during the last week of 2006 helped alleviate the sting. Still, our visitor traffic is down significantly year to date. What is really encouraging is not only the amount of positive feedback we're receiving about the new village but the people who are coming up to ski are buying a lot of burgers and drinking their fair share of beverages. Our new retail operation has done exceptionally well too," he said.

Toland said that Sugarbush is nowhere near its permitted maximum amount of snow making (based on the amount of water usage).

"We've blow close to 90 million gallons and would have blown more had we had the temps," he said.

Morale has been good, he said, despite the weather, thanks in part to excitement about the new facilities.
"In other years where we might only focus on what's happening outside, the new facilities are keeping the excitement level high among staff. If you worked at Sugarbush during the 05/06 season and came back this year, you'd think you're at a different resort. The place has a great vibe going," he added.


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