To The Editor:
I would like to thank Nancy Coombs for her very thoughtful letter to The Valley Reporter last week. It means a great deal to our staff at Sugarbush to read compliments like hers. We are very lucky to have a cohesive team that works very hard to provide a good guest experience, despite what Mother Nature can throw our way. Our entire team, from facilities and information technology to mountain operations, works tirelessly each day to prepare Sugarbush for our guests. I appreciate Nancy pointing out the efforts that it takes to get the mountain open each and every day.
This past Sunday we closed for the season after 162 days. It was a challenging year in many ways. Despite really good early snowmaking temperatures and being 100 percent open by the Christmas holidays, the bitter cold kept people inside. Then 2 inches of rain before the important MLK weekend made for the worst MLK holiday we have had since owning Sugarbush. Presidents week started off well but then deteriorated as spring came early and we wondered if we would last until the end of March. Up to that point we had only received 100 inches of snow at the summits, one of the lowest since Sugarbush opened in 1958. But beginning on March 1 and through closing day we received 90 inches of new snow, experienced record March and April visits, and ended the year with approximately 6 percent more skier visits than last year.
This year we made more snow than in most previous years, but because of our investment in low-energy snowmaking equipment we used less energy doing so. In the past few years our actual kWh consumption has gone down by 30 percent which is not only good for us but also for the environment.
In a year where we have seen industry consolidation and increasing competition, it was very gratifying to see the final results. We are very grateful to our community for their loyalty and support. The Valley is a very special place, and we are pleased to be part of it.
Win Smith, president