Portland ME (January 4, 2017) Maine Ski Areas received their biggest Christmas Wish in the form of a good old Nor’easter, on Friday December 30. Snowfall was generous in all parts of the State boosting the attendance at all of the Downhill and Cross Country areas.
A sampling of the storm totals included nearly 30″ at Mt. Abram and Sugarloaf, a solid two feet at Sunday River, Shawnee Peak, Black Mountain, Lost Valley, Big Squaw, and Titcomb. Coastal areas picked up a half foot of snow kicking Powderhouse Hill into gear and provide stunning ocean views through snow covered trees at the Camden Snow Bowl.
At Maine’s Northern areas, this storm added to the nearly three feet of snowfall received earlier in the season. Big Squaw, Lonesome Pine Trails, Quoggy Jo Ski Center, and Bigrock Mountain had a fast start to the season opening on 100% of their terrain prior to the vacation week.
Nordic Centers heavily reply on natural snow, so the vacation blizzard insured operations at all 17 Ski Maine Association Nordic Centers. One-day attendance records were broken at nearly each Nordic Center.
A roundup of the mountain reports includes:
Sugarloaf – the thirty inches of fresh snow contributed to 100% lodging occupancy, Christmas week visits up 20%, and year to date skier visits are up 15%.
Sunday River – following the overnight twenty inches of snowfall, Rt. 26 delivered skiers in record numbers. Saturday December 31 resulted in the biggest single day of lift tickets sales in the history of the ski area.
Shawnee Peak – the two feet of new snow, on top of their extensive snowmaking base allowed Shawnee to ski on nearly 100% of the terrain. The business extended through to their Monday Night Madness skiing with big crowds continuing through the late afternoon and evening on the very last day of vacation.
Mt Abram – Another Rt. 26 ski area capitalized on the new show enjoying a huge increase in lessons and equipment rentals. Overflow parking on Saturday was a visible sign of success.
Lost Valley – new owner, Scott Shanaman was excited to see a capacity crowd enjoying the rejuvenation of this popular community area.
Camden Snow Bowl – known for its view of Penobscot Bay, the Snow Bowl enjoyed one of its earliest openings in history as a result of their mountain redevelopment of its lifts, trails, and snowmaking. The ski area opened to the summit before Christmas and the excitement of the new snow gave a boost in ticket sales, lessons and rentals.
According to Greg Sweetser, Executive Director of the Ski Maine Association, “this storm has put its stamp on the winter. A solid snow base exists across the state, including everyone’s backyard. People are seeing snow and thinking about skiing and snowboarding. The conversations when folks got back to work and to school has been about how fabulous the snow has been. Those conversations only fuel the excitement for winter.”
The upcoming series of storms appear to follow the normal winter storm track which typically results in mixed precipitation along the coast, and increasing amounts of snow as you move inland. Ski Maine Association posts snow conditions and events on its website, www.skimaine.com.
The Ski Maine Association is the non-profit trade association representing
Maine’s ski and snowboard industry.