Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mount Snow Gets a Face-Lift

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mount Snow Gets a Face-Lift

Article excerpt

On a warm, sunny bluebird Friday in early February, I stopped in at Mount Snow, Vermont's most southern ski area and closest to the tri-state area, to check out the Bluebird Express, a high-speed detachable six-passenger chairlift with a pull-down "bubble" cover, the only one of its kind in North America.

The seven-minute ride to the top was fast and luxurious thanks to thick cushions and an ultra-quiet atmosphere. The chair's towers were built low so it can operate in high winds of 50 mph.

The Bluebird Express is just one recent improvement at Mount Snow, which offers a 1,700-vertical-foot serving 80 trails and 467 acres of terrain on four mountain peaks. I had not skied much at Mount Snow since Peak Resorts, a Midwestern group that specializes in the art of making snow, had purchased it.

Since buying the resort in 2007, Peak has invested more than $18 million in capital improvements, including 254 fan guns, the largest installation of the technology in North America, according to management.

"We can make snow fast," said David Meeker, communications manager. "When our snowmaking is running at maximum capacity, we can put down a foot of snow in the entire Short Hills Mall including all the stores in just 12 hours. In just 20 hours, the system can overflow the 18-foot walls of center field at Fenway," he said.

Mount Snow is the only resort in the country that has hosted both the Winter X Games and the Winter Dew Tour. As a result, it developed the largest terrain park set-up in the East, devoting an entire mountain, called Carinthia, to its two pipes and eight separate parks, including Inferno, the extra-large feature park where big events are held.

The expansive terrain allows Mount Snow to offer a progressive park system with large features for pros and mini structures for young children or an expert skier like myself who doesn't have a clue about what to do in a terrain park but is willing to learn.

For instance, Carinthia's Grommet park has little jumps and small features -- perfect for learning to get your skis off the ground just a bit or to get used to sliding skis on steel. …

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