Smaller areas are working to open 100% of their terrain via snowmaking.
Sunday, January 7, 2024, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Mirroring the rough winter of 2015-16, Pats Peak announced this morning that all of its trails are now open, making it the first chairlift-served ski area in New England to reach that figure this year. Pats Peak reached that threshold on January 19 in 2016, within a few days of King Pine, Mt. Southington, and Ski Sundown.
Continued incremental snowmaking improvements have allowed smaller ski areas to make more snow during limited windows, such as the warmer-than-average December of 2023. Areas have also stockpiled manmade snow during colder-than-normal pre-season windows, such as the colder-than-average November of 2023. In a recent Storm Skiing Podcast, Berkshire East and Catamount CEO Jon Schaefer stated, "If you miss these opportunities early season, you're not done, but you're behind. You need to have that snow down...I'd say 8 out of 10 years, you're keeping it through whatever December warm-up we're having, and that becomes critical snow for the holiday season."
Want of natural snow, many larger areas are less than half open as of this weekend, while other smaller areas are closing in on two-thirds open.