While parts of Vermont may see snow Monday evening, many ski resorts in Vermont and elsewhere have closed for the season. This year has been critical as some stations have attempted to make up for seasons interrupted by the pandemic.
Some ski resorts claim last season brought higher attendance and in some cases numbers are back to pre-March 2020 levels. Killington Resort was the first to open this season and is still seeing skiers on tracks. The station claims that this season has attracted more customers. “We’ve seen more visits this year and are excited to welcome everyone to Vermont,” said Kristel Killary, communications manager for the Killington Resort.
Ski Vermont says that translates to more money for Vermont’s economy. “Having a good ski season is not only good for the ski resort, but it’s also good for a lot of surrounding businesses,” said Molly Mahar, president of the Vermont Ski Area Association.
One of these places includes the Von Trapp Family Lodge, where people can stay in the winter. Owner Sam Von Trapp says he’s seen more travelers this year. “We happened to enjoy it here at the Trapp Family Lodge,” Von Trapp said. “Our space spans 2,800 acres and has restaurants and high ceilings that make people feel comfortable.”
Ski Vermont says the biggest challenge resorts faced were restrictions on out-of-state travelers. “Last season not being able to freely enter quarantine really depressed our skier visits for last season.” There have been similar impacts on nearby businesses. “For winter 2020 to 2021, there were still a lot of travel restrictions. Vaccines had just become available, but for older people, but not yet available for everyone. »
While skiers were more plentiful, staff remains an issue, but Von Trapp says business is still strong. “We’d rather have twice the business and half the staff than twice the staff and half the company.” He is happy to see more visitors coming to Green Mountain State.
“We really appreciate being able to provide an escape for people many of whom have been locked in their bedrooms, many who are not as lucky as us to live in rural Vermont where we have access to all these hobbies and space. People are really excited for the people who couldn’t see us last year. So they make sure to see us this year.
In some places, there is still time to find the tracks. Killington Resort is open 7 days a week the rest of the month, then weekends in May. Other resorts remaining open include Jay Peak, Sugarbush and Mount Snow. The Ski Vermont organization says it expects to see more Canadians hitting the slopes as restrictions continue to ease at the border.