Marc Chrusch <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> but weren't there a few significant melt-downs this season too?

For the most part, midwinter natural snowfall & meltdowns have nothing to
do with how long Superstar lasts in the spring.  The snow pile is 99%
manmade snow.  The deeper you pile it, the longer it lasts.  This year,
they only made half the snow of years where they made it to Memorial Day
and beyond.  This wasn't a particularly warm spring where we had several
weeks of 70 and 80 degree April weather and it still melted out for mid-
May. Yet another example of the operational budget cuts at Killington.

The old Preston Smith days where Killington blew snow wherever they could
drag a hose and until they sucked the snowmaking ponds dry appear to be
long gone.  ASC fixed Killington's chronic water shortage problem with the
Woodward Reservoir pipeline but they failed to make much use of it this
year.  The seasonal snowmakers were laid off very early this year and the
remaining full-timers didn't run the guns on Superstar that extra week it
would have taken to preserve May skiing.  They didn't make all that much
snow elsewhere on the mountain.  Cascade was completely gone the last week
of April when it typically is skiable by walking over from the top of Skye
Peak until the 2nd week of May.  The only things that got resurfaced
frequently were East Fall and Chute/Mouse Trap (now middle Bunny Buster).
With the amount of skier traffic Killington generates with all that uphill
capacity, it's no surprise that the skiing surface on the high traffic
trails was poor much of the winter since they only made limited snow in
December, blew everything once in early January, and only did spot
resurfacing until after the late-February melt when they were forced to
repair the worst of the damage.  If they hadn't received a little help from
mother nature the 2nd half of March, most of the mountain wouldn't have
made it beyond the first weekend in April.

The result of all of this is that the people stayed away.  You can judge
the amount of skiers at Killington on a Saturday by looking at the Access
Road and the Bear parking lot.  In January & February, there were only two
days where cars were parked on the Access Road and the Bear lot only filled
for Mogul Challenge weekend.  I'd guess that skier visits must have been
off by a good 20%.  If you don't put out a quality product, the people go
elsewhere.  People used to flock to Killington in lean snow years because
of the snowmaking.  Open in October.  Open on June 1.  Good cover on all
trails with frequent resurfacing.  All that marketing good will is down the


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