With school vacation time here, NH ski areas celebrating 'white gold'
By JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent | February 17. 2014 9:28PM
Skiers head up the Quadzilla Lift at Waterville Valley Resort on Valentine's Day. (JOHN KOZIOL PHOTO)
"This vacation period couldn't have set up much better with the snow falling just before skiers/riders are traveling for the week," said Karl Stone, marketing director of Ski New Hampshire, in an e-mail. "The downhill and cross country conditions statewide really are as good as they get. Our guests are savvy and keep an eye on that, so hopefully business levels will be high."
"We had a really strong early season and even with the warm-up in January, we've had great bases all season long," Sununu said. "The groomers have a lot of stuff to play with; there's fresh snow all the time and in between the storms, we've had beautiful days. It's like a broken record in here; somebody goes out and says the snow is even better than the day before."
"So far this season most areas are slightly behind last year's business levels, which was our fifth-best season on record," Stone said.
Deschenes said Cranmore, like other ski areas, is banking on a big February vacation period.
As to the number of skier visits, "We're tracking slightly behind where we were last year at this time," Deschenes said. "I think it'll end up being very positive in the end. That storm on Friday really helped us out. It couldn't have happened with better timing."
"Right now, we're having a perfectly normal season. We're dead on with last year with revenues, visitors and snowfall, and believe it or not, we did a five-year spread last week and this is right in the middle."
DeVivo said the February vacation period accounts for about 15 to 20 percent of annual revenues.
DeVivo said the Cannon experience was heightened Monday because downhiller Bode Miller, a Franconia native who considers Cannon his home mountain "just won the bronze" at the Olympics, "so people are still buzzing about it."