As the snow settles on the new year, ski and snowboard resorts in Vermont are kicking off 2017 with a bang. The first holiday season has passed and the end of 2016 brought winter storms Caly and Fortis which, aided by the world class snowmaking systems in Vermont and the hard-working mountain operations teams, have allowed for resorts to open record breaking amounts of terrain and host historic amounts of visitors both on and off the slopes over the past few weeks.
From Christmas to New Year’s many Vermont resorts were operating close to 100% of their terrain. “We knew the week as a whole was going to see increased reservations,” said Jay Peak Resort’s General Manager Steve Wright. “But the combination of snow and getting to 100% open really drove the day markets as well. This has been the strongest seven-day period in our history.”
With only two weeks between the New Year and Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, resorts are ramping up operations to ensure that the highly sought after Vermont snow continues to cover the East Coast’s best terrain, and holiday visitors of all ages and interests will find activities and packages for the whole family.
“The holidays were great this year for Mount Snow,” said Jamie Storrs, Communications Manager at Mount Snow. “A mix of early season snow, paired with a public eager to get back skiing after last season made for a busy time up here in West Dover. On top of our early-season snow, we had a snowstorm roll in between Christmas and New Year’s that left us with 19” of fresh powder, which in turn allowed us to open 95% of our terrain (559/587 acres). As for MLK, we’re hoping to be once again 95% open or better if Mother Nature keeps helping us out as she has been.”
Similarly, north of Mount Snow, Killington Resort and Pico Mountain experienced the same bustling holiday week. “We also had our strongest skier visit days of the season so far at both Killington and Pico, with total numbers rivaling the crowds that watched the World Cup races here in November. With all of our base areas now open, over 100 trails and nearly 600 acres of open terrain, we are excited for a snowy New Year and great holiday atmospheres for MLK and Presidents Week vacationers,” said Michael Joseph, Communications & PR Manager for Killington Resort and Pico Mountain.
Visit skivermont.com to stay up-to-date on conditions, programs and news at Vermont ski and snowboard resorts.
For MLK weekend, visitors can find the following offerings at Vermont’s ski and snowboard resorts:
Mount Snow Resort
MLK Weekend at Mount Snow is packed full of events and experiences for the whole family. It all kicks off with a Torchlight Parade and Fireworks on January 15, followed by the second Grommet Jam of the season on January 16, giving skiers and riders 12 years and under a first taste of competing in the Grommet Park. Due to popular demand, the BMW Winter xDrive Experience will return and run all weekend, allowing participants to get behind the wheel of a new BMW on a snow-covered course, while professional drivers share tips and tricks of the trade for winter driving.
Stratton Mountain Resort
The whole family can enjoy activities at Stratton’s Sunbowl during MLK weekend. Take a ride down the lift-served tube park, embark on a dog sledding adventure and explore the mountain on a guided snowmobile tour. Kids can make new mountain friends, enjoy s’mores, tubing, face painting, pizza and a glow in the dark snowshoe hike at Kids Time Out.
Magic is celebrating the MLK holiday weekend with live music shows at the newly renovated Black Line Tavern at the top of the base lodge. On Saturday, January 14, David Stolz will be playing from 3-6pm for après ski before The Resistors take the BLT stage from 7:30-11pm. Then on Sunday, the Saints & Liars perform for a classic BLT après party from 3-6pm after our southern Vermont U12 GS race. Great skiing, food, music and partying all weekend long.
Mid-January means winter is in full swing, and a 3-day weekend at Bromley is a great choice. For savings up to 50% on MLK weekend lift tickets, buy early and online. Festivities don’t end on the slopes – after a full Sun Mountain day of shredding, stop in to the Wild Boar Tavern for an après beverage and live entertainment – featuring music by Studio 2 on Saturday and Jack Waldheim on Sunday.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend at Okemo means three days of family fun. In addition to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the East, visitors can enjoy mountain coaster rides, ice skating, snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, swimming, indoor golf, racquetball, fitness classes, aerobic and weight training, massage, sauna, relaxing by a fire, or simply soaking in a hot tub. And if that weren’t enough, On January 14, Okemo will host a mind-bending landscape of light set to music with its Let It Glow laser light show spectacular. And on January 15, Okemo offers a fun evening of ice skating with a live DJ, games, and fun for the whole family in Okemo’s Ice House skating pavilion at Jackson Gore.
Spend MLK weekend at Killington Resort and experience some of the most unique opportunities for young skiers and riders. Join the Youth Race Camps from January 14-15 and watch as children are empowered to create a positive and healthy environment on the mountain with instruction provided by high energy and knowledgeable race staff, all of whom who are led by Chelsea Marshall, a Killington lifer and member of the US Ski Team for 10 years. Also on January 14, the Mini Shred Madness allows grom skiers and snowboarders, 13 years and under, the chance to get a feel for park riding and its rules in an open jam contest. Centered around having fun and the NSAA’s Know the Code efforts during National Safety Month, this contest is a great way to introduce young competitors to the park.
Suicide 6 /The Woodstock Inn & Resort
Spend the MLK Holiday weekend at one of Vermont’s most beautiful addresses, Woodstock, VT. From skiing and riding at Suicide 6 to Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking on over 37 km of trails they have something for everyone. Staying at the Woodstock Inn & Resort gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy a world-class spa, fine dining, athletic club, and walks into the village filled with shops and galleries. Visit www.woodstockinn.com for a complete list of events and specials.
MLK Weekend at Sugarbush Resort is chalked full of events for the whole family. Enjoy numerous culinary events including S’more Cookouts, Kids Pizza & Movie Night, Kids’ Cooking Class, and Firkin Friday at Castlerock Pub. Don’t miss the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks, Local Artisan Markets, and a Meet the Wildlife Experts event on Sunday, January 15.
Kick off MLK Weekend one day early at Bolton Valley on Friday, January 13 with a $29 lift ticket. These tickets must be purchased in advance by Friday, January 6 and $15 from every ticket will be donated to Girls on the Run Vermont. Saturday, January 15, artist and Bolton Valley local, Natasha Bogar, will be guiding artists of all abilities through the creative process of painting. Everyone ends the evening with a painting that they created. The cost is $35 and advanced reservations can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To finish off the holiday weekend, Andy Parry and the Tell A Friend Tour will light up the park on Monday, January 16. This event is free to all park skiers and riders and includes a free pizza lunch.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
For the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s lowest rates starting at $99 per youth and $129 per adult per night apply to stays of five nights or more, with arrivals January 11-15, 2017. Family fun includes skiing and riding on three mountains, snow tubing, snowshoe treks and much more. Smugglers’ vacation packages include mountainside condominium lodging, daily lift tickets, use of the indoor pool and hot tubs, snowshoe and cross country trail access, snow tubing, ice skating, and family and adult entertainment. To find out more visit, www.smuggs.com/skivtw or call 855-814-7325.
Jay Peak Resort
Yes, Jay Peak is already pushing up against the 200-inch mark for snow this season so there will be plenty of soft turns available for the MLK holiday. But off the slopes, the Wailers, the legendary band that performed for years with Bob Marley, will be playing Jay Peak’s Foeger Ballroom on Saturday, January 14th. Get all of the details at www.jaypeakresort.com/music.
For more information on all January events and activities happening at Vermont’s resorts click here.