By Blair Pendleton

The holidays are over and snowboarders everywhere are rocking into the New Year with high hopes of fresh snow and cold temperatures to feed their urge to ride. Snowboarding Business called fourteen resorts from across the country to give us the inside story on the varying conditions from the holidays and their predictions for the remainder of the season.

Here’s what they had to report:

Mt. Baker, Bellingham, Washington

“This holiday has been one of the best ever,” says Marketing Assistant Amy Howat. “People were so fired up to get on the mountain because of the late start.”

At Mount Baker, most of the snowfall has accumulated just over the last two weeks to give a 75-inch base to Heather Meadows. The mountain has reached its average snow level for this time of year, despite the slow start. Instead of opening like usual on November 22, the mountain started up on December 14 with 30 inches of snow. And, over the holiday the resort definitely made up for the loss of Thanksgiving sales in just a matter of weeks. At Baker, Howat gives thanks to Mother Nature for not bringing the usual week of rain for the holiday which, business-wise, was booming.

But it’s all slowed down a bit recently. Over the past five days, snowfall has definitely leveled out. More skiers than snowboarders have been shredding the mountain recently, and according to Howat, boarders are more likely to hit the slopes when conditions are soft, as skiers enjoy the hardpack days. Both boarders and skiers come to experience the 1,500-feet of vertical at Baker. As Howat says, it’s quality over quantity. Though the visitors are local, since the mountain has no accommodations, riders still travel from all over the world to enjoy Mt. Baker.

Timberline Lodge, Timberline Lodge, Oregon

“This year has been great-really big! Much bigger than last year,” says Events/Promotion Director Camille Frederick. At Timberline Lodge, the amount of boarders has finally come up to equal that of skiers. More local boarders and skiers come to the mountain than those from out of state, as it’s not really a destination area. Even though the mountain is 100 percent open at this time, the base rests at 69 inches. So, according to Frederick there’s not much snow to move around for building up the park, and it’s closed for now. As for the rest of the mountain, a few bald spots are showing but that doesn’t interrupt the mountain’s popularity. Timberline Lodge sells out a year and a half in advance, and people still come to ride and ski the terrain no matter the conditions.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Lakes, California

This season at Mammoth Mountain is rocking, according to Communication Coordinator of marketing Kelly Hines, with boarder/skier visits rising substantially over last year. Just over the past two and a half weeks, 140 inches of snow has dumped onto the slopes. It’s the third biggest snowfall on record for this time of year, six percent above last year’s. More and more boarders head to Mammoth to rip it in the three parks, halfpipe, superpipe and 22-foot tall, 600-foot long super-duper-pipe that opened this past Friday. The ratio of boarders to skiers on the mountain is close to 50/50, claims Hines.

Eighty-five percent of these visitors are local Mammoth-lovers, coming mainly from California-because of the roughly accessible terrain and lack of a major airport. Hines says that things should change once the FAA-approved airport starts expanding and more people are able to reach the mountain easily and quickly. The resort is doing what they can to draw people to Mammoth, with January Mid-week Madness, bar parties, and discount tickets to those who enjoy limbo contests. The entire mountain is open to date and Hines remains optimistic about the rest of the season. Advance bookings are up, and Mammoth Mountain has doubled its estimated budget of skiers for Tuesday.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Ton Village, Wyoming

With great terrain, warm weather, soft surfaces, six inches of new snow, and a fully open mountain, those heading to the Hole can be nothing but amped to hit the slopes, reports Communication Manager Anna Olson. The local population is small at Teton Village, so Jackson depends mainly on out-of-town guests to make-up its skier day, says Olson. As a destination resort, holiday sales have increased largely from last year, with a 32 percent increase in arriving plane seats. All is going well at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, its ahead of last season in snowfall and Olson hopes for more snow to dump in the upcoming weeks.

Big Sky Resort, Big Sky, Montana

“Even with less snow pack than normal for the holidays, people still come out to have a good time,” says Special Events Coordinator Dax Schieffer. Big Sky isn’t getting the large dumps that the usual mountain goers are accustomed to from previous years, however revenue rests as comparable to last season. People are still visiting Big Sky, and 80 percent of these guests travel from out of state. Without a major metropolis nearby, the mountain doesn’t host a great deal of local skiers and boarders. And, the percentage of riders versus skiers is leveling off, according to Scheiffer. Big Sky caters more now than ever to boarders, as the resort has more money, time and resources involved in expanding the halfpipe and terrain park. Currently, 80 percent of the mountain is open, and with the Holiday holding on the way it is, Scheiffer looks for a record breaking “slam dunk” season.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Crested Butte, Colorado

“We have the most snow for this time of year than we’ve seen in four seasons,” says Vacation Director Dan DeGeorge. Crested Butte Mountain has a base of 40 inches, with all green, blue, and expert terrain open-even some of the mountain’s extreme runs are rideable. None-the-less, “this year is slow and the college students are carrying us through the season,” reports DeGeorge. January is a tough month for the resort, although it has solid booking through President’s weekend.

A large percentage of visitors come into Colorado from Texas, since it’s so close and the only direct flight into Gunison airport arrives from Houston. Boarders and skiers both enjoy the mountain equally and even though the average age of riders is less than that of skiers, according to DeGeorge.

Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, Utah

“We started strong in the early season, with a 40-inch base for opening weekend,” says Communication Manager Michelle Palmer. “Then we experienced a three-week drought, and on December 16 Mother Nature dumped on us.” This gave way to a record-breaking fourteen-day sales period for the holidays at Park City. The mountain opened from one-third of the terrain as rideable to 100 percent. Based on market research, Palmer says that riders exceeded 30 percent of the visitors so far this season and that the numbers are only climbing against that of skiers. And, how could they not, with three terrain parks, a halfpipe and a super-duper-pipe cut by Pat Mullen. “During peak day here at Park City, it was actually an equal mix of both riders and skiers,” claims Palmer. Also, on this day scans showed an increase in locals on the mountain; and a lodging tally reported that visitors were coming in droves.

Currently, the snow base is at 43 inches-a little below average. “Even though Mother Nature hasn’t been great for us this year over all, we’ve still had good sales,” says Palmer. With parts of the mountain closed last year and many restrictions on parking due to the Olympic season, the mountain couldn’t operate on its standard procedure. So this year outstandingly exceeds last year in sales. Palmer looks optimistically toward the season’s future, as snowfall is usually heavy through February and March.

Snowshoe Mountain INC., Snowshoe, West Virginia

“Even though we didn’t open until December 22, it was a record-breaking three-week Holiday period for us,” says Vice President of Marketing Bill Hungate. And in the past week, a big dump of snow fell on Snowshoe Mountain. “There are such huge walls of snow, we can’t hardly get around here,” adds Hungate.

Right now the resort has a 40 to 50-foot base. The whole mountain has been 100 percent open since the holidays, with record occupancy at the resort for the last few weeks.

As a destination resort, Snowshoe only receives ten percent of its traffic from locals within a three-hour radius. The resort’s number one market comes from the DC area, followed by Virginia and North Carolina as number two. Twenty-five percent of these visitors snowboard, according to Hungate, and the number seems to be growing every year.

Killington Resort, Killington, Vermont

“Here at Killington, we had a phenomenal start to the season. It was the first time we were able to open the mountain from top to bottom, with eight trails and two lifts,” says News Bureau Director Kim Jackson. Killington opened on October 25, and has had consistently cold temperatures since then in order to blow snow. Four feet of natural snow fell through the two-week holiday, and now the mountain is 100 percent open with a 40 to 85-inch base.

“We’re psyched!” proclaims Jackson. “If we keep getting snow and the temperature stays down, it’ll be a great rest of the season.” With terrain parks and a superpipe, there’s a good following for snowboarding at Killington. The resort hosts superpipe and park events every other Sunday throughout the month of January, which draws many riders to the mountain. According to Jackson, the ratio of riders to skiers is fairly even and those coming to Killington tend to arrive mainly from out of state.

Ski Roundtop, Lewisberg, Pennsylvania

“Overall, this year has been much better than last year, which was our best ever,” says Marketing Director Chris Dudding. Ski Roundtop opened the day after Thanksgiving, with solid sales through the Holiday. “We lost New Years’ day because of rain, but that’s it,” adds Dudding.

Currently the mountain is 92 percent open, lacking one and a half of its slopes, with a 26-inch base. Dudding mentions that cold temperatures are on their way, so the resort should be able to expand and build its base.

“Fifty-five to sixty percent of the guests come to the mountain from local areas, within a half-hour radius. We still have more skiers than riders. Thirty percent of our guests snowboard, but by the end of the season, the ratio levels out,” says Dudding.

Killington just added a new park with rails and boxes to entertain riders on the mountain. Three times a year, the resort hosts a late-night Saturday special, during which the mountain stays open from 9 pm to midnight. Dudding says this is very popular with the younger guests.

Alyeska Resort, Girdwood, Alaska

“We had a very good Holiday, with fresh snow and nice weather from late December into the New Year,” says Human Resources Director Rich Dowd. More boarders have been hitting the slopes this year than in previous years, according to Dowd, however the numbers still haven’t come to a 50/50 ratio yet. Skiers still overtake riders by number on the mountain.

With a warm Fall and later opening than usual, Dowd doubts that the resort will break any records this season. Last year was its best yet. The resort has received 236 inches of snowfall to date, and its average amount of annual snowfall is 600 inches. Currently, the whole mountain is open, with an exception of a few shoots on The North Face. Alyeska has an 88-inch base at the top and 66 inches of snow midway. Dowd says that the season’s best is yet to come.

Mountain High Resort, Wrightwood, California

“This holiday was the biggest one ever-thirteen percent better than last year, which held the record,” exclaims Director of Marketing John McColly. Even though the resort didn’t receive a lot of snow in22, it was a record-breaking three-week Holiday period for us,” says Vice President of Marketing Bill Hungate. And in the past week, a big dump of snow fell on Snowshoe Mountain. “There are such huge walls of snow, we can’t hardly get around here,” adds Hungate.

Right now the resort has a 40 to 50-foot base. The whole mountain has been 100 percent open since the holidays, with record occupancy at the resort for the last few weeks.

As a destination resort, Snowshoe only receives ten percent of its traffic from locals within a three-hour radius. The resort’s number one market comes from the DC area, followed by Virginia and North Carolina as number two. Twenty-five percent of these visitors snowboard, according to Hungate, and the number seems to be growing every year.

Killington Resort, Killington, Vermont

“Here at Killington, we had a phenomenal start to the season. It was the first time we were able to open the mountain from top to bottom, with eight trails and two lifts,” says News Bureau Director Kim Jackson. Killington opened on October 25, and has had consistently cold temperatures since then in order to blow snow. Four feet of natural snow fell through the two-week holiday, and now the mountain is 100 percent open with a 40 to 85-inch base.

“We’re psyched!” proclaims Jackson. “If we keep getting snow and the temperature stays down, it’ll be a great rest of the season.” With terrain parks and a superpipe, there’s a good following for snowboarding at Killington. The resort hosts superpipe and park events every other Sunday throughout the month of January, which draws many riders to the mountain. According to Jackson, the ratio of riders to skiers is fairly even and those coming to Killington tend to arrive mainly from out of state.

Ski Roundtop, Lewisberg, Pennsylvania

“Overall, this year has been much better than last year, which was our best ever,” says Marketing Director Chris Dudding. Ski Roundtop opened the day after Thanksgiving, with solid sales through the Holiday. “We lost New Years’ day because of rain, but that’s it,” adds Dudding.

Currently the mountain is 92 percent open, lacking one and a half of its slopes, with a 26-inch base. Dudding mentions that cold temperatures are on their way, so the resort should be able to expand and build its base.

“Fifty-five to sixty percent of the guests come to the mountain from local areas, within a half-hour radius. We still have more skiers than riders. Thirty percent of our guests snowboard, but by the end of the season, the ratio levels out,” says Dudding.

Killington just added a new park with rails and boxes to entertain riders on the mountain. Three times a year, the resort hosts a late-night Saturday special, during which the mountain stays open from 9 pm to midnight. Dudding says this is very popular with the younger guests.

Alyeska Resort, Girdwood, Alaska

“We had a very good Holiday, with fresh snow and nice weather from late December into the New Year,” says Human Resources Director Rich Dowd. More boarders have been hitting the slopes this year than in previous years, according to Dowd, however the numbers still haven’t come to a 50/50 ratio yet. Skiers still overtake riders by number on the mountain.

With a warm Fall and later opening than usual, Dowd doubts that the resort will break any records this season. Last year was its best yet. The resort has received 236 inches of snowfall to date, and its average amount of annual snowfall is 600 inches. Currently, the whole mountain is open, with an exception of a few shoots on The North Face. Alyeska has an 88-inch base at the top and 66 inches of snow midway. Dowd says that the season’s best is yet to come.

Mountain High Resort, Wrightwood, California

“This holiday was the biggest one ever-thirteen percent better than last year, which held the record,” exclaims Director of Marketing John McColly. Even though the resort didn’t receive a lot of snow in the early season, Mother Nature made up for that during the holidays at Mountain High. The resort currently has a one to two-foot base, with 75 percent of the terrain open. The resort tends to draw-in more boarders than skiers by 70 percent. Five parks, a halfpipe and a jib park bring the boarders to Mountain High, says McColly.

Tahoe Donner Ski Area, Truckee, California

“This year’s been great! We opened on the fifteenth of December and have been open every day since,” says Marketing Coordinator John Stuckert. “As for the holiday period, it was crazy, but in a good way. Tons and tons of people came to the mountain, and we had some record days.”

The Tahoe Donner Ski Area is fully open with a 70 to 110-inch base. Because of Donner’s small size, the resort caters mainly to families, and an equal ratio of riders and skiers visit the mountain. Most of these guests come from nearby Sacramento and the Bay area. Stuckert mentions that the Donner resort is affordably priced in comparison to larger resorts. “On the first day out, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars just to fall down all day,” he concludes.

Northstar-At-Tahoe, Truckee, California

“The holidays were pretty crazy-slightly better than last year, which was absolutely excellent,” says Public Relations Manager Toby Baird. The mountain opened on November 22, a normal starting time for Northstar-At-Tahoe. Since then, sales have been booming-a seven percent rise over last year. Most of this profit comes from local guests out of the Bay area, says Baird. Of these visitors, Baird has seen a significant increase in the number of boarders shredding the slopes of Northstar-At-Tahoe. He claims that Northstar has the best pipe and park in Tahoe, with its eleven new rails and boxes. “Because the park and pipe scene is so awesome, so many film and photography crews are shooting here now,” says Baird.w in the early season, Mother Nature made up for that during the holidays at Mountain High. The resort currently has a one to two-foot base, with 75 percent of the terrain open. The resort tends to draw-in more boarders than skiers by 70 percent. Five parks, a halfpipe and a jib park bring the boarders to Mountain High, says McColly.

Tahoe Donner Ski Area, Truckee, California

“This year’s been great! We opened on the fifteenth of December and have been open every day since,” says Marketing Coordinator John Stuckert. “As for the holiday period, it was crazy, but in a good way. Tons and tons of people came to the mountain, and we had some record days.”

The Tahoe Donner Ski Area is fully open with a 70 to 110-inch base. Because of Donner’s small size, the resort caters mainly to families, and an equal ratio of riders and skiers visit the mountain. Most of these guests come from nearby Sacramento and the Bay area. Stuckert mentions that the Donner resort is affordably priced in comparison to larger resorts. “On the first day out, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars just to fall down all day,” he concludes.

Northstar-At-Tahoe, Truckee, California

“The holidays were pretty crazy-slightly better than last year, which was absolutely excellent,” says Public Relations Manager Toby Baird. The mountain opened on November 22, a normal starting time for Northstar-At-Tahoe. Since then, sales have been booming-a seven percent rise over last year. Most of this profit comes from local guests out of the Bay area, says Baird. Of these visitors, Baird has seen a significant increase in the number of boarders shredding the slopes of Northstar-At-Tahoe. He claims that Northstar has the best pipe and park in Tahoe, with its eleven new rails and boxes. “Because the park and pipe scene is so awesome, so many film and photography crews are shooting here now,” says Baird.