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Yes, very. Southern Vermont, Killington, and Massachusetts all did a really great job this year and beat their northern neighbors by 2+ weeks. I'm very impressed and hope it's paying off for them.
I've got to agree with Scotty on this one. Places like Stowe and Jay don't have business models to push for opening early. I would assume that places like Killington operate in the red during their early season and considered it just marketing costs. Based on the limited visits during their early season, I am guessing they don't generate enough money to pay for the electric to run the lifts. I just watched the north ridge chair for one minute and only 3 people got off. At least with Stowe, the way they have their chairlifts setup, they basically have to have top to bottom trail coverage to open early (the don't have any upper mountain only char lifts or mid stations, all pretty much run top to base). Killington has the north ridge area, which allows them to get full coverage for that chair with downloading to the base.
Were you watching the north ridge chair today? Because people are now riding the gondola, supe chair and the other lifts. North ridge gets packed early season weekends when it's the only lift running. Long liftlines.
And you you should've seen Kton parking lot this past Saturday. Ridiculously packed. Overflow parking and cars parked down the access road. Had to park near maintenance building.
I have no ideal if they're in the red or not, but I just wanted to clarify that Kton is getting an awful lot of people early season weekends.
I just watched the north ridge chair for one minute and only 3 people got off.