Banana Belt Gets Ready to Join the Party

That massive whooosh you heard this weekend was the simultaneous launch of a thousand or so fan guns across the country at lower elevation ski areas from Maine to California…Peak Resorts set to announce their quarterly earnings tomorrow; I don’t think it’s going to be any better than an 80 cents/share loss but on the positive side, the guns are on at most if not all of their lower elevation properties. Paoli Peaks Indiana is being blanketed as I type this — no word yet on opening. The Ohio Peak properties, Boston Mills, Brandywine, and Mad River Mountain are all pretty well blanketed; photo above snapped at Boston Mills this morning. Unless they get a serious warm up this week, my bet is on a flurry of Friday openings…Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania’s Bear Creek Resort sez “we are happy to announce that we will be open for skiing and riding on Thursday, December 13 at 9am. We anticipate having nearly all terrain open, with all lifts in operation.” Some of us oldtimers may remember this as “Doe Mountain” back in the day…Titus Mountain, way up in Malone NY, has plans to open the mountain with 100% terrain and full 7-day-a-week operations on Saturday…Swain Resort, another small-but-mighty ski hill in the Empire State, was open this past weekend but has been quiet; they’ll reopen Thursday…Pennsylvania’s Shawnee Resort opened Saturday and they’re going 7-days-week through the rest of the season. Things look really good there right now although the slopes are empty this morning. Before you look down upon this modest Pocono hill, I should point out that none less than Jean-Claude Killy was the official skiing ambassador/spokesman for a couple seasons back in the early 1970s…move it out to Southern California, Mountain High got a foot of fresh on the west side prior to the weekend, they’re looking good there although the east base looks like it has a long way to go…men got the green light with “positive snow control” for the FIS Ski World Cup races in Alta Badia (ITA) Dec 16-17…movement in the Alterra Resort family: Snowshoe Mountain WV has promoted 20-yr employee Patti Duncan to president and chief operating officer, replacing Frank DeBerry who left a couple months ago to take the same role at Crystal Mountain, WA…

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