GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (WGGB) — The cold weather means good news for western mass ski resorts, especially with snow in the forecast tonight.
For local skiers, recent snow and a freezing forecast means white slopes… but for Ski Butternut in Great Barrington, it’s all green.
“We’re the only mountain in Massachusetts that’s 100% open and we’re one of only a handful in all of New England that has every trail open,” explains Matthew Sawyer of Ski Butternut. “We’ve had a decent go of it so far. It’s been really good when the kids were off of school we were busy as well as now over the holiday.”
In fact, the holiday – Martin Luther King, Junior Day – marks the busiest weekend of the year for Ski Butternut and many local ski resorts. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that mother nature is cooperating.
After a fairly warm winter last year, Sawyer says this 2013 season is off to a solid footing. No doubt in part to the 30 inch snow base they’ve spent weeks building up.
“We’ve started off a little stronger this year. We’ve had more trails open. We’ve had colder weather since we got going. We had a really good start last year then it got just warm in January.”
But that’s not the case this time around. With a better snow pack and a couple of natural snowfalls, the skiing improved and the skiers have noticed.
“Oh, (the skiing is) much better. We’ve already been like 4 or 5 times, so much better,” said Helen Cohen, whose entire family has a season ski pass.
One of the younger skiers, 9 year old Justin Rapp also has a season pass. He’s been going to Ski Butternut for 3 years. He agrees the skiing is fun, but especially so on a long weekend because, as he said, “you always need a break from school”.
And while young skiers may need that break from school, ski resort operators hope there’s no break from this winter weather.
“Hey, we’re in the ski business,” said Sawyer. “We are eternal optimists. We love it. You keep the temps cold, we’re going to go thru the end of March, first week of April if we can.
This season, ski butternut got a late start though, not opening until December 16.
That’s about 2 weeks later than normal.
But with a little luck, and a cold winter – they hope to make up for later this winter.