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Big Snowfalls Lead To Big Business For Local Ski Resorts

Berk East

CHARLEMONT, Mass (WGGB) — The traffic on I-91 North Friday night was congested, likely for one big reason: people making their way to enjoy the snow.

“We’re like farmers so we’re 100% dependent on weather,” Berkshire East Ski Resort Owner Jon Schaefer said.

With two and a half feet of snow the past two weeks, Mother Nature is being kind to Berkshire East.

“The conditions had been great up until that point but this puts the snow in people’s backyards and the skiing couldn’t be any better,” Schaefer said.

A statement easily validated.

“We came up on a snowday because they got 16 inches here, so nice conditions,” Longmeadow resident Joey Salvon said.

“It’s really good. It’s powdery, not icy on the whole mountain pretty much,” Longmeadow resident Kyle Jarosz agreed.

That’s why all 43 trails are open and so is a brand new ski lodge and bar. With school vacation next week, the mountain is preparing for even bigger crowds.

“We have to push the parking lot edges even further back, we staff right up to accommodate the extra crowds, clear all the lifts, make sure everything is in tip-top shape,” Schaefer said. “This is go time for us so we have to be ready for this business.”

But someone has to keep tabs on all those people: Ski Patrol.

“Make sure kids are well behaved and you know, we are life guards on snow basically,” Ed Daviau said. “If anybody gets injured, we go take care of them and bring them down to patrol.”

Patrolling is a family affair for many, including Daviau, whose children also work to make sure that everyone who goes up the mountain, no matter their skill level, safely come back down.
When all the snow melts, Berkshire East plans to build a brand new, massive mountain coaster for this summer.

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