Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Good weather, bad business

By Nicole Collado

PLATTSBURGH, NY—The Adirondacks are well known for its Ski Mountains and

fresh powder but this winter the North Country fell short in its snow-bearing

department. According to Brittany Taylor, Director of Marketing at Titus Mountain,

“it’s been a very strange season.”

This winter Titus spent all of January preparing for the Empire State Winter

Games.  Through all of January workers had the mountain’s snow guns running and

created an estimated 60-ft pile of snow, despite the lack of snow making weather.

Fortunately over the summer Titus installed new snow pipes, valve house and pump

house to assist in the creation of snow that was going to be necessary this winter.

“Ski Mountains of course are seasonal business’ and there are always going to be

some warm seasons,” Taylor said, “Unfortunately Mother Nature was not with us

this year.” Taylor said they made up for the lack of snowfall by making sure that the

trails that they have open are at the best condition they can be in, she spoke highly

of the work done by their snow making fleet and groomers.

Jean-Francois Ravenelle, retail and service manager at Mont Sutton a ski

resort at the Quebec and Vermont border said, “Both east and west, this is the worst

season that I or any of my elder customers have seen in our lifetime.” Ravenelle is

49-years old and skis at Whiteface and Stowe Mountain between two and three

times a season.

Francis Zuber, executive board member of SUNY Plattsburgh’s ski and

snowboard club is on the same page as Ravenelle. Zuber even went as far as to

travel to Colorado and Wyoming this season to get in some backcountry skiing.

“Hopefully it’s just an anomaly and next year brings lots of snow,” said a concerned

Zuber, “I really just hope this winter compared to last years record breaking cold

winter is a wake up call to everyone about how real climate change is.” The National

Oceanic and Atmospheric Association announced this month that the 2015-2016

season was the warmest on record so far.

According to five-year employee Brantley Beach, Viking Ski and Cycle also

had weather attributed low sales this season; “it’s been the slowest season by far

since I’ve worked here.” Beach mentioned that Viking’s back country ski line that

has grown quite noticeably over the past couple of years was hit the hardest in sales

this winter. “I think the warm weather has caused people to go the mountains less

often in general,” said Beach, “the less often they go to the mountains the less often

the need tune ups and want more gear.” Viking Ski and Cycle is a full service ski

shop located on Route 3 in Plattsburgh.

While many ski mountains have taken a hit this warm winter season, nothing

will stop them from creating and grooming the best conditions they can for their


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