You don't think Peak would be doing the same without the buy out? Peak spent a lot of money on improving snowmaking and adding terrain in the last few years. Presumably bought the PA ski areas in hopes they would be drawn to Hunter for early and late season skiing.
I thought Hunter has been one of the first to open for a while. I stopped by on the way to Lake Placid for Thanksgiving in 2013. Was surprised to find that people were skiing at Hunter that Monday before.
I assumed he meant the other way around, that he originally thought Vail wouldn't keep up with Peak. Still of course TBD.
Oh, didn't think of that.
In general, VR wants to win the First To Open and Last To Close honors in as many regions as possible. Killington obviously has that wrapped up for the northeast. That can be a reason for people from NYC/NJ to buy Ikon. So Hunter has value for early season turns as part of the Peak buy out. So much the better than Peak has been spending big bucks so not much need for capital money for a big project in the near future.
Skied Hunter Saturday and Sunday. If you skied early on Saturday you enjoyed some fresh manmade and sunshine … heard it was great. I couldn't get there until 2 and conditions were a little more humbling...I knew that would be the case. By 2 this time of year the front of the mountain is mostly in the shade and that beautiful smooth soft manmade was pushed around and scraped off. I didn't care I just wanted to get some laps in. Once again my summer conditioning program never happened and I have to ski myself into shape. Sunday I arrived around 10 with the same attitude. It was raining but I had to get some laps in. Took a couple runs in the rain and the snow was soft smooth ego snow. So the snows great and the mountains pretty empty but I was getting wet and thinking about calling it a day until I saw a couple sleet pellets start to mix in. Instead of quitting I decided to take a break and dry out in the summit lodge. I love the Summit lodge at Hunter. People complain about how primitive it is. I like it because most of the time you have it to yourself . It's like your own private lodge , especially on weekdays. I wonder if Vail Resorts has any grand plans to change it. Anyway, before I was totally dry the sleet pellets turned to big wet flakes like I had hoped. I put my wet gloves on an hurried out into a raging blizzard . It reminded me of some of the storms we skied at Squaw last year! I think they picked up 2-3inchs in a little over an hour. As the temp dropped it continued to snow hard but the flakes became smaller and the snow lighter. This made for some great storm skiing with dryer snow on top and better visibility. By 3:30 the snow was letting up and my legs were shot so I called it a day. (day 5) I think they picked up 4-6inches in about 4 hours. I love storm skiing … if that's not your thing, Monday and Tuesday should be warmer and sunny and with this fresh natural snow Hunter should be great.
I went on Tuesday (11/26) and it was decent until about 10:30, by then the sun had softened everything to mush on the frontside. After that there was decent snow to be found on the shadier spots that were open. White Cloud (which has now been redirected onto Jimmie Huega instead of into the mess at the top of the Hunter North lift on Belt Parkway) stayed pretty firm until after noon. I finished the day with a few runs on Belt Parkway which held up the best and avoided the pile of soupy mashed potatoes on the mainline.