Not so long ago, it was a rather bleak winter for local ski areas that rely on natural snow. Snowmaking assured there would be skiing over February school break — a pivotal financial period for the ski industry — but backcountry skiers and those who prefer a more natural terrain, were left thirsting.
“We were behind last year, and last year was a pretty sucky winter, quite frankly,” Magic Mountain president Geoff Hatheway said. “I think we were at 50 percent of our normal snowfall. This winter was not off to a great start. And basically, you look at all three holiday periods where you kind of make your profit, your money, they were all down.”
But then came a steady stream of storms that helped blanket New England over the course of a fortnight or so. It all led up to this week’s whopper of a Nor’easter, which dumped three feet of snow in the vicinity of Magic Mountain, an independently-run ski area in Londonderry, Vt.
Hatheway joined New England Ski Journal Basecamp podcast hosts Eric Wilbur and Mike Specian to discuss the challenges of running a ski area on a tight budget, planning “powder days” outside of normal operating hours, and give an update on the Black Line Quad saga.