The 2015-16 ski season in the East has been far from a banner year in terms of natural snowfall. Killington Resort in Vermont had tallied just 69 inches by early April, compared to its annual snowfall average of 250 inches. However, Killington and other resorts in the East with extensive snowmaking capabilities are still planning to stay open as long as conditions allow. Meanwhile, the West has enjoyed a much better year, so several ski areas are actually extending their ski seasons.
1. Killington, Vermont
Killington has yet to set an exact closing date, but the “Beast of the East” is still targeting a May finish. According to Michael Joseph, Killington’s communications and PR manager, the base depth on Superstar, the resort’s signature spring run, is up to 25 feet. The ski area plans to keep going until “there is walking required between sections of snow.” See Killington lift tickets.
2. Sunday River, Maine
As one of the country’s first resorts to open this ski season way back on October 19, Sunday River in Maine has been able to turn its snow guns back on in April. With almost half of its skiable acreage still open early in the month, the resort hopes to keep the lifts turning through May 1. See Sunday River lift tickets.
3. Sugarloaf, Maine
Sugarloaf has also turned its snowmaking system back on in April for the first time in its 65-year history. The Maine ski area looks to stay open at least through its annual Reggae Fest, April 14-17, with a goal of continuing for a couple weeks after that event. See Sugarloaf lift tickets.
4. More ski resorts in Vermont
Dependent on conditions, Jay Peak in Vermont plans to stay open daily through April 10, then go to a weekends-only schedule through the end of the month. Stratton plans to reopen for a final weekend, April 8-10. Stowe Mountain Resort has set April 24 as its closing date. Sugarbush plans to stay open daily through April 24, then aim to reopen for a final weekend, April 30-May 1. See Vermont lift tickets.
1. Lake Tahoe
After years of drought, the Lake Tahoe area is more than ready to extend this turnaround season. Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows recently announced that one or both of the sister resorts will stay open through Memorial Day. Diamond Peak decided to stretch its operations through April 17. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe plans to close May 8 and set a record for the longest season in the ski area’s history. See Tahoe lift tickets.
In Colorado, Copper Mountain added a bonus weekend, April 22-24, following its original closing date of April 17. Winter Park Resort will keep the Mary Jane side of its terrain open for an extra 13 days through May 7. Vail added a week to go through April 17. After its initial closing date of April 10, Aspen Highlands tacked on a pair of bonus weekends: April 23-24 and April 30-May 1. Purgatory has ceased daily operations, but will reopen April 8-10 and April 16-17. Typically the last Colorado resort to close, Arapahoe Basin will extend its season likely into June. See Colorado lift tickets.
As Mt. Ashland Ski Area has done in past seasons, the Oregon resort is once again challenging its visitors to extend the season. If at least 2,000 skiers and boarders hit its slopes on the original final weekend of April 9-10, the ski area will reopen for the weekend of April 16-17. Also in Oregon, Mt. Hood Meadows has labeled May 14 or 15 as its final day of operations. See Oregon lift tickets.