Ski bums and snow bunnies, in search of fresh powder, filled the slopes of Brundage Mountain Resort, which began its better-late-than-never season today.
April Russell, Brundage Communications director, told BW that weather on the mountain was a bit foggy this afternoon but a cold front, approximately 30 miles away, was expected to bring even more powder for the New Year's weekend.
“Weather changes quickly, especially in the mountains,” said Russell.
This is Brundage’s second-latest opening date, the latest being Jan. 8 in 1977. Russell said there was “a good-size crowd” on Friday, taking advantage of 1,200 of 1,500 acres that were open. However, of Brundage’s 46 runs, only eight were groomed.
“Most people have been waiting so long that they’re taking what they can get,” Russell said.Ski resorts heavily depend of Christmas-week revenue and Russell said it definitely hurt Brundage to miss much of this past holiday week, but the resort is still optimistic for a good winter.
“We’re hoping people will keep coming to make up for that gap,” she said.
For opening day, Brundage estimated about 2,000 people would take to the slopes.
But the news is not as optimistic at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area which looks wet, not white. Bogus Basin spokeswoman Gretchen Anderson said the resort had three inches of snow earlier this week, but warm temperatures caused it to melt away—she called it, “an insult to injury.
“We’ve lost quite a bit, $100,000 in revenue (per day), and it has already hurt us substantially,” she said.
Bogus tried to cheat Mother Nature by creating snow just before Christmas, when temperatures were cold enough. The resort was able to hold some of its beginners’ classes on the front side of the mountain. But since the snow has turned to mud, Bogus could face its latest opening date ever. The current record was set on January 8, 1989.
“While we don’t want to set a new record, the weather does not look favorable,” Anderson said.
Though Bogus has lost a lot, Anderson said her colleagues remain optimistic.
“We’ve had late openings before and we hope that we can fill the mountains every single day (to make up for lost revenue),” Anderson said. “We’ve never opened where people weren’t able to ski off their season pass.”
Once 16 inches of new snow collects on Bogus’ front side, Anderson said the resort will be open for business.
“We look forward to the next round of the storms and hopefully they come with much colder temperatures,” she said.