Northeast Tops Strong President's Holiday Week Nationwide
SAM Magazine --- Ludlow, Vt., Mar. 1, 2005 --- The snow gods blessed the Northeast for the all-important President's Birthday holiday week, helping to fuel a strong turnaround in resort visits and a solid President's holiday nationwide. However, low snow has continued to dampen visits in the Pacific Northwest.
In Vermont, Okemo set single-day, five-day, and nine-day visit records. Perhaps as important, the area set records for volume in the children's centers and ski schools, including private lessons. Smugglers' Notch also recorded its best week in memory, and all Vermont areas reported very strong traffic. In fact, business was solid across New England. Mid-Atlantic areas were also blessed with ample snow and moderate temperatures. In New Jersey, traffic at Mountain Creek was "awesome" all week, with attendance boosted by several events. The area's lodging was 100 percent booked.
Even more important, said several spokesmen, the continuing snows and the forecast for more during the first half of March have raised the enthusiasm level among guests. Advance reservations are running well ahead of projections. Mountain Creek is extending the season into April and keeping all sections of the resort open into March, longer than planned. As a result, many areas expect to surpass last year's visit levels.
In the Midwest, the three-day holiday was generally pretty solid, especially in the more northern areas where snow has kept falling. But Hidden Valley, Mo., was making snow right through February, expecting to offer both skiing and golf at the same facility in the coming weeks.
In the Rockies, Utah areas are on a record pace again this season, and may match last year's five percent increase. Most Utah schools had the President's week off, and business was strong across the state. Colorado, too, reported good conditions as a result of several storms, and volume was reportedly strong.
On the West Coast, California continues to enjoy a solid season. Business has been strongest in SoCal and the areas around the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, but no one's complaining (though snowfall dimmed traffic intermittently during the President's week). In the Pacific Northwest, the continuing snow drought has kept business below normal.