Surprise First Opening in New England

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SAM Magazine--Woodbury, CT, November 6, 2006--It may come as a surprise to those enjoying some balmy fall days in New England, but the region is open for skiing, courtesy of plucky Woodbury ski area, which pulled out all the snowmaking stops to open on Friday. With man-made conditions and a solid base, the ski area clocked a record attendance on its second day of the season, Saturday, November 4.

"The season is off to a great start," says owner Rod Taylor, who added that his motivation to fire up the lifts as soon as possible is because, "I love the sport," says Taylor

Taylor and the staff at Woodbury say advances in snowmaking equipment and natural temperature inversions that take place at the area were keys to the early opening. \


Communications Manager - Killington Resort

They had something to scream about and they screamed loudly! Congrats to both areas for pulling the trigger and getting everyone excited about the upcoming season.

actually, they are based in canada

"Yeah Righty!" writes:
"who I can tell is Chinese from his broken English...I deal with Chinese factory reps on a daily basis)"

Really??? What makes you so sure???

Check out Powder Magazine's site for the company profile. Or check out their website (hint: google Motorsport Engineering). You need to think before your post. Pretty unimpressive assumptions from someone who obviously thinks they know more about the ski industry than any other person here.

I for one think its a fun idea, just like the lifts that got the sport started. But obviously not your style. But then again, what is? You seem old and grouchy to me.

As an aside, it's good to see some action on these forums. Keep it up, people.

All right... chill out!

Yeah Righty -- no one is arguing that Woodbury is a small area, and probably does not have the top of the line, best equipment. The point here is, they opened first. So what is the big deal? SAM should report the first "ski area" opening. Is your backyard a registered business? If it is, you should have told them you opened earlier. Then maybe this "ridiculous" press release would have been more to your liking. You claim that SAM should only post about the big resorts. Not true. Woodbury is a ski area, however small it may be. They opened first, even if only on a small amount of snow and an old life. THEY OPENED FIRST. PERIOD.

The truth about our lift

The gentleman is definitely sick and requires some
care. I do not think we should talk to this guy except
to advise him some medical attention. It is clear he
does not even understand how the whole thing works,
never mind the safety.

Even lawnmower is a very "dangerous" machine; you can
cut your fingers and electrical cords...
Our steel cord is not a rope and slides on ice or
snow, therefore the wear factor is very minimal.
The cable is LOOSE, there is NO tension in the system
and that is what the gentleman is missing. His
(sick?)imagination pictures 1/8" tense steel string
sliding as a blade through the arm cutting it off as a
"razor blade". It is not the case.

There is also no locking of the skier anytime during
ALL THE TIME and free to drop the pole with the grip
if needed.

The skier never comes into contact with the cable: he
scoops the cable with the grip and holds to the pole
and grip handle. By the way it is all quite clear from
the video and a lot of people asking us all kind of
questions never came to similar conclusion. Everybody
easily understands that a skier has gloves and some
clothing to cover his(her) skin.

He also deliberately increases the maximum speed to
make his "point" stronger. We limit it to 18mph which
can be adjusted down if needed. It is on our website
and everywhere else.

May be he needs talk to our customer Ken Wittel, P.Eng
who installed and tested the Lift with his friends,
Mechanical Engineers and gave us an excellent
testimonial. (May be they all should be kicked out of
the Association?) On the other hand Ken is an
Engineer, not medical doctor, so this is a bad idea.
Of course there is some danger in everything moving,
including our Lift. We are doing all possible to
prevent any accident and strongly advising our
customers to follow instructions carefully and avoid
accesses. We also do not advise to use the Lift for
children under 12.

Righty needs to go skiing.

Geez, who spit in Yeah Righty's coffee? It seems to me you're taking this way to seriously. Woodbury opened first, as was also reported by Ski Press. Who cares if the place is small and lousy. First openings are newsworthy, regardless of the size of the resort. The more hype about opening days the better. I want people to come into my shop ready to buy skis, and the fact is that opening days drive sales, and that any opening day, even if the "resort" is Woodbury, is news and is certainly a valid story for this or any other media outlet. Finally, I think you should take up Tom Winter's offer to get a bunch of pros skiing in your backyard. Their youthful energy might actually help you to lighten up and remember what the sport is all about, something which you seem to have forgotten.


Hahaha! OK, "Yeah Righty" I can see you take your opening days seriously, and your point is well taken.

To get you dreaming about it all (and why we are all in this crazy business) check out these pics from Breckenridge, from two weeks ago:

And to get you planning for your very own opening day in 2007, check out this portable ski lift. It should be perfect for the back yard.

Forget the lego men, Righty, let me know a week before you fire that sucker up and we'll try to round up some rails and some pros for a photo shoot. And I'm wondering if any readers out there have tips on homemade snowmaking systems? The kind that would work with a garden hose? This could be the start of something special.

I swear, next year we're gonna have a contenter in the first to open races! Righty's Backyard! I can feel it, and I am stoked!


Well one thing's for sure, the posting of this news has spurred good debate on the topic and surely increased web traffic. Kudos to Mr. Winter.


Last year I skied Loveland, Colorado, on both opening day and closing day. Opening day = the white ribbon of death. Closing day = 1 foot of powder, all the mountain was open and we finished off the afternoon with road-skiing laps in even deeper snow on Loveland Pass. It was, I think, the second week in May.

But opening day was pretty fun too. Merely because it was, well, opening day. And for many skiers, opening day is super important and gets the stoke going.

Why the serving of hate from Yeah Righty? If size really mattered, then no one would talk about the East at all (or Colorado resorts like Loveland for that matter). A "small" European resort like France's La Grave has a mere 7,000 of vert served by "only" one lift. On size alone, it's hard for most places in North America to compete with that, not to mention a place like Verbier, Switzerland.

As any hardcore skier will tell you, what really matters is the opening day vibe. Which is what is so cool and newsworthy about Woodbury making it happen first. Just hearing the news will make skiers - especially younger ones - stoked. Even if they don't go there themselves.

Keep us posted Yeah Righty for opening day at your backyard. If it's open and there's a kicker, it will be sweet. I hope I can make it. . .

V.P. of Operation

They may not be the "Beast of the East," but they did open first. Keep in mind that when the Beast had cash and used to open first, they weren't skiing on much vertical up on the glades trails.

My hat is off to the folks at Woodbury for pulling off the early opening. This shows a dedication to skiiers and the industry in general.

Snowmaker in Colorado

Growing up in Wisconsin where the average hill doesn't make the 300' mark, I can say first to open shouldn't be based on how big you are. Sounds to me the big guys are just mad someone beat them. If they were turning lifts and selling tickets the honor of first to open is rightfully theirs. I have driven 3 hours to ski 400 feet but had several great 200-250 foot areas close by. Luckily I now work for one of the biggest in Colorado. It is not the size that matters but the quality of what is being offered. First to open on crappy snow will just turn people off to the sport.

Easy Now

I have never even heard of Woodbury, but as someone who grew up driving 4 hours one way each weekend to get to 690' of vertical, let's not be too harsh here. Whether they had 5 people or 300, there must have been some excited youth out there which is the key to the sustained future of our sport. So three cheers for Woodbury. The more press releases we can get picked up by the national media the better for all of us.


I must respectfully agree with "Yeah Righty's" "What the?" Base elevation of 550, summit elevation of 850, vertical of 300'. Not quite your typical "New England" area. Don't get me wrong, it's still a ski hill, and it still opened first. However, if you have a look at the webcam on their website, you'll notice that they have what looks to be a 12 or 13" base over about 10% of their little area.

So, here are the facts: they opened first, and they are in New England. However, there is no way in heck that I would ever ski there, let alone on a couple of acres with a couple of inches. Like the earlier post, their record attendeance couldn't have been more than 200 or 300 people MAX. And, their snowmaking is anything but impressive.

However, I will not fault SAM for posting this press release. Nevertheless, I would have worded more like: "300' CT Area First to Open for '06-07!" or something along those lines.