Update: Irene's Impact on Northeastern Resorts

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Windham, N.Y., Aug. 30, 2011-Resorts across the Northeast continue to investigate and catalog the impacts from Hurricane Irene, which dumped more than 10 inches of rain across much of the high terrain in southern Vermont and the Catskills, with similar totals across much of northern New England.

In the Catskills, both Hunter and Windham mountains were largely cut off by road damage and bridge washouts. The towns of Windham, Hunter, Tannersville, and Prattsville all had at least 10 inches of rain, and towns reported three to four feet of water in their downtown areas. Major roads in many locations were closed, and are only now beginning to reopen.

Windham Mountain spokesman Skip King, on Facebook, reported, "Our biggest challenge is our snowmaking reservoir pumphouse. Heavy damage. We're already in touch with state and federal officials about expediting repairs there. We've been getting very encouraging signs." He added, "our prelim analysis is this: there're significant erosion issues around the base lodge, on roads to the homes and on some of the trails. To the best of our knowledge at this point, the lifts are okay." Tim Woods, Windham's president, later echoed those comments.

Windham said that damage to the area will be repaired as soon as possible, and the area expects to open on schedule at Thanksgiving, "weather permitting."

In Vermont, Okemo reported that between 7 and 8 inches of rain fell in about 14 hours. GM Bruce Schmidt said areas of flood damage include several roads and driveways, the lodging and resort services offices, two base-area carpet lifts-one buried in four feet of mud and debris-a parking lot, a sewer pipeline, and a landslide above the Sachem lift.

Killington crews were out assessing damage, including structural damage to the K-1 Lodge's Superstar Pub and several roads. U.S. 4 west and east, as well as Vt. 100 south and north, were all impassable Monday evening. Roughly 30 guests and about 100 employees are unable to leave the area, and the National Guard has arranged to air-drop food and medical supplies to the stranded.

The aptly-named Roaring Brook dislodged the Superstar Pub from its foundation (see yesterday's report for photo).
The rest of the K-1 Lodge, including the Mountain Bike Shop, Rental Shop, K-1 Cafe and Mahogany Ridge Pub, appear to have sustained only minimal damage; the same holds for other Killington and Pico base lodges and for lifts, condominiums, the Killington Grand Resort Hotel and the golf course.

Killington hopes to reopen the golf course and K-1 Lodge as soon as possible. However, the resort has cancelled all hotel arrivals before Sept. 8, and all Killington events prior to Sept. 18.

"Despite the storm damage, Killington Resort plans to open on schedule for the 2011-12 winter season," said Chris Nyberg, president and GM.

In New Hampshire, most resorts were able to reopen and resume their summer activities today. Access to the White Mountains from the north and south via Interstate 93 and Route 16 was unaffected, and east-west routes were partially open, providing access to resorts in the White Mountains.

Among affected resorts, Bretton Woods and Wildcat reported no major damage, but Attitash cataloged several impacts. Among them: the area's new Mountain Coaster will remain closed until regrading around the base area can be completed and structural track supports can be secured and inspected for operation. It is not known when the Mountain Coaster will re-open, but it could be closed for several weeks. The resort hopes to have it operating by mid-October.

As a result of flooding and wash-out, mountain biking and guided horseback tours and pony rides at Attitash were suspended, though the area hopes to have them back on line for the Labor Day weekend.