WEST DOVER, VT (November 17, 2008) — With a new strategy of reporting open acreage instead of open trails, Mount Snow announced today that it is changing its snow reporting methods to more accurately convey terrain availability and snow conditions.
“The bottom line is that a trail count does not tell the whole story,” said Tim Boyd, president of Mount Snow’s parent company, Peak Resorts.
The new move, unique to the New England ski industry, will make acreage the standard measurement of open terrain. The overall percentage of available terrain — calculated using open acreage and not trails — will also be prominently reported.
“An acre is an acre. There’s no gray area,” said Boyd.
Boyd pointed out, “In the past, we could report 28 open trails, but in reality there were only 4 top to bottom runs made up of connectors and ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ portions of trails. Then, if we reported 54 out of 107 trails it gave the impression that our mountain was 50% open, when in fact, only about 25% of our terrain was skiable.”
“New England has a credibility problem when it comes to reporting open terrain,” said Boyd. “We’re trying to overcome that and be more transparent.”
Boyd cited Snowdance, a popular intermediate trail on the Main Face of the mountain, as an example of the misleading nature of high trail counts. “Snowdance has 24 skiable acres. On the other hand, Upper Lodge, Lodge, Choke, Charlie’s Chase, Yard Sale, Uncle’s and Launch Pad, added all together, comprise just 19 acres. In this case, one trail has more acreage than seven trails combined,” said Boyd.
Since purchasing Mount Snow in April, 2007, Peak has installed over 250 new-technology fan guns, the most of any resort in North America. Boyd explained that these machines can “cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time,” and guests can expect excellent coverage on wide trails. “A trail count doesn’t tell you about the fantastic conditions on large, spacious trails — acreage lets you know that you’ve got lots of trail to play with, and, by the way, we’ve got great snow on those trails.”
All other statistics, such as open mileage, new snowfall, base depth, etc., will be reported as usual. Guests will still be able to see exactly which trails are open, and if they’ve seen grooming or snowmaking in the past 24 hours, by visiting Mount Snow’s website or referring to on-site snow reports.
Tree skiing will also see a major change, as all nine of the mountain’s glades will be open at all times, from opening day to closing day. Tree skiing will not be included in open acreage statistics.
Boyd added that, by next season, he plans on restructuring the trail names at Mount Snow. He would eliminate “upper” and “lower” portions of trails and designate summit to base trails as one unit. “This ‘name game’ is misleading, and we’re no longer going to hide behind it,” said Boyd.
A full explanation of the new snow reporting philosophy can be found on Mount Snow’s website, www.mountsnow.com.