Category: Skiing Snowboarding

Big Snow At American Dream To Remain Closed For Repairs From Multi-Alarm Fire

Looking forward to a early 2022 re-opening.

October 30, 2021

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — A multi-alarm fire broke out in the early morning of September 25, 2021 at Big Snow American Dream. A multitude of firefighters were on scene for hours extinguishing a fire in a hard to reach area. Since the fire the indoor ski area has been closed for repairs. In a statement released yesterday it states that Big Snow is looking towards an early 2022 re-opening.

The statement reads:

We know you are all as eager as we are for us to get back up and running. Our team has made great progress in the reopening process; however, we are not yet ready to welcome you back to Big SNOW as there are still several items that need to be addressed.  Based on current timelines, we are tracking towards an early 2022 re-opening. We remain optimistic that this can change for the better, but we wanted to be transparent with you.
We will continue to update our community on our progress and are looking forward to announcing an official date when Big SNOW will be back up and running. As always, thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding. 

For any guests who booked for visits through the end of December, we will automatically refund your purchases and there is no need to contact us. Refunds can take up to 3-5 business days to post.

If you purchased a multi-visit card within the last year, we will extend your expiration date to use your visits by the amount of our closure time.

The Big SNOW Team

Previous Big Snow American Dream stories:

3 Alarm Fire Reported At Big Snow at American Dream Mall

September 25, 2021

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — Multiple fire departments responded to Big Snow at American Dream Mall for a roof fire around 4:15 a.m. Upon arrival there was a reported “working fire” on the roof of Big Snow the indoor ski slope. Additional aid was called to the scene including Carlstadt, Secaucus, Wallington, Mahwah, Woodridge, Moonachie and many others. Fire crews charged a stand pipe system and charged hand lines to get water on the fire.

The fire went to three alarms before the main body of fire was knocked down just after 6:00 a.m. Fire crews are still on scene reporting that they have smoldering roof material on fire.

According to New Jersey State Police Sgt. Alejandro Goez, “The fire at the American Dream was reported at 4:15 a.m. inside the Big Snow ski slope. The fire was contained to the top of the ski slope and several area fire departments responded to extinguish the fire. The building was unoccupied at the time and there are no injuries reported. Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire has been deemed nonsuspicious at this time.”

Hugh Reynolds, a Big SNOW Representative said, “We can confirm that there was a fire at Big SNOW overnight. Thankfully there were no injuries as the incident occurred outside of our normal hours of operation. We are tremendously thankful for the quick response and efforts of the local fire departments in working to contain this fire.  As such, Big SNOW will be closed today while we assess the damage. We will release more details soon.”

This is still a developing story, please check back for further updates. MidJersey.News has reached out to Big Snow, American Dream Mall and NJ Sports and Exposition Authority for additional information.

From the Big Snow website:

Temporarily Closed

Please Note: We will be closed today, September 25. Any pre-purchased guests will be contacted directly and refunded.

Please note that Big SNOW will be closed today, Saturday September 25th.  We apologize for this inconvenience and any disappointment this unexpected closure may cause for those guests who were planning to visit today.  If you had a pre-purchased reservation, we will be refunding your order. We look forward to welcoming you back to Big SNOW soon. Please contact with any additional questions.

NY Ski Resorts Set To Reopen November 6, With COVID-19 Restrictions In Place

October 18, 2020

ALBANY, NY –Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that ski resorts can reopen with 50 percent indoor capacity and with strict health and safety protocols under state-issued guidance starting Friday, November 6, 2020

“Scientists have told us the virus is going to become more aggressive in the fall, and right now, we are all feeling COVID-fatigue, but our micro-cluster strategy is a smart, data-driven and less disruptive strategy to get us through this season. And so far, the data shows the micro-cluster strategy is working to bring infection rates down in our red zone areas,” Governor Cuomo said. 

“Beginning next month, Ski resorts will be allowed to reopen with limited indoor capacity, which will allow New Yorkers to have some outdoor activity this winter without having to quarantine when they come back.”

State guidance on the reopening of ski resorts includes the following precautions:

  • Masks required at all times, except when eating/drinking or skiing.
  • Social distancing between parties required at all times.
  • Restrict gondolas/lifts to members of the same party.
  • Limit ski lessons to no more than 10 people.
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared/rented equipment.
  • Shuttles, food & beverage, retail service must conform to State-issued guidance.
  • Reduce outdoor capacity on mountain by 25% during “peak” days or if multiple trails are closed due to unseasonable conditions.

The Governor also updated New Yorkers on the State’s response to COVID-19. In “Red Zone” focus areas included as part of the Governor’s Cluster Action Initiative, the positivity rate for test results reported yesterday is 3.19 percent – down from 4.34 the day before.

Last year’s opening day at Hunter Mountain, NY see MidJersey.News story here: Hunter Mountain, NY Opening Day 2019

Re-Opening Day At Big Snow American Dream

September 1, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (BERGEN)–Today was the re-opening of Big Snow since Governor’s Murphy’s executive order closing gyms, health clubs and indoor amusements due to COVID-19.

Big Snow is an indoor ski resort located at American Dream Mall next to Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands. It is North America’s first and only indoor, real-snow, year-round ski and snow resort.

When arriving today at Big Snow you can tell that COVID-19 precautions were in place, limited ticket sales limiting entry, temperature checks prior to entry, workers behind protective barriers during check in and extra cleaning witnessed during the visit. Every employee and customer had to wear face masks while in the venue.

The Big Express Quad was temporarily closed to be sanitized and skiers and snowboarders rode the Poma lift while that process was completed. Each chair, bar and rest was sprayed and wiped down with a disinfectant.

A storage locker comes with your entry ticket, each locker is sanitized and has a card that you remove once you use it, letting staff know the locker needs to be cleaned for the next person.

The temperature inside Big Snow is kept at 28F and is a nice relief to the warm temperatures outside.

Big Snow is perfect for beginners since a “Snow Day” package includes everything you need to get started. The bonus to learn in this environment is that you don’t have to deal with possible unfavorable snow conditions to learn on in an outdoor environment in winter. The snow inside Big Snow is well maintained at a constant temperature keeping it perfect for learning.

For the skiier or snowboarder that already owns their own equipment they may want to purchase a “Slope Access” ticket or 6 pack of tickets for a better value.

For those who don’t like to ski, snowboard or just looking to mix it up there is a “Sno-Go Bikes” package.

If you live in the Tri-State area and looking for some off season winter fun indoors give Big Snow a try for something different. It is the only venue of its kind in North America.

Previous stories on Big Snow at American Dream here:

BIG SNOW American Dream To Reopen For Skiing And Snowboarding, September 1, 2020

Big Snow at American Dream Closed For COVID-19 Until March 31

Big Snow to Open December 5, 2019 at American Dream

BIG SNOW American Dream To Reopen For Skiing And Snowboarding, September 1, 2020

August 26, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — We are pleased to announce that we have received approval from Governor Murphy and state health officials to restart operations. Endless winter will resume at Big SNOW starting next Tuesday, September 1st and while we were happy to do our part to help flatten the curve, we can’t wait to get back to sliding on snow with all of you. A lot has changed in the world since we were last together and our team has spent these months re-inventing our team and guest experiences to ensure everyone’s safety when we re-open. Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with our new COVID-19 precautions and requirements by clicking through the link in our bio. Among the many changes you will see is that advance ticket purchases will be required, so if you would like to be among the first to get back on snow with us please head over to our site to plan your visit. BIG looks forward to welcoming you all back very soon.

We have missed you these past few months, but we have been using this time to make sure that we will be ready welcome you back, safely and responsibly to enjoy the snow with us this season.

Over these many weeks our team has worked tirelessly to re-imagine every step of our guest and team member journeys to be sure that everyone’s health and safety is ensured.

You will notice numerous changes to your Big SNOW experience when we reopen our doors, but our commitment to delivering you a unique and fun on-snow experience in a safe and welcoming environment remains the same.

Here are just some of the many health and safety changes you should be aware of prior to your next visit…

    • Our team members will undergo daily health screenings and temperature checks prior to entering the facility, and have been trained thoroughly on all our new health and safety measures.
    • We will be limiting the amount of face-to-face interactions you will need to have with our team onsite and we are requiring advanced online purchase for all snow park visits.
    • To better allow for social distancing we will be limiting the number of guests allowed in the park and Shop at Big SNOW at any one time. We will also be limiting the amount of tickets sold per arrival session and ask that you arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before your scheduled arrival time.
    • We have instituted contactless scanning for arrival and entry into and out of the snow dome. Please have your receipts and media ready and follow the instructions provided.
    • Face coverings will be required for all guests and team members at all times. Additionally, gloves will be required for all guests entering the snow. If you forget your gloves or mask, we will have them available for purchase at retail.
    • You will notice an increased focus on cleaning and sanitization. All frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized regularly, this includes our counters, handrails, restrooms, seating areas and all rental equipment. As an extra precaution our retail associates will be utilizing UV lighting and steamers to sanitize any retail items that have been touched or tried on for sizing. We kindly ask that you try to limit the amount of surfaces you touch during your visit and make use of the hand sanitizer stations we have made available throughout the facility.
    • We will be adhering to strict social distancing precautions. Please keep a minimum of 6 feet of distance between yourself and others and follow the guide signs we have placed throughout the facility to assist you in keeping good distance.
    • As always, locker use remains included as part of your visit. To better assist with social distancing and sanitization we are limiting the amount of lockers in use at any one time, and encouraging guests to sit only where directed on our benches. Please look for and use only the lockers with a sanitization card inside them, and please dispose of this card upon use.
    • For any guest renting with us, please know that all rental equipment will be sanitized after each guest use. As an added precaution we encourage guests to bring their own underlayers, socks and hats to be worn under our rental gear. Changing rooms are available and will be sanitized after each guest use.
    • Please note that gloves are not provided with clothing rental and will be required for all guests entering the snow.
    • Gloves and face coverings will be required for all guests entering the snow. Please be sure to scan yourself into the dome upon entry and out upon exit. While inside please adhere to all posted signage, lift riding requirements and social distancing markers.
    • For the safety of our guests we are limiting the grouping of guests on our chair lift to only those guests who have arrived together. If you need assistance with using the lift please ask a team member for help.
    • If you are a beginner, please take advantage of our Terrain Based Learning features and signage to help guide you through the use of the features with some helpful tips to get you started. If you need more assistance our Snow Guides will be stationed to provide you with some socially distant personalized assistance.

Keeping Big SNOW safe is everyone’s responsibility. Please help us and do your part by following these guidelines. With these precautions in place there is no reason why we can’t safely and responsibly enjoy the snow together. We look forward to welcoming you back.

Vail Resorts Announces 19/20 Pass Holder Credits And “EPIC Coverage” For 20/21 Season

Vail Resorts offers an “Epic Pass” season pass that allows access to many ski resort all around the world. There are several in the North East United States and sometimes covered on under the skiing / snowboarding section.

April 27, 2020

To honor the loyalty of our pass holders, this morning, Vail Resorts announced a comprehensive plan to address pass holders’ concerns about last season’s closures – and provide them with peace of mind for the future. Below is a letter to pass holders from Vail Resorts Chief Marketing Officer, Kirsten Lynch. For media, here is a quote from Kirsten: 

“Our pass holders are our most loyal guests and we have spent weeks reading their emails and comments on social media to fully understand their concerns so we could respond thoughtfully and carefully,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer at Vail Resorts. “What became clear is that to address last season, a one-sized-fits-all approach would not work. That is why we are providing our season pass holders credits based on the number of days they were able to use their pass. Additionally, while we are confident we will have a great upcoming ski and ride season, we understand some people may be nervous about committing to a pass now in this current uncertainty. With that in mind, we are redefining pass protection with our new ‘Epic Coverage,’ free for all pass holders, and extending our spring deadlines to Labor Day to give them the time they need. We truly hope this plan honors our pass holders’ loyalty and provides them peace of mind for future.”  
Dear Pass Holders,

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. We have been addressing the real-time challenges of COVID-19, focusing on the health and safety of our employees and communities. We have also been working on a comprehensive plan to address our pass holders’ concerns about this past season – and the future.

We have read all your emails and comments on social media. We have heard your two primary concerns: First, you are disappointed with last season’s closures. Second, you are worried about next season because of the current uncertainty.

To address these specific concerns, we are sharing a plan thatI hope honors your loyalty and provides you with peace of mind about the future:

  1. To Address Last Season:
    • Credits from 20% to 80% for Season Pass Holders
      We are providing credits to 2019-20 season pass holders, based on the price of their pass, to apply toward the purchase of a 2020-21 season pass of equal or greater value:  
      • A minimum credit of 20% for season pass holders, based on the resort closures in mid-March impacting about 20% of the core season
      • Higher credits for season pass holders who used their pass less than five days
      • A maximum credit of 80% if you did not use your season pass at all, because we recognize that some of you were waiting until spring to use your pass
    • Credits for Epic Day Pass, Whistler Blackcomb Edge Card and Multi-Pack Pass Holders
      For guests with remaining days on their 2019-20 Epic Day Pass, Edge Card or one of our other multi-pack pass products, we are providing a credit for each unused day, up to 80% of the price paid for your pass to apply toward a pass of equal or greater value for next season.
    • Your credit will be valid through Labor Day (Sept. 7, 2020) because we understand that you may need time to decide on your plans for next season.
      This may seem complicated, but something simple would not address all the unique situations of our pass holders.  We will email you personally in the coming weeks to share your specific credit details and your promotion code, which you can use online starting May 13. If you renew your pass prior to receiving your promotion code, we will retroactively provide the credit value back to you. In the meantime, you can click here to use the tables to find your pass credit, see our FAQs, and review the terms and conditions.
  2. Looking Ahead to the 2020-21 Season:
    • New ‘Epic Coverage’ Protects You Next Season
      We are confident we will be enjoying a great upcoming ski and ride season, but we also understand that many pass holders are nervous about the future given the current uncertainty. With this in mind, we are launching ‘Epic Coverage’:
      • Epic Coverage is free for all pass holders and completely replaces the need to purchase pass insurance, which can cost up to $60 for other passes.
      • Epic Coverage provides for a refund if you have an eligible injury, job loss, or experience other personal events that prevent you from using your pass.
      • Epic Coverage also provides a refund for certain resort closures, including for events like COVID-19, giving you a refund for any portion of the season that is lost.
        We understand that times have changed so Epic Coverage completely redefines your pass protection. We value your loyalty and we want you to enjoy your pass knowing that we are standing behind our commitment to your peace of mind. Click here to learn more about Epic Coverage, see our FAQs and review the terms and conditions.
    • Savings All Season Long
      In March, we announced our new Epic Mountain Rewards, providing pass holders 20% off all mountain food & beverage, owned and operated lodging, group ski and ride lessons, equipment rentals and more at our North American resorts. No sign up. No points tracking. No blackout days. Just savings. Learn more about Epic Mountain Rewards here.
  3. The Time You Need:
    • Spring Deadlines Extended to Labor Day
      We do not want to rush your decision. We are eliminating our traditional spring purchase deadlines, giving you through Labor Day (Sept. 7, 2020) to use your credit and to lock in 10 Buddy Tickets for next season. If uncertainty continues, we may reassess that deadline again as it gets closer.
    • Lowest Up-Front Cost
      If you want to lock in your pass, we want to provide you the lowest up-front cost during this challenging time. Right now the deposit for your pass for next season is only $49, significantly less than the deposit many other passes require. This offer will extend for the next few months.

My hope is that this plan demonstrates our commitment to honoring your loyalty, with credits of 20%-80% for last season, Epic Coverage for next season, and more time to make a decision.  We recognize that some people may ask why we did not provide 100% credits or cash refunds for last season. We capped our credits at 80% because our mountains were open and operating for the majority of the season and our passes could be used during that time. Regarding refunds, we recognize that our passes, and pass insurance, historically have not provided for refunds in situations like this, which is why we are introducing the new Epic Coverage.

Thank you for your loyalty. I am confident that our collective passion for the mountains will prevail and we will get through this together. I hope to see you on the mountain next season.  And most importantly, I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Thank you, 

Kirsten Lynch 

EVP and Chief Marketing Officer

Vail Resorts

NJ Man’s Death At Vail Resort: Witness, “lift operator was not paying attention,”

April 11, 2020

Previous article on the accident where a New Jersey man died hanging from a ski lift accident at Chair 37 in Vail, Colorado

Complete report at Vail Daily, a local news outlet in Vail, Colorado

VAIL, COLORADO–The sheriff’s department released a report this week on the ski lift accident that killed New Jersey resident Jason Varnish, 46, of Short Hills at Chair Lift 37. as reported by Vail Daily

The report shows that a witness stated a seat was folded up so that a rider was not able to sit down as the witness and Varnish tried to ride Chair 37. The witness was able to get out of the way while Varnish’s clothing was caught on a rubber stopper according to the witness. Varnish was lifted 20 to 25 feet off the ground.

“The lift operator was not paying attention and had been cleaning off snow in the area,” according to the witness, the report states. “A few seconds later the lift stopped and (the witness) observed (Varnish) hanging from the lift.”

See the Vail Daily article for more information.

We have e-mailed the Sheriff’s Department to get a copy of the report and will updated with further information

Travel Insurance, Ski Pass Insurance Will They Pay for COVID-19 Claims?

April 7, 2020

When purchasing airline tickets to ski passes there is usually an extra “insurance” policy to cover unforeseen circumstances that you may not have an opportunity to use your flight or ski pass. You would not want to suffer a loss of your investment into a ski pass if something were to go amiss; so you read the marking material and decide to purchase a pass insurance. You feel a little more confident that your money was spent wisely purchasing the insurance policy, that is until you file a claim.

Ski pass insurance is offered when purchasing the Ikon Pass a multi resort season pass. These passes cost anywhere from $699 to $999. for 2020-2021 season and prices vary depending on time of year purchased, pre-season prices are lower and as it gets closer to opening day the prices increase.

In this story we are going to examine the Trip Preserver “Ski Pass Preserver” Underwritten by Arch Insurance Company and administered by Red Sky Travel Insurance in relation to a COVID-19 resort closure that made housing “uninhabitable” because it was closed by the government order.

I purchased a 2019-2020 Ikon Base Pass on March 6, 2019 for $649.00 with a $30.00 renewal discount bringing the price to $619.00. After buying the Ski Pass Preserver Insurance for $37.14 the total bill was $656.14 I took the payment plan so it was not a big chunk all at once. Paying for the insurance it always felt like you were covered.

Each year I purchase a multi-resort pass such as the Ikon (prior to Ikon was MAXX) early so you get the best deal because the longer you wait there is usually significant price increases closer to opening day. Even though I knew at the time I most likely would not use the pass until the following spring it is usually a good enough deal to grab it early since western resorts cost close to $200 per day for window tickets and eastern resorts run around $100 per day or more depending on the resort. At those window rates you could well exceed the cost of a pass on one small trip.

One of my friends has a house near Killington Resort in Vermont and is shared with family so every March we would spend a planned week there and visit Killington and Sugarbush Resorts. That Vermont trip did not happen because of the resorts shutting down due to COVID-19; Killington suspended operations on March 15, 2020 until further notice. In addition to that annual spring trip to Vermont I had a trip booked to Colorado and should be in Summit County as I write this article but instead stuck at home on the east coast due to COVID-19. My Colorado Trip was supposed to be from April 3 to April 10 and would have visited Copper and Winter Park Resorts in Colorado. Copper Mountain and Winter Park suspended operations on March 15, 2020 indefinitely until the COVID-19 crisis resolved.

Knowing both mountains were closed and the season ended prior to using my pass at all for the 2019-2020 season I decided to file a claim on the insurance I purchased at time of sale.

I wrote into Ikon and they said contact Red Sky and a few days later Red Sky stated they would not cover COVID-19 but I could choose to file a claim and provided a link. I went to the website and filed a claim with supporting documentation of lodging dates, flights, government closures, and lodge/housing closures.

Reading the policy I felt that a government closure from COVID-19 a Natural Disaster would be covered as per their advertising. “Uninhabitability of the destination vacation home caused by a natural disaster” The building is uninhabitable because of the government closure due to the COVID-19 virus.

I could see if the conspiracy theorists are right and COVID-19 was made in a chemical weapons laboratory in Wuhan China and somehow escaped maybe it would not be a “natural disaster”. For now scientists say the COVID-19 was or is naturally occurring and skipped over to humans in China naturally. Not to digress we will leave that to someone else to figure out and write about.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued Colorado a Disaster Declaration on March 28, 2020

FEMA The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a Colorado Disaster Deceleration on 3/28/2020 due to the COVID-19 virus.

President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Colorado

Release date: 
March 29, 2020
Release Number: 
WASHINGTON — FEMA announced that federal emergency aid has been made available for the state of Colorado to supplement the state, tribes and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on Jan. 20, 2020 and continuing.
Federal funding is available to the state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance under Public Assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent.
Lee dePalo has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.

Summit County Colorado Ordering Short Term Lodging Closed. I was staying in Summit County where my lodging is.

I filed the claim and a few days letter I received an explanation of benefits denying the claim.

“We have received and reviewed your Season Pass Cancellation claim of your trip for travel dates December 1, 2019 through May 25, 2020. We have determined that we are unable to approve your claim or to provide any benefits under your claim.

There are no benefits under a travel insurance policy for shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders issued as they are not quarantines as defined by the CDC. These orders are intended to reduce harm from the spread of coronavirus in a community. Unlike quarantines, there are many exceptions provided under these orders that permit one to leave their homes for essential activities including but not limited to, seeing a doctor for medical care, grocery shopping, pick up carry out orders from restaurants, to bike or run, so long as social distancing is practiced

Reason Code 59: Shelter-at-place or Stay home order*. There are no benefits under a travel insurance policy for shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders issued as they are not quarantines as defined by the CDC. These orders are intended to reduce harm from the spread of coronavirus in a community. Unlike quarantines, there are many exceptions provided under these orders

Travel insurance is generally misunderstood to insure every circumstance. It does not. It only insures the perils listed in the policy, subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions. While we certainly understand your disappointment at the full denial of this claim, please understand that we must consider each claim and the applicable facts under the terms and conditions of the policy purchased. In closing, it is our position that the benefits issued were calculated correctly. If you have any additional information that you feel would affect our determination, please email it to the following address for review:

Where to turn to next?

Since my home state is New Jersey where I purchased the insurance policy I filed a complaint with the State of New Jersey Division of Banking and Insurance, Consumer Protection Services.

This story will be continued but this is where I am in the process of trying to make a claim on an insurance policy.

I know others who have purchased passes with no insurance that just took the loss. Those pass holders are hoping that Ikon would provide them some kind of credit or discount towards next year’s pass. For the souls like myself who purchased insurance thinking you are covered, so far your are not covered according to the insurance company.

How ever this works out either through a state agency like New Jersey who is currently working on legislation to make insurance companies pay for COVID-19 losses or though possible future “class action” lawsuit by some attorneys. You may get something, you may not get something. Time will tell how this all plays out.

As for now I recommend holding off on purchasing any multi-resort passes until this COVID-19 situation is resolved or we get a better idea how next season will go. You could purchase a 2020-2021 and if the season is canceled or cut short again because COVID-19 or another situation you could lose your investment in a pass product even if you have purchase insurance thinking you are safe from a loss.

At the time of the writing of this article I could not find anything on the Ikon web page in regards of any discount or assurance of 20/21 season investment in a multi resort pass.


Vail Resorts To Close North American Resorts For The 2019-20 Ski Season Due To COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Press release can be downloaded here from Vail Resorts Website

The Company will consider reopening Breckenridge, Heavenly and Whistler Blackcomb dependent on the situation with COVID-19 and weather conditions

BROOMFIELD, Colo., March 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ –Vail Resorts announced today that all of its North American resorts and retail stores will remain closed for the 2019-20 winter ski season amidst the continued challenges associated with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision follows the Company’s previously announced closure of its resorts from Sunday, March 15 through Sunday, March 22. The Company will consider reopening Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado, Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia in late April/early May, dependent on the situation with COVID-19 as well as weather conditions.

Additionally, the Company’s owned and operated lodging properties will close on Friday, March 20, with final check-ins allowed until 4 p.m. MT today. Epic Mountain Express, the Company’s Colorado transportation service, will run through tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18. Both will remain closed until further notice.

“Our decision to end the season now is evidence of the fast-moving situation involving COVID-19, and it was not an easy one to make as we deeply considered the extended impact it will have on our guests, employees and communities,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “While it is incredibly disappointing for our Company to mark the end of the season so early, we know it is the most responsible path forward.”

Guests can process refunds and credits on pre-purchased lift tickets, lodging, ski and ride school, equipment rentals and more, subject to applicable terms and conditions, using an online form that will be available later today on the Company’s resort websites.

About Vail Resorts, Inc.(NYSE: MTN)

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 37 world-class mountain resorts and urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo.Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc.Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is and consumer website is

Alterra Mountain Company Closure Announcement, Closing Several North American Ski Resorts Due To COVID-19

March 14, 2020, Denver, CO: After careful thought and deliberation of our duty in the face of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, and in what I believe is in the best interest of our guests, employees and local communities, Alterra Mountain Company will suspend operations at our 15 North American ski resorts, starting the morning of Sunday, March 15, until further notice. All lift operations, food and beverage, retail and rental services will be closed until further notice.

Alterra Mountain Company destinations are Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Stratton and Sugarbush Resort in Vermont; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario; Crystal Mountain in Washington; Deer Valley Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah; and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia. (CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures will continue to operate through Tuesday, March 17.)

Each resort will work directly with guests in canceling their visit and will provide refunds to those who have hotel and other bookings during this closure period. We anticipate heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciate guests’ patience as we work hard to respond to all inquiries.

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this short notice will undoubtedly create. We look forward to welcoming you back to the mountains as circumstances improve.

Rusty Gregory

Chief Executive Officer

Alterra Mountain Company

Ed Note: COVID-19 is serious business, this is not a “snow day” or “extended spring break” from school or work. It is not an excuse to got to the mall, theater, skiing, vacation, parties, etc. Mid-Jersey News follows snow sports since many from the Mid-Jersey region travel to locations such as the Poconos, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, etc. for recreation. Practice hand washing, hygiene and social separation to prevent the spread of this virus. This is a serious situation and a National Emergency. If everyone participates hopefully we return to normal sooner than later. If you feel that there is a chance you are sick, can become sick or have been exposed, separate yourself from others.

Big Snow at American Dream Closed For COVID-19 Until March 31

March 14, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD (BERGEN), NJ– See note from Big Snow at American Dream Mall.

To Our Big SNOW Guests,

Like the rest of the world, we have been closely monitoring the developments and public health recommendations regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) over these past few weeks. The health and safety of our team and guests are of the utmost priority for us. Although there have been no reported cases of coronavirus associated with American Dream or Big SNOW, both management teams agree that it would be in the best interest of safety and public health to make the hard but responsible decision to temporarily close our doors as a preventative measure in the national fight against the further spread of this virus.

Effective Monday March 16, Big SNOW and American Dream will be temporarily closing to all visits through the end of the month. This is a decision we did not take lightly, as we recognize the impact that this business interruption will have on the lives of our team members and our guests. That said, we do feel that it is a necessary decision for the sake of the greater public health. While we plan to stay closed through the end of the month, we will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and follow the guidance of our local, state and federal officials, as well as the public health agencies. Any further updates and information on our re-opening dates will be posted on our website and social media channels and communicated to you as they become available.

For any guests who have pre-booked their visits to Big SNOW between the dates of March 16 and March 31, we will be contacting you via email and making arrangements for you to move your visit to any time within the next year. If you have any further questions regarding your purchase or visit to Big SNOW, you may contact us via email at or by phone at 973-864-6600.

We thank you for your patience, support and understanding as we all work together to do our part in quickly stopping the spread of this global pandemic. Our hearts are with everyone who have been affected either directly or indirectly by the impact of this crisis. We hope to be safely skiing and riding with you again at Big SNOW very soon. In the meantime, we wish you and your families continued health.


Joe Hession
CEO Big SNOW American Dream

Ed Note: COVID-19 is serious business, this is not a “snow day” or “extended spring break” from school or work. It is not an excuse to got to the mall, theater, skiing, vacation, parties, etc. Mid-Jersey News follows snow sports since many from the Mid-Jersey region travel to locations such as the Poconos, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, etc. for recreation. Practice hand washing, hygiene and social separation to prevent the spread of this virus. This is a serious situation and a National Emergency. If everyone participates hopefully we return to normal sooner than later. If you feel that there is a chance you are sick, can become sick or have been exposed, separate yourself from others.

37 North American Vail Resorts will not operate Sunday, March 15 through Sunday, March 22, with future guidance to follow

Ed Note: COVID-19 is serious business, this is not a “snow day” or “extended spring break” from school or work. It is not an excuse to got to the mall, theater, skiing, vacation, parties, etc. Mid-Jersey News follows snow sports since many from the Mid-Jersey region travel to locations such as the Poconos, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, etc. for recreation. Practice hand washing, hygiene and separation to prevent the spread of this virus. This is a serious situation and a National Emergency. If everyone participates hopefully we return to normal sooner than later. If you feel that there is a chance you are sick, can become sick or have been exposed, separate yourself from others.

Updated 4 p.m. MT on March 14, 2020)
Update on Vail Resorts Operations from CEO Rob Katz
Resorts will not operate Sunday, March 15 through Sunday, March 22, with future guidance to follow

This has no doubt been an incredibly challenging time. With 37 resorts spread across 15 states and three countries, we – like the rest of the world – have been closely tracking every new development related to coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been in constant contact with local health officials for guidance. Without question, our top priority has been the health and wellbeing of our guests and employees – and to no lesser extent the health and wellbeing of the communities where we operate. We know each decision we make has a broad impact far beyond our operations.

With each of those stakeholders in mind and with the most updated information from local health officials, we have made the difficult decision to suspend the operations of all our North American mountain resorts and retail stores beginning Sunday, March 15, 2020 through Sunday, March 22, 2020 and will use that time to reassess our approach for the rest of the season. Our lodging and property management operations will remain open to service the guests we have on location or those with existing reservations, but we will not be taking new reservations for this upcoming week. Epic Mountain Express, our Colorado shuttle service, will also continue operations to support the travel needs of our guests.  We will be closing our corporate offices and apart from essential personnel, we will be asking other employees to work from home, where possible.  

All our scheduled employees, both seasonal and year-round, will be paid during this upcoming eight-day period, without needing to use any vacation or sick time. Their commitment to our company and guests during this uncertain time has been unwavering and I am personally grateful beyond words. 

This decision provides a pause for the entire ecosystem of our mountain resort communities. It gives everyone the time to assess the situation, respond to ever-changing developments, and evaluate the approach for the rest of season, if we believe it is advisable or feasible to re-open. This was not an easy decision to make, as we deeply considered the impact it will have on our guests, employees, and the people and businesses in our communities. We understand this change may be confusing given our communications of operational changes over the past week, and as late as last night. Please know that this has been a fast-moving, constantly developing situation with new information from our communities coming to us by the day, if not by the hour, and we are trying to react as quickly as we can.  People may also wonder why we are not giving more notice ahead of this closure. We understand the challenges this creates, but our priority is to minimize any additional issues from operating in further uncertainty and to avoid potential crowding. 

We sincerely apologize to guests who are currently at our resorts – and those who were planning to come during this time. We have information on cancellations, refunds and travel credits on our websites. Many things like ski school, lift tickets, equipment rentals, and transportation can be fully refunded, and we have new credit policies in place for our owned and operated lodging properties. Please know that we will get to everyone and appreciate your patience as our most immediate priority must be the health and welfare of our resorts and communities.  I know there are a lot of questions about our season pass products and Epic Day Passes. Those products are non-refundable and not transferable to another season, however, we will be reviewing those policies and providing any updated guidance on that in the coming weeks.  Again, we very much appreciate your patience with this as well. 

We will be providing updated information on the remainder of the season by Friday, March 20, 2020.

These are unprecedented, challenging times for everyone. We will continue to navigate these unchartered waters with our guests, our employees and our communities remaining our highest priority. I am certain that there have been, and will be, moments where we will miss the mark and potentially disappoint. However, rest assured that we will continue to listen to your feedback – and continue to make the best decisions we can for everyone’s wellbeing. 

Guest FAQs


How does the closure impact my season pass or Epic Day Pass?

To the extent that any of our resorts re-open during the season, your pass will be valid.

Pursuant to the terms of all season pass and Epic Day Pass products, they are non-refundable and non-transferable to another season.  We will be reviewing these policies and providing any updated guidance in the coming weeks.  We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.


May I get a refund on my lift tickets that are pre-purchased and valid for 3/15/20-3/22/20?

Yes pursuant to the terms of Lift TicketsOur teams are currently focused on assisting our guests in resort. Please check back here for more information on how to request your refund. We are working to make this process as easy as possible with an online form. Thank you for your patience.

I have pre-purchased lift tickets for dates after 3/22/20. Can I get a refund?

Yes. Our teams are currently focused on assisting our guests in resort. Please check back here for more information on how to request your refund. We are working to make this process as easy as possible with an online form. Thank you for your patience.

What are my refund options for other mountain products?

We have information on cancellations, refunds and travel credits on our resort websites. Many activities – such as ski school, equipment rentals, and transportation – can be fully refunded. Please check back here for more information on how to request your refund. We are working to make this process as easy as possible with an online form. Thank you for your patience.


I’m currently staying at a hotel. How long can I stay here?
You can remain at the hotel through the end of your reservation. If you would like to extend your stay or make any revisions to your stay, please talk to your front desk.

What is your rebook and refund policy for lodging?

For lodging owned and operated by Vail Resorts, you can receive a full refund for any bookings made for dates during the resort closure period..

For reservations due to arrive between 3/22/2020-5/31/2020, guests can apply the dollar amount of their deposit to a future stay at the same property for up to 365 days from the date of arrival. You can also rebook the same dates at another resort based on availability and at the applicable rate.

We are waiving cancellation fees for hotel stays through May 31, 2020 for guests traveling from international locations to Vail Resorts destinations.

Cancellation and date change policies through third party lodging and booking partners will vary by property. Guests should reach out to their reserved lodging property or reserved booking source if they need to discuss changes.

Are existing reservations beyond 3/22/20 still valid?

Yes, at this time our lodging properties will remain open.

Can I make reservations beyond 3/22/20 at your properties?

Yes, we will not be taking new reservations for stays between 3/15/20-3/22/20, but we are still taking reservations beyond that time frame.


Will your village and fine dine restaurants be open?

All on-mountain dining, including quick serve and fine dining, will be closed.  Limited dining will be available in our lodging properties.


Will your rental and retail stores be open?

All Vail Resorts Rental and Retail stores at the resorts will be closed. We will have some limited openings within lodging.


Are resort events cancelled as well?

Check our website, or the event-specific website for all event information. Events at our resorts between 3/15/20-3/22/20 are cancelled.


What are the chances you will open after 3/22/2020?
We will be providing updated information on the remainder of the season by Friday, March 20, 2020.

Ski/Snowboarding: Ski Resorts Start Closing Due To COVID-19 Precautions, Catamount and Berkshire East Closed For Season

March 12, 2020

To our Berkshire East and Catamount Guests and Employees:

Berkshire East will close for the season today, Thursday, March 12 at 4pm and Catamount Ski Area will not reopen this weekend. COVID-19 has been discovered in the surrounding hill towns and multiple people are being quarantined. To be clear, no known Berkshire East or Catamount customers or employees have been effected by this illness, but as the GM of these businesses, I have a responsibility to my employees and my customers to act swiftly to contain any potential virus spread in areas that I can control.

In 2006, I was buried in an avalanche in British Columbia. While being buried in that tumble of snow the only thing I could think of was “this isn’t worth it…” This experience informs me now as the only thought that comes to me is, “no ski turn is worth a life.”

My role in this business was given to me by my father who loves being at the mountain every day. His demographics put him at a higher risk than others. If I can’t recommend that he visit his facility, how can I ask anyone else to do the same? Our staff is our family. Our guests are our tribe.

Thus, with conviction, we believe that our businesses can be leaders (however small) in beating back COVID-19 from its current beachhead by immediately closing for what remains of the winter season.

There simply is no benefit to remaining open.

The best science shows that this type of aggressive mitigation is both inevitable and overwhelmingly in support of the public good.

We urge other business leaders and our elected officials to follow suit in continuing to aggressively close down public spaces so we can proactively begin to get this insidiousness behind us.

We send the full weight of our prayers to the healthcare workers and their families who are on the front lines of this battle. As this illness spreads exponentially, we must all take immediate action to “flatten the curve” in order to allow our nations health care workers to make effective headway against the current caseload of COVID-19.

We shout from our mountain tops that you can make a thousand daily impacts by washing your hands, not touching your face, practice social distancing and simply sit back while doing everything in your power to stop the spread.

This is certainly an inconvenience to our customers and will result in major changes for our staff. None of this is going to be easy and we are passing into unknown territories. But like any good skier knows, you beat back challenging situations by pressing forward into them aggressively and decisively.

Lastly, this is personal, I’m related to medical professionals working in hospitals with active outbreaks. We shut down out of love and support for these people and the staffs in these hospitals.

We are confident in the future. We will announce a reopening date for our whitewater rafting, zip lines, aerial adventures, and biking in the coming weeks as guidance comes down from the CDC, the NIH and WHO.

Jon Schaefer

Catamount Ski Area / Berkshire East Ski Area

Update: NJ Man Dies From Asphyxia At Chair 37 in Vail Mountain’s Blue Sky Basin By Hanging From Ski Coat

February 14, 2020

Updated to include town in NJ and additional information.

Special thanks to Vail Daily for contributing to this report.

VAIL COLORADO (EAGLE)–According to reports a New Jersey man has died by Chair 37 Skyline Express Lift in the Blue Sky Basin area of Vail’s legendary back bowls. Jason Varnish, 46, of Short Hills, New Jersey, died Thursday on Vail Mountain, coroner Kara Bettis has confirmed.

Update from Vail Daily:

Coroner Kara Bettis said the death has been ruled an accident.

Bettis, in a text, wrote: “We are still investigating how this whole situation happened. According to our initial investigation, the deceased slipped through the seat of the chair lift and his ski coat got caught up in the chair. The coat ended up going up around his head and neck area putting his neck in a position that compromised his airway.”

See Vail Daily for further updates on the investigation

Blue Sky Basin was closed after the incident:

Please also follow this breaking story at Vail Daily for the latest information.

Winter Storm Ezekiel Dumps 27 Inches Of Snow on Hunter

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

HUNTER, NY–You have to wake up early on a Sunday morning to beat a snowstorm and holiday traffic one of the most busiest travel days of the year. Leaving the area at 6 am, I arrived at Hunter, NY around 9 am the snow had not begun to fall yet. Winter storm warnings were forecasting two feet or more for the region so it was worth leaving early to beat chaos on the roadways.

Sunday was spent riding Hunter Mountain Resort, as the storm approached snow began covering the trails and high winds were felt at the summit. This was a multiple day event so rooms were booked at the Holiday Inn Express back at the Thruway Exit. The ride back to the hotel was a little sketchy since the storm started to really produce some nice snow on Sunday evening and though the night.

Monday was used to explore Catamount Resort on the New York, Massachusetts Border in the Berkshire Mountains. The radar was looking good over there so it was worth the new adventure to visit a mountain on a multi resort pass called the Indy Pass. (See story on Catamount Resort Visit)

Snows remained light most of Monday but snow started to pile up again Monday night so the alarm was set for an early wake up for Tuesday morning, knowing Tuesday would be a powder day.

Upon arrival on Tuesday morning at the Hunter Mountain parking lot staff were using the mountain’s groomers to plow and open the parking lots. Making my way to the lift the line was long at the ticket window so it is one of the days it pays to have a season pass and walk right by the ticket line.

The first run down that morning was on Racers Edge a double black, Hunter has not even begun to make snow on that trail yet this year. I was able to find some spots of fresh snow but many of the runs were tracked out pretty quickly on this powder day.

With all the recent snow the time is now to get out there just in case the weather happens to take a turn for the worst. The weekend ahead looks like a great skiing and snowboarding weekend. Monday and Tuesday next week there is a chance of rain but snow makers will be able to lay down another coat of snow on Tuesday night according to the forecast Get out there and put in a day or two before the rain comes.

Catamount Mountain Resort Visit

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

HILLSDALE, NY, S. Egremont, MA—I arrived at Catamount Mountain Resort Monday December 2, 2019 during Winter Storm Ezekiel that was providing north east ski resorts with plenty of fresh powder. This happened to be Catamount’s 3rd operating day of the season. During my visit it appeared they had about 8 or more inches at the base and their three-day storm total by Tuesday December 3 was over 20 inches of new snow from the storm.

Never have been to the resort before but upon arrival you could immediately tell that improvements have been made and construction is on going in the base area. There is a new Catamount Lodge under construction and is scheduled to open after Christmas according to one local that was riding the lift. The ticket windows and offices in the new lodge are under construction so a temporary ticket operation is set up in the updated Berkshire Lodge.

I was visiting Catamount for the first time using the Indy Ski Pass set up by numerous “independent” resorts to help them compete against two large corporate passes the IKON and EPIC. For as little as $199 (preseason) and with a current price of $219. You could ride a total of 46 destinations for a total of 2 days each, additional discounted tickets apply after you use your two days at many of the resorts. It was simple to use the Indy Ski Pass, I told them my name they looked me up in the system showed ID and printed me a lift ticket on the spot. It was an easy experience using the Indy Ski Pass. Currently 46 resorts are involved with Indy Ski Pass but that almost seems to change weekly as more independent ski resorts jump on board with this great pass making it an even better value.  

After putting my RFID pass in my pocket, I proceeded to the Ridge Quad, there was no wait or no line to board the lift for several runs, and snow quality was great. After a bunch of runs and a short break in the lodge I went to the left side of the mountain and did a few runs off the Promenade Triple Chair. Snowboarded a total of 18 runs for the day. Trails open on that day were Upper Glade, Lower Glade, Off Stage, Upper Sidewinder Walter’s Way, Racing Slope, On Stage, Catamount, Kelli’s Run, Esplanade and the snow sports learning area.

Catamount opened a couple weeks earlier than planned. With the help from mother nature the snow was in great condition for being open so early in the season. Check the website and snow reports for current operating schedules. The local snowboarder riding the lift told me that weekends can get busy at times but weekdays the lines are empty. The resort is off the beaten path so that also helps keep the lift lines minimal. Overall great experience for a first visit and will be back once the new lodge opens.

Catamount has 1,000 feet of vertical that straddles the States of New York and Massachusetts in the Berkshire Mountains. Catamount boasts 43 trails and the longest run is 1.75 miles in length. The resort has steepest double diamond trail in the Berkshires called the Catapult. There are a total of 8 lifts, two chairs and it appeared 2 wonder carpet surface lifts were open during my visit. There is night skiing on 15 trails with more than 4 miles of coverage including two terrain parks.

Many East Ski Resorts Are Ready For Your Thanksgiving Holiday

November 27, 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

HUNTER, NY–Cold air earlier this month and a recent snowstorm has benefited many east cost resorts for early openings and should provide great conditions for your holiday weekend.

On a Pre-Thanksgiving trip to Hunter Mountain, NY snowplows were finishing pushing snow out of parking lots around the resort. Hunter was open with 3 lifts and 14 trails open with a base of 12″ to 36″ and a 7″ natural snowfall this season so far. During this trip weather was in the 50s and conditions were great with coverage edge to edge on open trails.

Some reports from several north east ski resorts, always check the resort’s website for the current conditions and operating hours prior to heading to the mountains.

Blue Mountain, PA will re-open Friday November 29, 2019

Big Boulder, PA will re-open Friday November 29, 2019

Hunter, NY open check report for latest

Belleayre, NY Opening Day Friday November 29, 2019

Gore Mountain, NY will open Friday November 29, 2019

Mount Snow, VT open 21 trails 201 acres open.

Stratton, VT 26 of 99 trails open.

Okemo, VT Check report

Killington, VT Open Check report.

Stowe, VT open check report.

Jay Peak, VT re-open Friday November 29, 2019

Jared Robinson on snowboard checking out conditions

Hunter Mountain, NY Opening Day 2019

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

November 15, 2019

HUNTER, NY– Our crew from Robbinsville and Hamilton, NJ were on the road early to get to Hunter Mountain Resort for opening day 2019. With the recent cold weather ski resorts up and down the east coast have been pumping out snow and opening terrain earlier than anticipated. This was the earliest opening day in the past five years for Hunter Mountain. Snow guns were blazing away all day and more terrain is anticipated to open on Sunday with cold weather in the forecast for the entire weekend.

Those wishing to get a great deal on a season pass check out Season Pass Sales If you use the discount code BSMUDA you will save some cash. The Peak Pass Drifter for ages 18 to 29 at this link don’t forget the discount code. If you already have a Peak Pass and wish to upgrade to EPIC or EPIC Local passes you have until November 17, 2019 to upgrade. If you are looking for an EPIC or EPIC Local Pass they are on sale until November 24, 2019 they no longer sell the pass after that date, so don’t miss out after that day you will be buying day tickets.

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Mount Snow, Vermont Opens and Alterra Mountain Company to Purchase Sugarbush Resort, VT

By Dennis Symons

November 13, 2019

MOUNT SNOW, VERMONT–Brian Smuda a correspondent was up before the sun and first to wait in line for the first chair for Mount Snow’s opening day. This is his 6th consecutive year scoring a seat on the first chair at the resort. Brian Smuda runs Season Pass Sales and those looking for a discounted season pass can use his discount code of BSMUDA to save money on a season pass.

Alterra Mountain Enters Agreement to Purchase Sugarbush Resort

Alterra Mountain Company announced in a press release today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Sugarbush Resort in Vermont. That would bring the companies portfolio to 15 year-round mountain destinations in North America, including the worlds largest heli-skiing operation. Alterra Mountain Company states Sugarbush Resort access on the IKON Pass will remain the same for this year. The transaction is expected to close in early 2020.

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Getting Ready For The Season How To Sharpen and Wax Your Snowboard

By: Dennis Symons

The last I checked going rates for sharpening and waxing skis or snowboards were $35 to well over $50 depending on location and type of service. In this video I show you how to sharpen and wax your own snowboard and if you keep up with regular waxing could save you money over the entire season and seasons to come. Normal sharpening and waxing can be done by yourself with some basic tools.

If there are issues with your board, visible damage or something does not seem right always take your board to your local snowboard shop for service. Check all bolts and screws for tightness after servicing your board and at regular intervals.

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Dust Off Your Skis and Snowboards Cold Weather Has More Resorts Opening Early, Locally 18F For The Next 2 Nights

By: Dennis Symons

Cold temperatures in the mountains have created excellent snow making conditions that resorts are opening early. Adding to the list of open resorts is Mount Snow, Vermont Wednesday November 13, 2019, Wildcat, New Hampshire and Hunter Mountain New York open Friday November 15 and Big Boulder, PA, Ski Blue Mountain, PA both opening Saturday. Check local resorts and their websites for the most update information and operating hours.

Locally we did see some of our first natural snowflakes of the season today as a cold front pushed though the area. Today’s high was 55F and low so far is 27F and should go lower in the next few hours. Temperatures are predicted to go to low of 18F tonight and tomorrow night. Dress warm its cold outside.

If you happen to head North to any ski resort bring and extra layers temperatures are in the single digits.

Feels More Like January Than November This Morning

ALLENTOWN-ROBBINSVILLE, NJ—Joint Base McGuire (the default for our area by many weather apps) may be reporting 22F this morning but out here in the Allentown-Robbinsville area we are waking up to temperatures in the 19F range confirmed by 3 different sensors just before 7 a.m. Bundle up if you are going to the “Run As One 5K Run/1 Mile Walk” over in Hamilton or doing any outside activity it will be a cold one. NJ101.5 Traffic Desk is also reporting some ice on certain roadways so use caution driving.

Cold Temperatures on East Coast, Snow Making at Many Ski Resorts

By: Dennis Symons

Bundle up tonight and the foreseeable future because cold temperatures are here to stay. With lows in the 20s or less north, (24F tonight in Central Mid-New Jersey) ski resorts up and down the east coast have their snow making equipment fired up. It is time to dust off the skis and snowboard get them sharpened and waxed and ready for the mountains.

If you have not purchased a season pass or thought about lift tickets yet the time is now to get the best discounts. Many resorts stop selling passes around Thanksgiving or a little there after so check out each resort to see what they offer and also look at the multi-resort season passes such as IKON Pass, EPIC Pass and Indy Pass as talked about in a previous article and video here. If you want to save a boat load of cash, multi-resort passes, season passes, multi day packs, early purchase lift tickets all save money.

Open on the East Cost this weekend:

Killington Resort, Vermont

Sunday River Resort, Maine

Cataloochee Ski Area, North Carolina

**This list keeps growing as cold temperatures permit snow making.

Live Mountain Cameras

Okemo, Vermont (Opening Day, November 22)

Mount Snow, Vermont (Opening Day, Friday November 15)

Hunter Mountain, NY (Opening Day, Soon)

Big Snow to Open December 5, 2019 at American Dream


North America’s First Indoor Real-Snow Ski and Snowboard Park to Debut at American Dream; Currently Hiring for 300 Open Positions

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (October 11, 2019) Big SNOW American Dream, North America’s first indoor, real-snow ski and snowboard center providing guests with year-round winter indoors, is proud to announce its official grand opening date of Thursday, December 5, 2019. Big SNOW will offer aspiring and existing skiers and snowboarders as well as snow-curious guests varied on-snow experiences within a 180,000 square foot, 16 story, climate-controlled ski slope. Guest experiences will include opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, introductory lessons, private coaching, children’s programs, snow play, corporate team building, private events and more.   

Big SNOW American Dream, operated by New Jersey-based SNOW Operating, is the first facility of its kind within the United States and Canada. It boasts 4 acres of snow-covered slopes, a 160-foot vertical drop, a graduated degree of pitch ranging from 0% at the base to 26% at its steepest point and 1,000 feet of length for skiers of all ages and skill levels to take advantage of all serviced by 4 surface and aerial lifts. Temperature inside the center will remain a constant 28-degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring a consistent and optimal snow condition year-round. The center’s slopes will be filled with more than 5,500 tons of snow and shaped to an average snow depth of 2 feet throughout. Specially designed radiant cooling in the floor and snow melt systems will both maintain a perfect snow texture and reduce environmental impact at the center.

“We could not be more excited to be bringing Big SNOW to the public this December,” said Hugh Reynolds, vice president of marketing and sales, SNOW Operating. “Big SNOW is a game changer for skiing and snowboarding in the United States.  The unprecedented access to year-round snow combined with the center’s unrivaled location and the overall appeal of American Dream will allow us to provide opportunities never before seen, and to move the needle on growing the sports in a big way. Our goal is to introduce more than a quarter million new skiers and snowboarders to the sports in the next year.  It’s going to be truly amazing.”

“American Dream is a true destination for family entertainment, and we’ve partnered with the best in the business for all of our major entertainment venues,” said Don Ghermezian, CEO, American Dream. “SNOW Operating partners with and is supported by some of the most well-respected ski resorts and brands in the industry and we know that Big SNOW will deliver an experience like no other.”

Prior to its opening, Big SNOW is looking to hire for 300 open positions in a variety of roles, including retail professionals, guest services and ticket agents, ski & snowboard instructors, lift operators and more.  To prepare for opening Big SNOW will be hosting two hiring events at the Hilton Meadowlands on October 13 and November 10 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM in order to staff the facility.

Once the facility opens, SNOW Day Packages will provide guests with everything needed to enjoy the slopes including: equipment rentals, helmets, winter outerwear (pants and jackets), slope access tickets and a complimentary introductory lesson through SNOW Operating’s proprietary Terrain Based LearningÔ method of instruction, starting at $49.99 plus tax per person with advanced purchase. For those who may already own their equipment, slope access tickets for guests ages 7 & up will be available at just $34.99 for two hours or $49.99 for four hours. Tickets purchased online will also be available at a reduced rate.

Big SNOW will be launching an expanded website prior to opening with additional operating details including detailed pricing, deals, daily hours of operation and advanced booking. In the meantime, guests can stay tuned for updates by following Big SNOW on Facebook and Instagram @bigsnowad.

About Big SNOW American Dream

Big SNOW American Dream is North America’s first real-snow, year-round, indoor ski and snowboard resort, and the perfect place to learn to ski where every day is a snow day. Located adjacent to the New Jersey Meadowlands Sports Complex within the American Dream retail and entertainment center, Big SNOW provides ideal snow conditions year-round within climate-controlled slopes. A 180,000 square-foot snow center offering varied experiences for all skill levels and ages, Big SNOW is equipped to assist guest with a variety of on-snow experiences from professional and student training, family ski vacation preparation, corporate team building, private lessons, children’s instructional programs and more. In addition to its slopes, Big SNOW will also offer guests a world-class ski and snowboard retail experience featuring the latest in ski and snowboard hardgoods and apparel through the Shop at Big SNOW. Big SNOW is operated by New Jersey-based SNOW Operating, who also own and operate Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, NJ. For more information, visit  

About American Dream

American Dream, developed by Triple Five Group, will provide customers with an entirely unique experience. The property offers a curated mix of unparalleled entertainment, retail and dining options – all in one location. The dream begins on October 25, 2019. For more information visit or follow us on Instagram @americandream.

Cataloochee Ski Area in Haywood County, North Carolina is First Ski Resort to OPEN on East Coast Beating Killington by 2.5 hours in Race to Open First

By: Dennis Symons

Correction: A resort in North Carolina is first ski resort to open this side of the Mississippi on the East Cost. According to the Killington Resort Press Release below from yesterday they were set to open first at 11 a.m. on Sunday November 3, 2019. According to Cataloochee Ski Area website their lifts started turning at 8:30 a.m. and would close at 4:30 p.m. today beating Killington, Vermont by 2.5 hours. Cataloochee Ski Area Facebook Page Cataloochee Ski Area Instagram

The bragging rights to be “The First to Open in North America” for 2019 was also stolen from Keystone Resort in Colorado when they announced their opening day of 2019 on Saturday October 12, 2019 at 9 a.m. Nearby Arapahoe Basin Ski Area a opened day earlier Friday October 11, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. after the announcement just to say they were “Open First” beating Keystone in the race to open first.

In a press release dated 11/2/219 from Killington Resort the resort has announced their opening for the 2019-2020 season ” becoming the first Eastern resort to open for skiing and snowboarding. ” This would be proven false because bragging rights now go to Cataloochee Ski Area for 2019 as the first to open on the East Coast. Killington can still claim that they were first to open in the North East.

The Longest Season in the East To Debut New Lift and Improved Mountain Access, Woodward Mountain Park, and the Return of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Races

KILLINGTON, Vt. (November 2, 2019) – Vermont’s Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard destination in Eastern North America, and part of POWDR, will kick off the 2019-20 winter season at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 3, 2019, becoming the first Eastern resort to open for skiing and snowboarding. 

The first turns of the season, on Sunday, November 3, will be reserved exclusively for Season Pass, Express Card, Beast 365 and Ikon pass holders. The resort will open to the general public on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, November 3, will also be the last day of operations for Downhill Mountain Biking serviced by the Snowshed Express Quad. Killington’s operating schedule for the remainder of the week will be updated in real time at

“There’s a lot to celebrate this year opening weekend at Killington,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “On top of all the improvements we made last year to elevate the guest experience, our pass holders will have the opportunity to be the first guests to experience the brand new North Ridge Quad. We’re also excited to show off the progress we’ve made on phase 1 of the new K-1 Lodge.”

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, the K-1 Express Gondola will provide uploading to open terrain for skiers and snowboarders from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and the new North Ridge Quad lift will allow uploading until 3:45 p.m. Skiers and snowboarders will use the Peak Walkway to access open terrain and return to the K-1 Express Gondola for the trip down to the base area through 4:00 p.m. Skiing and snowboarding will be on advanced terrain only, providing roughly 600 vertical feet of open trails. No beginner terrain is available at this time. Early season conditions exist and snowmaking and other on-mountain operations may be in progress throughout the day on open terrain. 

The Snowshed Sales Center will be open Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Monday starting at 8:30 a.m., for RFID pass pick up and pass purchases. K-1 Guest Services will be open starting at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday selling Season Passes and Express Cards for same-day access to the slopes. Express Card holders will only be charged $25 for all ages on Opening Day, and children ages 6 and under will receive a Kids Ski Free ticket if accompanied by a season pass holder. No other passes, tickets, vouchers or reciprocal discounts will be accepted on this day. Beginning Monday, daily lift tickets will be $59 for adults (ages 19-64), $45 for youth (ages 7-18) and $50 for seniors (ages 65-79). Express Card holders will receive 50% off lift ticket window rate for midweek, and 25% off weekend rates.  

Remaining a longstanding tradition, season pass holders are invited to enjoy free lunch on Opening Day at the K-1 Café, North Ridge Brat Haus or Peak Lodge as a show of gratitude for their commitment to Killington Resort. 

New for the 2019-20 season, the Woodward Mountain Park at Killington is a network of featured terrain zones that, together, offer a balanced variety of exciting on-mountain experiences for all ages and abilities. On Monday, when open to the general public, Killington’s first Woodward Mountain Park zone – a temporary pop up park in the North Ridge area on Reason – will make its debut. The early season rail garden is the first terrain park to open in the east each season. As the season continues and conditions permit, the Woodward Mountain Park network of zones will expand. 

During the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, which will take place November 30 – December 1, public access to the ground level spectator zones, festival village and concerts are all free although a limited number of tickets to premium viewing areas are still on sale which will offer unparalleled access to watch the fastest female alpine ski racers in the world compete in slalom and giant slalom events. Additional HomeLight Killington Cup events include free concerts by Grace PotterRecycled PercussionTwiddle and DJ Logic, plus movie premiers, fireworks, parades and more. A full schedule of the HomeLight Killington Cup events and ticket information can be found at

Killington will remain open to the public for skiing and snowboarding as conditions permit. Skiers and riders can prepare for Opening Day by purchasing Season Passes and Express Cards now at and 1-800-621-MTNS (6867). 


Media Note: If you’re covering Opening Day for a story, please contact Courtney DiFiore at 802-422-6115 or

About Killington Resort
Killington Resort is a four-season destination sitting on 3,000 acres in the heart of Central Vermont’s Green Mountains. The Beast of the East boasts 92 miles of diverse snow sports terrain spread across six peaks including Pico Mountain, served by the most expansive lift network and snowmaking system in Eastern North America. After the snow melts, Killington features an 18-hole championship golf course, the family-friendly Snowshed Adventure Center, 35 miles of mountain biking trails with expansion underway with Gravity Logic, plus 15 miles of hiking trails. The seemingly infinite après, dining, and lodging options have made Killington a world-class destination for East Coast skiers and riders for more than 55 years. Killington is part of the POWDR portfolio. Visit for more information and be social with #beast365. 

Courtney DiFiore, Killington Resort: 802-422-6115 or     
Kevin Flight, Elevate Communications: 781-439-7140 or 

Multi Resort Season Passes

By: Dennis Symons

This is update video on the multi resort passes that are out now since my last video the Indy Ski Pass from 44 independent resorts came up with their own pass to combat the other 2 major passes that are out there now their pass is good 2 days at each resort for a total of 88 days of skiing and riding if you went to all their resorts for only $199. Peak Resorts merged with Vail resorts so you need to make a decision if you are keeping Peak Pass or upgrading to EPIC Pass. Really the only reason not to upgrade to EPIC Pass if you are riding Peak Resorts “Drifter Pass” don’t forget the discount code BSMUDA explained at Since last video prices did go up on EPIC, PEAK and IKON Passes so check out each individual website and their frequently asked questions and compare the different passes and what works for your ski/snowboard season. Personally I have the EPIC full pass, IKON Base Pass and the Indy Pass, as of now I think that covers over 100 resorts in North America alone with the 3 passes. There are other pass options both EPIC and IKON have military and college options so make sure you dig around on each site to make sure you purchase the right one that fits your needs. If I were to review all the different passes and the options available the video would be over an hour long to explain it all so make sure you check out the webistes and purchase your pass before they are no longer on sale and/or the prices go up again. If there are any other major updates on passes for this season I will do another video and try and break it all down. Don’t forget to subscribe to see future content. YouTube video on the passes: