Both the weather and the new equipment are cooperating
WELL, HERE’S A switch from previous years.
Andrew Farron, the new general manager at Marquette Mountain, plans to open the mountain for skiers and snowboarders on Friday, November 22nd, almost a week before Thanksgiving.
When’s the last time that happened?
“Honestly, we’ve got enough snow on the mountain to open today,” he says.
The cold weather over the last week has been a major factor. It enabled them to fire up the snow guns, as scheduled, on November 6th. Eight guns operating currently.
Electricians and pipe-fitters have been out on the mountain checking on the equipment, much of which is brand new. Looks good. A chair lift inspector has also been out. No problems.
All of this comes with a caveat. Only one chairlift will be opening to start the season–Rocket–and it will climb only two thirds of the way up the hill, and then skiers will be able to traverse over to Snowfield. The Snowfield chairlift likely won’t be up and running while it undergoes last minute repairs until mid-December, and the third chairlift–Supreme–will likely follow that. It’s almost entirely dependent on natural snow.
The Bunny Hill will also be operating.
Supreme never opened last year, as the resort was fraught with technical problems that resulted in several shutdowns and ultimately led to the ouster of the former general manager. Farron, a young engineer with no experience in running a ski hill, was given the reins.
So far, so good.
“When we told people earlier this year that we intended to open on November 29th,” Farron says, “a lot of them didn’t believe us. But we’ve made the necessary changes in the equipment and the weather is cooperating, so we’ll be able to open early. We feel good about it.”
A quick check of weather tells us it’ll start warming up into the 30s before the planned opening, but still dipping below freezing at night. Fingers crossed.
We certainly want to buy into Farron’s optimism. Marquette Mountain is due for a break.