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Cold and Snow Welcome for Ski Shops and Mountains

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It’s hard to warm up to this week’s frigid temperatures, unless your business relies on it.

Those especially happy to see this week’s forecast are ski shop owners. As the temperatures drop, revenues climb. Bruce Freedman co-owns Fatty’s Skis and Boards where he’s seen early indications of a potentially profitable ski season.

“It’s big from here all the way up north,” he said. “Just from talking to sales reps and talking to other shop owners, it has been a tremendous preseason.”

Freedman has been in the ski business for decades and said this year is shaping up to be one of the most successful. As skiers and snowboarders prepare for the season, Freedman is trying to meet the demand of mounting skis and tuning up equipment.

“We thrive on being busy. When it’s not busy, it’s not that much fun,” said Freedman.

Ski resorts such as New Hartford’s Ski Sundown are also taking advantage of the cold weather and early season snow. Frigid temperatures this week were a blessing for Sundown, allowing them to cover acres with manmade snow just in time for Friday’s opening day.

“Right now we’re running about 170 snow guns. We’ve got 21 fan guns, the rest are tower guns. Everything we can run is running,” said Ski Sundown owner Bob Switzgable.

The mountain opened Friday with a snow base of 18 to 24 inches. They have six trails open and plan to have four more ready for the weekend. Those who hit the slopes enjoyed the conditions.

“Pretty great. Fresh powder. Great corduroy, snowmakers did great,” said Sam Parker of Southwick, Mass. “Groomers did great. Overall, great opening day.”

Maria Briggs was among those who spent time at Ski Sundown Friday.  For her, Sundown, is only a short ride from her West Hartford home. She, like most winter sports enthusiasts, isn’t complaining about the cold.

“Winter is always dreaded for a lot of people but for us it’s wonderful,” she said before jumping on a  lift chair and heading up the mountain for another run.

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