Skiers may still be hitting the slopes in April as colder temperatures and a spate of late snowstorms have kept local ski resorts running. Jiminy Peak, above, will have all its trails open this weekend.
HANCOCK, Mass. — Jiminy Peak is wrapping up what it considers a successful ski season.
The mountain ends night skiing on Saturday and is expecting to end all skiing on or around April 7.
With what is looking like a total of 245,000 skier visits this year, company officials are feeling a lot better this time than they did at this point last year.
"We're having a pretty good season," Betsy Strickler, director of marketing, said on Friday. "We're not sure what will happen after that. We'll make some determinations closer to that date on what we will do next."
Strickler says the mountain has enough snow to stay open longer but by this time of year, people tend to move onto golf or spring activities. Spring began on Wednesday, though it's been hard to tell with the snow on the ground.
All but one of Jiminy's trails are currently open and the mountain is offering spring deals on lift tickets.
"This coming week with Good Friday, some schools are out so we will see some business then," Strickler said.
The cold weather came in early this year so the mountain "took some gambles" in making snow early, Strickler said, and it paid off because the ski resort was able to build up a base. The temperatures have stayed cold enough to hold the majority of that base throughout the season thus allowing the mountain to stay open.
"We had a good base depth very early on ... That really helped for the whole season," she said.
Berkshire East has 45 trails open and boasts a base depth of 24 to 55 inches and Bousquet also has most of its trails open. Ski Butternut reports 5 inches of new snow in the last four days and will have all its trails open this weekend.
In contrast, the Jiminy Peak was closed around St. Patrick's Day weekend last year. Ski resorts across the Northeast shut down their lifts early as temperatures rose into the 60s and warmer temperatures throughout the season kept skiers away.
"Last year was a very slow winter. People didn't really ski," Strickler said. "This year people had winter and skiing on their minds."
Last season saw about a 25 percent decrease in visits from the record setting year before when the resort had some 265,000 skiers. That year also saw frequent snowstorms that dropped so much snow that roofs were collapsing around the state from the weight.
Once skiing ends in a few weeks, the mountain will transition to its summer offerings that include an aerial adventure park and alpine slide.
The summer attractions will open on the weekends starting Memorial Day weekend and then full time in mid-June.
"Basically when the kids get out of school, we go full time," Strickler said.