Wind: 8 mph
Local businesses and ski areas reported the busiest holiday period in many years.
A big storm down country blanketed Massachusetts and the New York metropolitan region, drawing many people north to Vermont.
Many local inns and lodges sported "No Vacancy" signs over the holiday
period and local eateries had bumper-to-bumper parking lots as well as
wall-to-wall diners inside the door. At The Common Man, a record number
of dinners were served in one night and the Hyde Away, The Den, Purple
Moon, The Pitcher Inn (and Tracks downstairs), Terra Rossa, Jay's and
Chez Henri were busy every night.
The newly opened Pine Tree Pub and nearby Mutha Stuffers were busy throughout the week as were Three Mountain Coffee, The Green Cup, The Warren Store and all local delis and eateries. The parking lots at Mehuron's and Shaw's supermarkets were full every afternoon starting at about 3 p.m. and the newly opened Mad Taco saw many happy new customers.
At Sugarbush, skiers and riders abounded with parking lots, slopes and lift chorales full throughout the holiday period.
The Monday after Christmas, December 27, brought winds high enough to derail chairlifts in Maine but not in The Valley where lifts went on wind hold for most of the day. The day's temperatures ranged from seven to nine degrees Fahrenheit, leading many visitors to local gyms and shops and the cross country ski touring centers.
Conditions at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen and the local cross country ski touring centers held for the week, diminishing only at the end of the week when the weather warmed up to spring skiing temps. At Mad River Glen, the parking lot was full on Christmas Day and after the big wind events. The warm weather at the end of the week resulted in Mad River Glen closing for a few days. The resort is slated to re-open with the Practice Slope this weekend - unless more snow falls before then.
"Despite the winds of Monday and Tuesday and the thaw over New Year's weekend, we had four excellent days during Christmas week. Thursday and Friday were extremely strong for this period, and on each of those days we saw about 7,500 skiers. We normally see those numbers during February vacation week but not this early in the season. And our ski school programs, located in our two new base lodges, had a record week," said Sugarbush president Win Smith.
Sugarbush hosted its first pet parade on Saturday, January 1, drawing 50 dogs and 150 participants. Sugarbush also reported record crowds for the holiday torchlight parade and fireworks.