Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of the 2018-19 Alpine and Nordic ski seasons. Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort, in Highmount; Gore Mountain, in North Creek; and Whiteface Mountain, in Wilmington; are all slated to open Saturday, Nov. 17. Nordic skiers can also look forward to Saturday's openings at Gore's Nordic Center and Lake Placid's Mt. Van Hoevenberg.
"New York is the proud home of world-class outdoor recreational activities that attract millions of visitors to this great state all winter long," Governor Cuomo said. "With over 50 world-class ski resorts across the state, I encourage everyone to come discover all the Empire State has to offer."
All three resorts, operated by the Olympic Regional Development Authority, began their snowmaking operations last weekend and have been making snow around the clock preparing for Saturday's opening.
Belleayre is expected to open with two trails, Deer Run and Deer Run Extension. Each trail is serviced by the Catskill region's newest gondola, the Catskill Thunder, which opened last December.
Gore will be opening various trails accessible from their gondola and conveyor lifts with plans to open trails such as Showcase and Bear Cub Run. The Nordic trails at the resort will also be open with two kilometers of trails for cross-country skiing at the historic North Creek Ski Bowl.
Whiteface will be in operation with Excelsior, Summit Express, Upper Valley and Fox trails serviced by the gondola. Mixing bowl, Whiteface Mountain's beginner ski trail, will also be open. Whiteface will also showcase its newly remodeled lodges and Cloudspin Bar & Grill.
Mt. Van Hoevenberg will have up to five-kilometers of its famed Olympic Nordic trail open. Saturday marks its earliest-ever opening at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. The center is able to open due in part to the ORDA Snowfactory System. Mt. Van Hoevenberg is the only resort in North America to have this state-of-the-art snowmaking machine which is capable of making snow with temperatures as high as 60-degrees.
New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority President and CEO Mike Pratt said, "Crews have been working tirelessly, making and grooming snow, at each of the ski resorts. This has been an extremely busy off-season as each resort has been working on a number of capital projects, all designed to better service our guests and help each mountain become year-round destinations."
This off-season, the State of New York and ORDA invested more than $12-million in capital improvements at Whiteface. Renovations to the resort's Bear Den Lodge and ski area are in their final stages. Additions to the lodge, which will be home to many of the resort's snowsports programs, include a new bar and restaurant that will seat up to 100 people, while expanding its year-round facilities for banquets, weddings and conferences. The Bear Den ski area will also feature two new conveyor lifts, perfect for beginner skiers who are new to the sport.
Whiteface also purchased a number of low-energy, high-efficiency snowguns and has installed them on key trails so that crews can open more trails earlier in the season and expand terrain faster than ever before.
Gore Mountain has also overhauled its snowmaking system, setting the resort up to deliver the snowiest season ever. More than 300 brand-new snowguns have been added to the fleet, while new piping and a pump house will increase water pumping capacity by as much as 42-percent. This allows Gore to open more trails earlier and expand terrain faster.
Gore is also finishing a large two-level addition to the base lodge that doubles the size of the Tannery Pub & Restaurant. The newly added space will seat up to 350 people and offer year-round facilities for banquets, weddings and conferences. The lower level addition houses the brand-new headquarters for the popular season-long Mountain Adventure programs for kids and more seasonal lockers.
Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort has expanded its Area 51 and Area 15 terrain parks to include new jumps, new ramps, rails, boxes and pipes. Work is also winding down on the Overlook Base Lodge deck and the resort continues to add more low-energy, high-efficiency snowguns to its fleet which have reduced snowmaking costs as well as the need to rent compressors.
Trails and lifts are subject to change this weekend. Please visit www.belleayre.com, www.goremountain.com and www.whiteface.com for the latest conditions.