Ski season is subject to the will of Mother Nature as temperatures drop or rise. It’s a fact the industry faces each year.
Hunter Mountain has delayed its opening day from Nov. 19 to a date to be determined, resort officials said in a statement Tuesday. Other area ski resorts were slated to open later in the season.
“While we work hard to meet our target opening dates each year, the date is just that: a target,” according to the statement. “Our snowmaking systems at Hunter are incredibly powerful and can make a lot of progress fast, but we also need Mother Nature’s cooperation. We’re as excited as anyone to open for the season and hope to do so as soon as possible.”
According to the National Weather Service in Albany, temperatures in Greene County’s mountaintop region will be as high as 57 degrees Thursday.
Windham Mountain’s opening day is set for Dec. 4, according to its website. Representatives of Catamount Mountain Resort in Hilsdale said it is aiming for the first week of December to open, depending on the weather.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, meteorological winter in New York — from December to February — is predicted to have warmer-than-average conditions for the second consecutive winter. Some areas of upstate New York could experience wetter-than-average conditions.
“Using the most up-to-date observing technologies and computer models, our forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center produce timely and accurate seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for the months ahead,” Michael Farrar, director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, said in a statement.
The 2020-21 winter season posed additional challenges aside from the weather as resorts also had to plan for COVID-19 accomodations.
According to an August 2020 statement from Windham Mountain, anyone who purchased season passes but were uncomfortable with the state of the pandemic could transfer their pass to the 2021-22 season.
“We have learned a lot about distancing and pandemic protocols that will be helpful going forward,” according to the statement. “We are doing everything we can now to ensure that we can all participate in the activities we love this winter. At this time we are optimistic that skiing and riding will happen but many aspects of operating the ski area will be different. The overarching goal for the season is to operate daily, safely and without disruption, but it’s going to take all of us doing our part to make that happen.”
Catamount had stopped operations in March 2020 by closing a few weeks early, according to its website.