Local News

Winter weather’s ups and downs affect business, skiers/riders

By Victoria Gaither

The calendar says it is the winter season, but mother nature is acting fickle. You never know what to expect from one day to the next. Rain, snow, and a drop in temperature, anything is possible. 

Some visitors to Killington were experiencing this up-and-down crazy weather. 

Donald Cossack of New Jersey said, “Today, it feels like winter, but we are kind of led to believe that it will feel like spring on Friday.”

Cossack was in Killington skiing. It’s been 10 years since he skied at the Beast. 

Although the weather sends a mixed bag of precipitation, he still praised the mountain for dealing with the lack of natural snow.

“The snow is a little thin on the mountain, but they have done a reasonable job blowing snow where they need to,” he said, thus allowing him to have a good experience and leave the mountain happy. 

Emma Smith was visiting Killington from Waterbury, Connecticut and had a hard time packing, “What to bring? The forecast was rain one day, cold the next, and a warming,” said Smith, a mother of three. 

Her solution was to “just pack for three seasons and hope for the best” she said, as she laughed on the side of her car for   the interview. 

“To be in January and see no snow is weird,” she said.

 Yet, she was grateful for artificial snow, explaining, “It’s going this way at ski mountains. At least we get to ski.”

Cossack and Smith don’t know each other but deal with the same issue, planning a winter vacation season that doesn’t feel much like winter. 

Rutland builder Jason Johnson isn’t surprised by the up-and-down winter weather.

“Everything has changed for me,” he said. “We have lost a lot of the winter season, and it’s getting warmer and warmer.”

Johnson, who just retired four weeks ago, believes we no longer have four seasons. 

“We go from winter to summer, and our winter season is pushed into the summer season,” he said. 

Still, businesses in Killington always hope for natural snow but understand you can’t control a fickle mother nature. 

“I think the seasons have shifted a little bit and maybe have been prolonged… it seems like it is harder and harder to nail the Christmas week and the early winter season as well,” Base Camp Outfitters owner Ben Colona said. 

Three weeks into winter, skier Moe Levy wanted to know where winter is.

“It typically feels like this winter is subpar. It feels like winter, but something is missing. It’s not the winters of old,” said the New Jersey resident. 

Levy left Killington as the Martin Luther King holiday weekend started.

Colona, meanwhile, was gearing up for a busy crowd at Base Camp.

“MLK is a great weekend for us in Killington for all the ski shops people will still be coming into town, and we just try to have a good attitude with it and hope everyone has a great time.” said Colona.

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