Montage Mountain ski resort dreams of white slopes on Black Friday

Montage Mountain ski resort dreams of white slopes on Black Friday

As appeared in The Times Tribune on NOVEMBER 16, 2018 by Jim Lockwood.


BUTCH COMEGYS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Snow-making machines fire away Thursday afternoon for the upcoming ski season at Montage Mountain in Scranton.

SCRANTON — Montage Mountain ski resort dreams of white slopes for Black Friday.

The resort has been making snow since Tuesday and hopes that more flakes from the sky will allow for an opening day Nov. 23, Black Friday, resort Manager Jessica Kalinoski said Thursday.

If that pans out, it would be one of the earliest opening days for Montage Mountain in many years, since around the early 2000s, she and Montage Mountain Marketing Manager Jeff Slivinski said.

“Normally, we open in mid-December,” Kalinoski said.

A Montage Mountain announcement issued Thursday afternoon said:

“We’re focused on a quick terrain turnaround and hopefully the best opportunity to get open early. There’s some natural stuff in the making tonight and tomorrow that will add to the excitement and strengthen our efforts over the next week.”

Thursday was a winter wonderland at Montage Mountain Resort in Scranton as snow making machines blast away for the upcoming ski season. Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer

Meanwhile, Elk Mountain Ski Resort in Union Dale, Susquehanna County, does not have an opening date set, but in past years typically has opened between Dec. 5 and 10, General Manager Gregg Confer said.

“We’re going to wait and see what the weather does,” Confer said.

As of Thursday afternoon, Elk Mountain had not yet fired up its snow guns, he said.

Elk Mountain bought a new tractor for grooming slopes and added a water pump for snowmaking. The resort also is renovating a restaurant and has a new website under development, Confer said.

Camelback Mountain in Monroe County has snowmaking underway, with new snow guns and trail-grooming equipment. The resort also will have two new restaurants, an expanded terrain park and a new trail. Its opening date is not yet known.

Thursday’s snowstorm, the first of this 2018-19 winter season, had plow trucks out pretreating roads and schools closing early to get ahead of Mother Nature.

A measurable snowfall also tends to whet the appetites of skiers and snowboarders.

“It helps get people jazzed up and they go out and buy skis and they get excited,” Confer said.

As for an overall outlook for the winter season ahead?

“We really don’t know. If I told you, I’d be lying,” Confer said. “The weather patterns are so fickle anymore. It’s crazy.”

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