Belleayre/Plattekill gearing up for season
By Jay Braman Jr.
The region’s two ski centers are busy making improvements to their operations for the upcoming ski season.
Belleayre’s General Manager, Tom Tar said this week that Belleayre is gearing up and getting ready for another incredible season.
“Last season was a fantastic year of growth and accomplishment here at Belleayre Mountain thanks to the dedicated staff at Belleayre and the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA),” said Tar. “Since the beginning of last season we have added the convenience of direct to lift access for our pass holders, free Wi-Fi service in the lodges, the Tiger Den Drop-Off Center for children ages six months to six years, upgrades to snowmaking lines and additions to our arsenal of snow guns. Investments in Belleayre have allowed us to complete a lot of projects on mountain that we have been awaiting for years.”
Since the close of last season, Belleayre has begun to upgrade more of the snowmaking on mountain. Four submersible pumps that supply the mountain’s water were replaced along with 9,000 feet of air and water lines that will allow it to increase water pressure and further improve snowmaking efficiencies. Twenty-five low-energy guns, including 10 new SMI Polecat Fan guns, have been added to the mountain’s arsenal and will further increase snowmaking capabilities and energy efficiency for the upcoming season.
A Winch Cat groomer has been added to the Belleayre grooming fleet, which will enhance the grooming especially on the steeper trails.
Plus renovations to The Discovery Lodge are currently underway. The cafeteria-style food service will be replaced with a more modern food court, and an enhanced menu. Tar said this will make a large impact on the overall flow for customers in the lodge and alleviate some of the lines at the cash registers.
Along with the changes to the cafeteria and upgrades in food and food services, the mountain will boast a new fleet of rental equipment. As part of ORDA, the rental fleet will more than likely be similar to those of Gore and Whiteface. A new plus this year, along with the improved rental fleet, will be the addition of helmets to the rental packages.
And that’s not all.
“A lift improvement that our beginners are sure to appreciate is the replacement of the handle tow (Lift #5) on Running Bear, to a state of the art magic carpet,” Tar added.
Over at Plattekill in Roxbury, owner Lazlo Vajtay got excited late last week when white stuff accumulated on the slopes for the first time this season.
“We are buzzing with excitement and anticipation of a great ski season here on the mountain,” he said.
And like Belleayre, Plattekill is making investments to better the skier experience.
“New for this year, we are making significant snowmaking upgrades and switching over to more energy efficient snowguns, adding learn to tele packages with full equipment rentals to our array of lessons, expanding our learning center terrain and making several ticketing upgrades.”
He said they hope to be open for business on December 7. In the meantime, staff is keeping busy.
“The finishing touches are being put on the new trail maps and our lodge to welcome old friends and new,” Vajtay said.
Plattekill is also adding an all new dining partner page to its website to help guests with vacation planning.
“In addition our food service department is revamping menu options in our bistro to keep all our skiers and snowboarders well fed while out using up energy on the slopes this winter,” he added.