(September 2012) Jay Peak President Bill Stenger, who along with business partner Ari Quiros purchased Burke Mountain in May, said the focus of the Burke improvements will be concentrated on the resort’s snowmaking system. “Right now the plan is to increase the output of the (Burke) snowmaking system by 50%,” remarked Stenger. “We want to have 75 to 100 new snow guns online for this winter season.” Such an increase will allow Burke to open more terrain earlier and lay down more snow, weather depending.
With the increase in snowmaking coverage and capacity, Burke guests should get a full season of riding the new Mid Burke Express chair. Though installed and operational for the 2011-12 winter, trails from the quad were limited because of last year’s challenging weather. The new lift makes all 250+ acres of the resort’s winter terrain accessible by high-speed quad.
The new system will use the very latest in compressor and snow gun technology, which will not only significantly increase snowmaking capability, but will also dramatically reduce the amount of energy required to make snow. “This will be a tremendous improvement to our snowmaking system, that will allow us to commit to opening the resort earlier at the start of the season, and stay open later at the end of the season. Our goal is to have one of our earliest openings with more trails (weather permitting) for the 2012/13 season,” says General Manager Tim McGuire
Guests will see snowmaking happen both earlier and later in the season, especially on trail favorites like Little Dipper, Bear Den, Upper and Lower Willoughby along with several lower mountain trails.
Tim McGuire, Burke Mountain’s General Manager, said the resorts’ partnership continues to generate excitement surrounding the change. “We’re already seeing meaningful and immediate impact from this new ownership group and these sorts of signs indicate more positive steps to come.”
In addition, Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Resorts today announced they will be offering combination season passes valid at both areas. The joint offerings will be available across many of the resorts’ season pass and ticket categories, and will grant holders both access to the two mountains, as well as a number of shared special benefits.
“Offering a variety of combination passes to both Jay Peak and Burke Mountain is the natural first-step in aligning the two areas’ ticket programs,” said Steve Wright, Jay Peak’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Such products are a great way to get skiers and riders who may have never visited one of the resorts, to experience a different mountain.”
The combination passes will come with a special value book that includes $200 worth of discounts valid at both mountains. Both resorts will be reaching out to customers who may have already purchased a season pass to offer the combo option. In addition to offering guests new season pass options and benefits, visitors to both resorts will be greeted this winter with a host of upgrades.
Jay Peak has already begun work on its $30 million summer improvements project. Renovations to transform the Sky Haus summit tram station into a 120-seat restaurant, and the Austria Haus into a Vermont-styled country store are well underway. Plus, construction of the new Mountain Learning Center at the Stateside area of the resort will begin at the end of the month. Two new chairlifts will also be online by the time the snow starts to fall.
BMA (Burke Mountain Academy) athletes, coaches and racers from around the world will also reap the benefits of the new snowmaking improvements. Training grounds for future Olympians and world-class athletes, race training trails Warren’s Way and The Dippers will now be open earlier and have the capability to be resurfaced throughout the season; providing some of the finest training grounds in New England. “For BMA, the ski area facilities have the greatest impact in the success of our athletes. We are very excited by the commitment from QBurke Resorts owners Ariel Quiros and partner Bill Stenger to make these major improvements and are pleased to partner in this initiative,” says BMA Headmaster Kirk Dwyer. “Improved snowmaking will enhance the efficiency of training, increase the number of training days here at home, and provide a competitive advantage relative to other Eastern ski programs. Coupled with the new high speed quad installed last season, these improvements will lead to continued momentum for BMA and Burke Mountain.”