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The East Coast is Having the Best Winter Ever…For Skiers

While most of the west remains under a high pressure ridge with spring (summer?)-like temperatures (Aspen will be 54 degrees on Friday), the East Coast is in the midst of a record-breaking winter. In Boston, the city has seen 72 inches of snow in the past 17 days, a statistic that would make any ski resort manager jump in glee. But while urban dwellers are no doubt sick of all this snow, the real winner of 2015 so far has been the ski areas in the northeast.

Most New England ski resorts say all the extra snow has been a real benefit, both as free marketing and for all the soft turns on the mountain. The Boston Globe reports that ticket sales are up at Loon Mountain, Sunday River, and Killinton as skiers extended their weekends to enjoy the extra snow and avoid the bad driving conditions back home.

Sugarloaf is in the midst of a potential best-ever season in terms of revenue and traffic. Total skier visits are up 10 percent over the 2013-2014 season so far and revenue has risen 14 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

But forget the statistics, conditions in the East are about as good as it gets. While the west languishes in small storms and lots of very sunny days, the northeast is enjoying tons of fluffy powder. And all this snow could mean that ski areas stay open much later. Michael Joseph, communications manager at Vermont's Killington Resort, says that the ski area could stay open until June for the first time since 2002. In an interview with the Boston Globe he said, "This is one of the top 10 winters anybody can remember."

Season snow totals so far, note that much of this snow fell after a dry December:

Killington: 150 inches, averages 250 inches per year
Mad River Glen: 157 inches, averages 250 inches per year
Stowe: 200 inches, averages 300 inches per year
Stratton: 123 inches, averages 180 inches per year
Sugarbush: 171 inches, averages 269 inches per year

To put these numbers in perspective, here are the current season snow totals for a few ski areas in the west:

Heavenly Ski Resort: 62 inches
Mt. Hood Meadows: 77 inches
Northstar: 87 inches
Kirkwood: 130 inches
Steamboat: 165 inches

· Big Snow in the social-media age [New Yorker]
· Snowstorms could turn white into gold for New England's ski areas [Boston Globe]
· The Aftermath of a Blizzard: Powder Day at Sunday River [Curbed Ski]
· Mapping the 17 Oldest Bars & Restaurants in Ski Country [Curbed Ski]
· Historic Blizzard Headed to the Northeast Right This Second [Curbed Ski]