Ski country is celebrating back-to-back winter storms that have dumped fresh powder on New England's mountains.
"It just keeps coming," beamed Parker Riehle of the statewide trade group Ski Vermont.
Riehle said the natural snowfall is coming just as travelers are planning President's Day Weekend and February school vacation getaways. That mid-to-late February stretch is critical for Vermont resorts, Riehle noted.
"With snow like this, we’re looking forward to a really strong finish to a season that started very strongly for us," he said. "We’re very happy about that."
Riehle said visitation numbers so far this season are on par with where the state was at this point last season. Ski Vermont said the 2013-2014 season ended up being one of the best on record for skiing and riding in Vermont, with more than 4.5-million skier and rider visits.
"Usually it’s not until mid-February or March until we have this much snow," said snowboarder Nathaniel Asaro of Burlington, who was happy about the approximately five inches of fresh powder that had fallen by midday Monday, with more still coming.
"It's just really fun," added 9-year-old Jack Conlin of Ottawa, Canada.
A group of friends from Boston told New England Cable News the Monday storm meant an unexpected change of plans for them. "This is a great accident," Chrissy Snyder said.
Snyder, along with Mackenzie Bartlett, Emily Tsanotellis, and others, had been staying in Stowe and skiing at the Stowe Mountain Resort this past weekend. When the storm rolled in, they figured the roads would be treacherous. Rather than heading home to Boston, they opted to extend their weekend visit and spend another day skiing.
"It's worse in Massachusetts," Bartlett noted.
"The [skiing] conditions are incredible," Tsanotellis said, smiling. "We’re so lucky; the powder’s so smooth and no ice. A lot better than [the] usual [conditions in] New England!"