Small ski areas in New Hampshire are cashing in on last night’s snow - open early and packed for the day.
Last year at this time, there was green grass outside the lodge windows at McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester, New Hampshire.
But not Friday. Thanks to Thursday’s snow storm, there were lines at the ski lifts and daytime tubing sold out. Business was booming.
“From one to ten, it was a ten,” said Dracut, Massachusetts student Max Vallante.
But Vallante and his cousins wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Mother Nature.
“We saw the snow come down and made plans last night to be here and here we are,” said his uncle Bill Suppa from Hudson, New Hampshire.
It’s called the “backyard effect.”
“When the natural snow does fall it makes everyone want to get out and have some fun,” said McIntyre Vice President Ross Boisvert.
Unlike the bigger resorts where people plan vacations ahead of the forecast, McIntyre relies on somewhat last-minute day trips.
Londonderry, New Hampshire dad John Pilvelis says he didn’t make plans to come skiing with his daughter Friday until they saw the snow Thursday night, proving that the backyard effect is working.
“We were looking at the storm and we said, ‘You know what, this is a perfect weather opportunity and a way to close out 2016,’ and this is where we wanted to be,” Pilvelis said.
Last year’s mild winter cost McIntyre a third of its sales. But judging by the crowded slopes and the joyful screams, business is bouncing back.
Boisvert says the best part is that it will be cold enough Friday night that they’ll be firing up the snowmaking guns to lay some fresh powder for the holiday weekend.