SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

February 7, 2013

Blizzard could bury region in up to 2 feet

(Continued)

“I’d say maybe 75 percent of the trail system may be back up and running if we got a good 8-inch storm,” said Matt Tetreault, trails administrator for the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers.

Thanks to the ability to make their own snow, the region’s larger ski resorts aren’t as dependent on natural snowfall, though every bit helps. At Mount Snow in Vermont, spokesman Dave Meeker said the true value of tomorrow’s storm will be driving traffic from southern New England northward.

“It’s great when we get snow, but it’s a tremendous help when down-country gets snow,” he said. “When they have snow in their backyards, they’re inspired.”

Assuming the snow clears out by the weekend with no major problems, ski areas in Massachusetts also were excited by the prospect of the first major snowstorm they’ve seen since October 2011.

“We’ll be here with bells on,” said Christopher Kitchin, inside operations manager at Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford. “People are getting excited. They want to get out in the snow and go snow-tubing, skiing and snowboarding.”

Tom Meyers, marketing director for Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton, Mass., said that at an annual conference of the National Ski Areas Association in Vermont this week, many participants were “buzzing” about the storm. He said the snow will arrive at an especially opportune time — a week before many schools in Massachusetts have February vacation.

“It is perfect timing because it will just remind everybody that it is winter, it’s real, and get out and enjoy it,” Meyers said.

Still that may be too late for Michael Amarello, director of the Horse Hill 7K snowshoe race, which is scheduled for Saturday in Merrimack, N.H. He said yesterday that he hadn’t yet decided whether to postpone the race, but was leaning in that direction. Race organizers wouldn’t have time to mark the course if it’s snowing hard Friday afternoon, he said.

“We want snow, but we don’t want snow Friday night — we want snow today or tomorrow!” he said.

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