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B$Z: Celebrating Winter, Snow and Martin Luther King Jr Day at Vermont Ski Resorts

January 11, 2016

Vermont ski resorts have expanded their open terrain four fold since the dawn of the New Year and are preparing for an exciting Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend. Wintry weather has settled in with snowstorms and the Vermont’s 80% snowmaking coverage firepower working hard to cover the Green Mountains in deep snow. Terrain expansion is expected to double yet again by Martin Luther King weekend with terrain available for all levels of skiers and riders.

Winter storm Goliath paired with some localized intense snow squalls have helped some resorts drop ropes on natural snowfall terrain. Jay Peak, Stowe and Sugarbush have all seen over a foot of snow fall since New Year’s Day.

“With close to three feet of new snow since New Year’s Eve and perfect snowmaking weather, Jay Peak’s trail count has grown seven-fold since Christmas and is increasing daily,” said JJ Toland of Jay Peak Resort. “Recently several days of intense snow squalls allowed Jay to open close to a dozen of its natural snow trails.”

“We now have over 80% of our terrain open and will be looking to add even more before the MLK Holiday,” said Sugarbush President, Win Smith. “The skiing and riding here at Sugarbush is really good.” The resort now has 92 trails across 395 acres and 44.3 miles, all the highest totals on the East Coast.

Okemo Mountain Resort is maximizing its snowmaking capacity with 7,000 to 9,000 gallons of water pumping through its snowmaking system every minute, around the clock. 1,125 HKD tower guns plus several hundred guns of varying types have been deployed as Okemo’s snowmaking arsenal is operating at full power.

“With the help of our 20 new energy-efficient fan guns and consistent cold temps from Mother Nature we were able to quadruple our open terrain in just six days and expect to have more ropes dropped by the weekend,” said Jessica Sechler of Q Burke Mountain Resort.

Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend guests at Killington Resort should expect to see the largest Terrain Based Learning facility in the country open, plus trail connectivity all the way to the base of the infamous Bear Mountain.

Vermont’s ability to bounce back from warm weather is unparalleled due to its consistent investments in state-of-the-art, highly efficient snowmaking systems. Now that winter has settled in to the Northeast, there is no better place to visit than Vermont.

Download images of 2016 snow and snowmaking from Vermont resorts:

Events, activities and MLK deals at Vermont resorts:

Jay Peak Resort

Live music. Fireworks. Ski demos. A massive indoor waterpark. And a few feet of new snow to start the New Year. Throw in the fact that a family of four can ski, splash and stay each night at rates that start at $432 and now you really have a reason to drive to the snowiest place in the East.

Killington Resort

On Saturday, January 16, groms can show off their best tricks at Killington’s annual Mini Shred Madness park jam for skiers and snowboarders age 13 and under. Mini Shred Madness is all about having fun in a competition setting – Killington Parks team riders will be cruising through the event offering help and motivation to participants, not to mention the plethora of free giveaways all morning.

The terrain plan at Killington calls for continued expansion, and Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend guests should expect to see the largest Terrain Based Learning facility in the country, plus trail connectivity all the way to the base of the infamous Bear Mountain. With live music in every base lodge all weekend, skiers and riders will be sure to have a good time at The Beast of the East.

Okemo Mountain Resort

MLK weekend at Okemo means three days of family fun. In addition to some of the best skiing and snowboarding, visitors can enjoy mountain coaster rides, ice skating, snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, swimming, indoor golf, racquetball, fitness classes, aerobic and weight training, massage, sauna, relaxing by a fire, or simply soaking in a hot tub. And if that weren’t enough, On Jan. 16 Okemo will host a mind-bending landscape of light set to music with its Let It Glow laser light show spectacular. And on Jan. 17, Okemo offers a fun evening of ice skating with a live DJ, games, and fun for the whole family in Okemo’s Ice House skating pavilion at Jackson Gore!

Pico Mountain

Pico Mountain is open for the season with terrain for all ability levels from the summit to the Bonanza learning area. A warm start to the season hasn’t dampened any spirits at Pico Mountain, which is still your best bet for big mountain terrain and small mountain charm. Tremendous lift ticket discounts are available online when purchased at least 24 hours before your visit at

Q Burke Mountain Resort

Celebrate MLK weekend at Q Burke Mountain Resort with back-to-back events planned for Saturday to keep you entertained all day.  Ski and ride early then head to the Tamarack Sports Bar & Grille for lunch and games sponsored by Sam Adams to celebrate the release of their signature brew, Cold Snap.  Ski and ride a little more then head to the Bear’s Den for afternoon Après and classic rock covers at 4pm with White Steer.  Wait – there’s more.  Dinner and Comedy begins at 7pm in the Kingdom Room with a scrumptious prime rib carving station and buffet acts Tom Briscoe and the Sauce-N-Cheese duo.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort

For the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s lowest rates starting at $99 per youth and $129 per adult per night apply to stays of five nights or more, with arrivals January 13-17, 2016. Family fun includes skiing and riding on three mountains, snow tubing, playing in the indoor FunZone with games and inflatables, snowshoe treks and more. Smugglers’ vacation packages include mountainside condominium lodging, daily lift tickets, use of the indoor pool and hot tubs, snowshoe and cross country trail access, use of the FunZone, snow tubing, ice skating, and family and adult entertainment. (, 855-814-7325)

Stowe Mountain Resort

Be sure to check out Stowe’s new Spruce Peak ice skating rink on MLK weekend and be prepared to ski with Stowe’s ByPass program. The ByPass program at Stowe Mountain Resort allows you to register online and then go direct to the lift every day you ski or ride. Add to that, instantaneous savings by automatically paying the discounted ByPass rate the first time you’re scanned at the lift each day. Additionally, ByPass participants receive exclusive lift access specials throughout the winter. More info at

Stratton Mountain Resort

The whole family can enjoy activities off the Stratton slopes during MLK weekend. Take a ride down our lift-served tube park, embark on a dog sledding adventure and explore the mountain on a guided snowmobile tour. Kids can make new mountain friends, enjoy s’mores, tubing, face painting, pizza and a glow in the dark snowshoe hike at Kids Time Out.

Sugarbush Resort

MLK Weekend at Sugarbush Resort is chalked full of events for the whole family. Enjoy numerous culinary events including a S’more Cookouts, Melting Pot Family Buffet, Kids’ Cooking Class, and Whiskey Night at Castlerock Pub. Don’t miss the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks, Local Artisan Markets, and the Tour De Moon moonlit skin and dinner on Sunday, January 17th.

Suicide 6 - The Woodstock Inn & Resort

Spend MLK Holiday weekend at Vermont’s most beautiful address…Woodstock, Vt. From skiing & riding at Suicide 6 to nordic skiing, snowshoeing and new this year, fat biking on over 37 km of trails we have something for everyone! Saturday, January 16th at Suicide 6 we kick off the evening with a torchlight parade then dance the night away to the highly energetic band “The Cranks”. Staying at the Woodstock Inn & Resort gives you the opportunity to enjoy our world-class Spa, fine dining, Athletic club, walks into the village filled with shops & galleries. And don’t forget about our retro game room — a mix of old and new. Visit for all of our events & specials.

Mountain Top Inn & Resort

Especially for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend, the Mountain Top Resort is offering a ‘Book 2 Nights, Get 1 Night Free – plus take a sleigh ride’ package – reservations must be made by calling 802.483.2311. Located in central Vermont just a short ride from Killington, the resort offers XC Skiing, Snowshoeing, Ice Skating, Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides, Snowmobiling, Hot Tub, Sauna and a new full service Spa & Salon, Creative Cuisine and the area’s most Luxurious Accommodations - all set on 350 private acres. If you prefer to ski downhill, hop on their free daily shuttle to Killington and Pico. Mountain Top Inn & Resort: 802.483.2311