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ORDA ski areas ready for ‘White Friday’

Guns blow snow onto Whiteface Mountain’s Lower Valley Trail

Guns blow snow onto Whiteface Mountain’s Lower Valley Trail Provided by Whiteface Mountain

— While businesses and retailers hope for a successful Black Friday, the Olympic Regional Development Authority is banking on a White Friday.

With low nightly temperatures and plenty of preparation, snow guns have been firing white sheets of man-made granular onto the slopes at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, Gore Mountain in North Creek and Belleayre Mountain in the Catskills.

ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin said they are hopeful that Whiteface and Gore will be open for skiing Friday, Nov. 23, weather permitting.

“We have had some really ideal conditions so far for snowmaking,” Lundin said. “We have built up some snow on the Lower Valley of Whiteface. The weather has been more cooperative this year.”

Whiteface has also expanded their snowmaking abilities. Snowmaking has been added to the Hoyt’s High Trail, a new Pistenbully 600 W groomer and several new low-energy snowmaking guns have also been purchased. There have also been renovations to Base Camp Market (formerly the Base Camp Café) and Cloudspin Lounge, both located in the mountain’s base lodge.

At Gore Mountain, a new winch cat, new free groomer and new multi-season tractor were added to the grooming fleet, while it acquired 160 new high-efficiency tower guns, setting the resort up for, “continued superb product quality during the 2012-13 snow season.”

“I think people are excited for the season to begin,” Lundin said. “For those that had snowmaking last year, they were able to get dialed into some great skiing, but when you have good conditions for all of the facilties in the area, they all feed into each other.”

Lundin said that the Lake Placid region and ORDA sites have already started their push for winter with the FIBT Bob and Skeleton World Cup Tour stop in Lake Placid, which was broadcast nationally.

“It was another opportunity for us to brand what we do and remind people that winter is just around the corner,” Lundin said. “We want people to see events like this as they are beginning to think of their winter destination and show them that this is the place for you.”

To follow conditions and the opening of the 2012-13 ski season, visit whiteface.com, goremountain.com or belleayre.com.

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