Belleayre Mountain opens for season

The Thanksgiving holiday was especially sweet for skiers and staff members at Belleayre Mt. With an “on-target” day after the holiday opening, cold weather and a big winter storm got the season off to a fantastic start. With snow and cold weather holding throughout the better part of this week, Tom Tar told the News the picture looks bright for the weekend.

Belleayre opened with limited terrain but is in operation seven days a week now through the end of the season. Tar said skiers on Tuesday were enjoying novice and intermediate terrain at that the top of Wanatuska had just been opened to add an expert trail. He said Lift 6 could open as early as Wednesday. By the weekend, Tar said the top of the new Lightening Lift down to Lift 6 would be available and he hoped that Roaring Brook and Expressway would also be open for skiing.

“The cold comes in cycles,” said Tar and it looks like it’s going to be with us for the next few cycles so things look good. With the mountain reporting two feet of fresh snow since Sunday, hopes are high for the all important Christmas Holiday Week. The mountain, operated by the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), reported more than 175,00 skier visits at peak usage and serves as an economic catalyst for the entire region from December through March. The Catskill Thunder gondola installed by ORDA and the only lift of its type in the entire Catskill Region, and the trail development it inspired dramatically improved the ski experience at the mountain and has been a major attraction for new skiers. The re-design and expansion of the Discovery Lodge for the coming ski season will better accommodate all the new skiers who have arrived.

Plattekill not far behind

In Roxbury, Plattekill Mountain is also looking to capitalize on the recent storm, which dumped 12 – 18 inches on trails there. Opening day will be Saturday, Dec. 7 which will give a real boost to the season for the family owned and operated mountain. Plattekill will operate Saturdays and Sundays until December 26 when it opens every day for the holiday week.

Both ski centers offer a full service ski experience with lifts, lessons and rentals as well as special events, kids camps and services, race camps and more. Both facilities offer a wide variety of dining options and Plattekill boasts a very popular after-ski scene in its cozy lodge.