With three storms in one week that left some parts of the Bay State with more than 2 feet of wet snow even before the official start of the season, the Blue Hills Ski Area is a winter wonderland.
The ski area started making snow Dec. 1, the earliest it has been able to coat its slopes with faux snow in 11 years, said manager Jennifer Heinen, and now there's plenty of the natural stuff.
"We've got plenty," she said. "It's a beautiful sight."
In recent years, business at the Canton hill was slow because of the unpredictable New England weather, which hindered workers from making snow and making money as early as they have this season.
But with 3 feet of snow on some parts of the hill, Heinen said, business has not been sliding.
"By all accounts, business is up quite a bit," she said. ". . . We're off to a fantastic start."
While many in the region have griped about the weather, with hourlong commutes home, digging out their cars, and shoveling sidewalks, there have been few complaints at the ski area.
"We love snow," Heinen said. "As soon as it snows, the phone rings off the hook. We're just flooded with people who want to ski."
The ski area, which was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, was operated by New Hampshire's Ragged Mountain for seven years. But earlier this year the area's liability insurance was canceled, and the slopes were shut down.
Now, under the management of a group that also oversees Campgaw Mountain in New Jersey, workers are looking to a bright, snowy future.
"We're extremely optimistic," Heinen said. "We're looking forward to a fantastic season."