STOWE, Vt. - Sobered by snow shortages, cross-country ski areas are starting to examine the feasibility of snow-making systems to help them keep trails covered and customers coming.
"Snow-making is more and more commonly cited as what needs to be done if some of these areas are going to survive," said Ron Bergin, editor and publisher of
In Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge has installed a portable system that can pump man-made snow onto 3 miles of trails when necessary. The system, which was put in place this fall, cost about $100,000.
At Mountain Top Inn, in Chittenden, they've been making snow since the 1980s for less than a mile of trail.
"For us, snow-making is a necessity," said Roger Hill, Nordic director at the Inn.
For some cross-country areas, snow-making systems are too expensive. Trapp Family Lodge held back on buying a system for years, but eventually did so because it saw the benefit to its core business - people staying in its villas, guest houses and 96-room lodge. (AP)