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Catskills NY 2019-20

Bonnie2617

Certified Ski Diva
#1
There are four medium-size ski areas in the Catskills of NY. People in NJ and the NYC area who are within driving distance, it's worth checking all of them out at some point to see which one is a better fit.

Belleayre - ORDA
Hunter - Peak —> sold to Vail in July
Windham - independent
Plattekill - independent, regular ski days Fri, Sat, Sun, mostly natural snow

Some upgrades are happening at Windham and Belleayre this year, so Im really looking forward to the upcoming season.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
Some upgrades are happening at Windham and Belleayre this year, so Im really looking forward to the upcoming season.
Do you have a home mountain?

I haven't skied Windham but have stopped by the base a few times during the off-season. I liked Belleayre and Plattkill but have only skied a few days during early or late season.
 

Bonnie2617

Certified Ski Diva
#4
Do you have a home mountain?

I haven't skied Windham but have stopped by the base a few times during the off-season. I liked Belleayre and Plattkill but have only skied a few days during early or late season.
I’ve spent the most time at Windham. I’m an intermediate skier and it’s served me well as I’ve been slowly progressing. There is a good variety of easier trails to ease you into skiing. I skied my first black there last year and plan to check out more of the tougher trails this year.

They installed a six person high speed lift last year and are moving the old four person high speed lift to a location which had a painfully slow lift. Yay!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
I’ve spent the most time at Windham. I’m an intermediate skier and it’s served me well as I’ve been slowly progressing. There is a good variety of easier trails to ease you into skiing. I skied my first black there last year and plan to check out more of the tougher trails this year.

They installed a six person high speed lift last year and are moving the old four person high speed lift to a location which had a painfully slow lift. Yay!
Does seem as if Windham is moving forward on replacing lifts lately. I see comments on the NY regional blog sometimes.

Did you read the interview with Mermer Blakeslee by @ski diva in Jan 2018? Windham is her home mountain. I think @liquidfeet (PSIA instructor) has trained with Mermer a bit.

A CHAT ABOUT FEAR WITH FEAR EXPERT MERMER BLAKESLEE
 

SuperSkiMom

Certified Ski Diva
#8
There are four medium-size ski areas in the Catskills of NY. People in NJ and the NYC area who are within driving distance, it's worth checking all of them out at some point to see which one is a better fit.

Belleayre - ORDA
Hunter - Peak —> sold to Vail in July
Windham - independent
Plattekill - independent, regular ski days Fri, Sat, Sun, mostly natural snow

Some upgrades are happening at Windham and Belleayre this year, so Im really looking forward to the upcoming season.
Belleayre- My mistake--we skied there two seasons ago (Feb 2018). The Catskill Flyer really makes a difference in the way it skis. If you are in the NYC area, it is a good place to get your fix for a day trip. Forever Wild

Hunter - Peak We are filming a story at Hunter this winter and are looking forward to checking out the new terrain.

Windham - independent--Mu husband and I have not skied here in years. We would like to take the kids, but we are fully booked for the 2019/20 season.

Plattekill - We are always excited to ski at Plattekill. We were filming in March and will be releasing a story next season. Here is a Sneak Peak.
 

Bonnie2617

Certified Ski Diva
#9
Does seem as if Windham is moving forward on replacing lifts lately. I see comments on the NY regional blog sometimes.

Did you read the interview with Mermer Blakeslee by @ski diva in Jan 2018? Windham is her home mountain. I think @liquidfeet (PSIA instructor) has trained with Mermer a bit.

A CHAT ABOUT FEAR WITH FEAR EXPERT MERMER BLAKESLEE
I did and just re-read it. Such great advice. That clinic would be useful as I’m getting a little bored of blue groomers.
 
#11
Recently found out that Belleayre will have RFID access for lifts this season. Also being implemented at Gore and Whiteface.

Can watch construction for Discovery Lodge on the webcam. Always takes a few years for major construction projects to get completed. I'd like to figure out how to get back to Belleayre since the last time was just before the gondola was completed.

https://www.belleayre.com/the-mountain/mountain-improvements

DISCOVERY LODGE - The start of the Discovery Lodge expansion and modernization project at Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort has officially begun. The project continues New York’s investment in the Highmount ski area, designed to increase year-round visitation, enhance customer experience and be a catalyst for the tourism industry in the Catskill region.

The architectural style of the lodge is that of a Scandinavian great-camp, featuring long sloping roof lines, horizontal siding and accented with stone elements throughout. The expansion ensures a greater resort experience, able to accommodate the increase of visitor attendance by delivering more amenities and broader services.

Alleviating long lines and overcrowded spaces, the improvements will increase seating capacity in the cafeteria and lounge areas and will add restrooms conveniently located at the main level of the lodge. The children’s programmatic space for families will be expanded and modernized. A new patio area will be added along with a new outdoor ticketing area.

The Pike Company is scheduled to begin design and build of the $14.6-million project beginning June 2019 and complete the work before the start of the 2019-’20 skiing and snowboarding season.

LIFTS - In addition to the renovated base lodge, the ski resort is also relocating two conveyor lifts and installing a new quad chairlift for beginner skiers and snowboarders. The two conveyor lifts will service a new beginner area below the Discovery Lodge, while the Dopplemayr quad will carry guests from the Discovery Loge’s rental shop elevation and drop off passengers just below the Overlook Lodge.

RFID Direct-to-Lift Gates - We're always improving, and this snow season we're excited about new gates at the lifts! Now keep your pass or ticket tucked away securely in your jacket and head up the mountain. No more worrying about losing your pass or having to present it to the attendants before your rides.
 
#12
Hadn't really thought about the total amount of money spent on improvements in the Catskills in the past year or two. Only looked at the mountains separately. The total based on the following Feb 2019 article is on the order of $32 million for Windham, Hunter, and Belleayre combined. The three have completely different ownership and are quite close to each other. Windham spent $15 million and is currently independently owned.

Feb 2019, Ski Federation
Skiing: Resurgence in the Catskills

Hunter and Belleayre were mentioned in this 2019 article about ski resorts good for beginners within driving distance of NYC. Along with snowmaking, quite a number of the recent improvements were designed to improve the snow experience for beginners and intermediates.

Mar 2019, Newsday
Best ski resorts for beginners: Learn to ski or snowboard at 8 resorts near Long Island
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#13
We just got our Empire Cards for the season. Lowest prices are now through August 31.
 
#14
A little farther north than the Catskills, but since people are getting Empire Cards . . . have heard that Gore is putting solid effort into glade maintenance already. There are going to be new blue glade terrain called Clubhouse off Sunway.
 
#15
Anyone remember what a day ticket was at Hunter for last season? It's going to be $91 for 2019-20. That seems high but I've only skied Hunter once and it was several years ago. The online advanced purchase price on the Hunter website for a non-holiday Sat in Jan is $65 at the moment, 29% discount.

Presumably there will be a push after Peak locations become part of Epic to get people who expect to ski Hunter to buy some sort of an Epic pass. The daily rate depends on the number of days and if holiday periods are included, but is generally around $100/day non-holiday. Even someone who is only planning on a couple weekends driving from NYC might consider an Epic Day pass for 4-5 days. That would open up the option of driving to Mt. Snow instead of Hunter. In the fall, I would guess most people are optimistic about how many ski days they expect to have for the upcoming season.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#16
Looks like the Fall Festival at Belleayre Oct. 12-13 includes a sale by a local ski shop.

I'll be up in Lake Placid that weekend but unfortunately won't have time to stop in at Belleayre. The view of the gondola should be great that weekend.

Haven't looked at the Belleayre website for a while. Much better than I remember. Has quite a bit of good info for newbies. The Do and Don't lists show some humor. :smile:

DO ....

Be a considerate skier or snowboarder.
Stretch your muscles before and after you ski or snowboard.
Set goals for yourself.
Take lessons, you can never learn enough about the sport. Things change every day!
Pack proper clothing.
Get your equipment tuned up before the season starts.
Have Fun.
Dress in layers.

Do Not ...

Hold your ski poles straight out in front, or behind you (they then become spears instead of poles).
Leap off of trees or rocks into trails.
Stick your tongue to the chairlift or flagpole.
Stay outside when you get cold.
Take a cafeteria tray and slide down the slopes.
Eat yellow snow.
Ride back down the chairlift.
Don't give up on the sport without taking a lesson and giving it a chance!
 
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#17
Sounds like Windham, Belleayre, and Hunter will have RFID for 2019-20. Assuming the buyout of Perk Resorts by Vail Resorts goes thru. VR can implement RFID relatively quickly because their UHF system is based on hand scanning instead of having to install RFID gates. ORDA is going to RFID for all three mountains. Windham installed RFID for 2018-19.

Although this article is from last season, it's a good summary of major capital projects that were completed recently. The total being spent over a two year period is well over $50 million for those three locations combined, mainly for new lifts, major renovations for lodges, and improved snowmaking infrastructure.

Feb 2019, USA Today network
Skiing: Resurgence in the Catskills
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#18
Interesting, when I was looking the the clinics at Windham for women, I noticed they have a Saturday clinic for advanced skiers. Only six skiers for 2 hours in the morning, with a focus on tactics as opposed to technique.

Screen Shot 2019-10-07 at 3.07.54 PM.png
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#19
Windham season passes are pricey. They are trying out a Sun-Fri pass for 2019-20. It's less than the Senior rate for ages 65-74, which is $539 thru 10/14 and $659 afterwards.

Screen Shot 2019-10-07 at 3.14.23 PM.png
 
#20
I guess since Hunter has the 3X deal that includes 3 days at Hunter or the former Peak Resorts in PA, Windham is also offering a 3-pack. It's called the Triple Play Card for $198. Transferable but only for use by one person for a given day. Deadline is Nov. 30.

Screen Shot 2019-10-28 at 11.43.28 PM.png
 

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