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First Indoor Ski Slope in America Set to Open This Fall

I’m bad with spacial awareness.. how crowded do we think 500 will make it? Still sounds like lines could get darn long with such a quick ski down doesn’t it..?
I’m bad with spacial awareness.. how crowded do we think 500 will make it? Still sounds like lines could get darn long with such a quick ski down doesn’t it..?
Of the 500, many of the people will be on the magic carpets or poma, or just playing in snow. I'd venture a guess that less than 20% of the people who give Big SNOW a try this winter will have any idea of how to load a fixed-grip chairlift. Much less make turns at the top, which has a pitch similar to a blue trail in the mid-Atlantic. When my daughter and her friends were under 7, they would want to spend as much time just playing in the snow as skiing. And she knew how to load a chairlift after ski school at age 4.

Lift 3 for Geronimo (short green) at Massanutten may be comparable to the Big SNOW chairlift. It has conveyor loading. On weekends, beginners are okay waiting 5-15 min to load the lift again. While it takes me 1 min to ski down Geronimo, most beginners take 5-10 min to make their way down. That's even if they aren't falling hard enough to have to step back into their bindings.

From the article:
" . . .
Half of all visitors are expected to be first timers, Reynolds said. Only about 3% of people ski or snowboard, he added.

Those seeking to stick with the 97% can partake in special mountaineering, tubing and sledding programs, Reynolds said. Big SNOW will also provide an experience where people can just play in the snow.
. . ."


Angel Diva
A fair amount of info and a few pictures of the lifts on Liftblog. It's a bit weird not having any towers on the ground for the chairlift. It's attached to the roof. Apparently it was built during the original construction back in 2008.

Pretty different when the snowmakers can control the temp and humidity. At night they change the settings for optimal snowmaking from the usual guest-friendly 28 degrees. Slightly lower temperatures and lower humidity is better for snow quality and quantity.



Angel Diva
Here's a preview that Halley included in her Dec. 4 news video. She's been doing videos for Snow Operating since their first season. I think she was going to attend the opening today.

I don't have HBO so I haven't seen it, but I did read a social media post where she said it was hard to even think about skiing right now.


Angel Diva
The article originally written for a NJ paper yesterday made it into USA Today.

Dec. 6, 2016, USA Today
'The snow is perfect:' Indoor ski slope opens at New Jersey's American Dream mall
" . . .
While the steel-trussed backdrop and still-unfinished faux-lodge facade fail to live up to the LED-powered hype of its winter fantasy-land renderings, the slope itself is ideal, said Anthony Melchiorri, a 54-year-old Travel Channel host and one of the first guests.

The slope is two escalator rides up from a parking lot. Wristband scanners are used to usher guests through the locker rooms, onto the slope and to the ski lift.

“It’s easy in, easy out. It’s clean and it’s affordable,” Melchiorri said. “Kids that never would have thought of skiing can come here and experience it.”

. . .
Another early guest, 71-year-old Buffy Whiting, said Big SNOW is simply amazing.

Whiting teaches an adaptive ski program at Mountain Creek in Vernon. The Meadowlands slope provides year-round opportunities for those programs and more, she said.

Unlike Mountain Creek, visitors to the indoor slope don’t even need to dress for the occasion. In addition to providing skis and boots, Big SNOW has lesson packages that include the requisite winter clothing.

“The snow is perfect,” she said. “And the slope is amazing. It’s longer than you think, and you can really carry some speed.”
. . ."


Angel Diva
A NJ reporter turned in a pretty comprehensive video report. She took at least one run off the chairlift. Didn't bother with snow pants, just wore jeans. There are a few shots of folks making good use of the terrain park. The features are definitely not for beginners.



Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I'm excited to check it out. Not sure if we'll get out there anytime this winter, or more likely wait til the off-season to give it a go.


Angel Diva
I'm excited to check it out. Not sure if we'll get out there anytime this winter, or more likely wait til the off-season to give it a go.
Will be interesting to see what kind of deals are offered as the ski season winds down in March. May depend on whether target date for the opening of the retail stores holds.

The 3-pack is a decent price for someone who doesn't live too far away. Advantage of an indoor slope is that it doesn't matter if it rains.


Angel Diva
Here's a video review of Big SNOW. Get the impression that the reviewer was more impressed than he expected to be. I think it was filmed during the early session for invited guests and media only.



Angel Diva
Really detailed How To introduction to Big Snow for folks who know nothing and need to rent gear and outer wear, includes pictures. Makes the point that if you want a hat or gloves, then need to bring them or buy them. The introduction video reminds me of the required safety video at a zipline in central NC. I've read elsewhere that customers are given a high-tech wristband that links to their size info. The idea is that on future visits all the info is readily available.

Nice that the 2-hour clock doesn't start until someone makes it to the snow with all their gear.

Dec. 8, 2019, NJ. com
Bring your own gloves and everything else to know before going to Big SNOW
" . . .
The gondolas

After you register, you head under the archway of Burton boards into the gondola room. Here there are three stationary gondolas, each with two flat-screen televisions. Groups of guests are let inside them to watch a video that’s almost 3 minutes long.

Hosted by adventure marketer Halley O’Brien, the video welcomes visitors to Big SNOW, introduces its mascot, Big (a Yeti), outlines the equipment procedure, tells visitors about lockers and bathrooms and delivers a safety message.

The process

Visitors exit the gondola from the opposite side that they entered and are met by the first equipment counter — marked as Step 1.

Here you pick up a ski jacket and snow pants. You tell the attendant your size and then receive a red, orange, blue or black men’s or women’s ski jacket that corresponds with the size range you requested. Small and extra small are orange, kids sizes are green — you get the idea. Snow pants are unisex and black no matter what size you wear.

This is a good time to note, Big SNOW does not provide gloves, hats, scarves and anything else you might need to be comfortable in the 28-degree, snow-covered ski area. If you don’t bring that stuff with you, you can buy it in the retail shop. But it’ll cost you.

That brings us to Step 2. The boots. Guests climb a small set of stairs and stand on a platform with a railing where, down below, a Big SNOW employee asks your shoe size and gets you boots. Here’s the interesting part: You don’t touch the boots. The employee puts them on and fastens them for you. Once you have boots, you head down the stairs at the opposite side of the platform and make a sharp right for the equipment counter.

Whether you want a snowboard or skis, you get them at the same counter. If you bring your own equipment, there is an equipment valet you’ll have to check in with.

The folks at the equipment counter will ask you about your experience level and give you the right-sized skis or snowboard. But they won’t hand you the equipment at the counter. At Big SNOW, you don’t touch your skis or snowboard until you’re on the snow.

You’ll walk out the door into the snow park and turn left where all the equipment is waiting for guests, find yours and get it on.

If you’re getting a lesson, that will happen next. Your two-hour lift ticket that you paid for with your package won’t start until it is scanned by a worker at the lift. So you can take your time getting your equipment and lesson. The clock doesn’t start counting your two hours until you use the lift.
. . ."
Might want to skip over the introductory remarks, but this 6-min video gives a better feel for the chairlift ride. Includes a clip that is probably GoPro footage for part of the a run down. It was filmed on the opening day. The terrain park is clearly a hit.


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