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Northeast snow means happy skis

Skiis lined up neatly on a fence

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: A year ago, winter in the Northeast was unusually dry. That had ski resorts singing "Silent Night." What a difference a year makes. Cold and snow hit the region early this season and the slopes are in full swing. Marketplace's Sean Cole . . . is not a skier.


Sean Cole: I tend to look at snow from the point of view of a car.

Cole: It's about 20 past 10 on a Sunday morning, and I am shoveling my driveway with my landlord . . . again.

But people like Michael Berry are really psyched right now.

Michael Berry: We are. I mean everybody in the industry is excited.

Berry is president of the National Ski Areas Association, the trade group for the industry. He says we're perfectly within our rights to use the altered cliche "What a difference a year makes."

Berry: It really is, it's the tale of two cities. Last year, I think if you kind of turn your weather memory bank on, we really didn't have any significant snow falls and significant cold weather until the latter part of January into February.

Resorts way high up in the Northeast finished the season OK. But overall, ski visits in the region hit an 11-year low: 11.8 million. Whereas last week, according to Alpine Zone News, about 80 percent of the ski trails in Vermont alone were already open.

Berry: I can't tell you the number of calls that I've gotten, e-mails that I've gotten from people in the Northeast and they're saying it is just so nice to be in full operation. One operator said that his partner is doing back flips.

Meantime, if this keeps up I'm going to have to buy a back brace.

Cole: Maybe I am in Hell.

In Hell -- I mean, in Boston -- I'm Sean Cole for Marketplace.

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