Winter Wrap 2002 - 03

Mount Washington Alpine Resort enjoyed a near record winter, despite some uncooperative snow at the beginning of the season.

The mountain opened 11 days later than scheduled while staff and skiers alike anxiously waited for the white stuff to accumulate.

The mountain recorded more than 394,000 visitors in the winter season, the Resort said. The previous winter attendance record was 2001-02, when 407,000 people visited the resort.

“We had 11 days in December where we didn’t open,” they said, but made up for it by staying open later in April.
Mount Washington Public Relations Director Dave Hampshire said it’s hard to be disappointed with an almost record year. “Once we got going, we got through the season,” he said. “It was disappointing, though, to see the snow arrive so late. We haven’t had that for a long time,” he said. The last time the Resort had such a late snow year was in the mid-80s.

“At least we opened before the Christmas holidays.” The full crew – including about 30 per cent new employees — had four days between opening and the start of Christmas break to get fully operational.

“The times we needed clear weather, like at spring break, it worked out for us,” he said. The Resort stayed open later in April, slowing down to weekends only just before Easter and closing for good on April 21.

“We ended the season with almost double the amount of snow (397 centimetres) for the snow base than we did last year,” he added.

Thanks to that late snow, Subaru was back for the third year in a row to film a car commercial, courtesy of Electric Avenue Films from Marina del Ray, Calif. “They love this place,” Hampshire said. “They can’t believe how easy it is to shoot a commercial on Mount Washington because of the infrastructure we provide.”

Hampshire said a location scout living in Victoria connected the film crew with the Resort, which always has snow. The film crew used the Jutland cross-country trail because it’s an old logging road, so it’s wide and Mt. Albert Edward provides a stunning backdrop, he said.