After the first big storm of the season hit New England and the Green Mountains last week, dropping nearly two feet of snow in some areas, rumors that a Vermont resort would be first to open ran rampant.
But on Friday afternoon, it was Sunday River, Maine -- who, coincidentally recieved nothing but rain in last week's storm -- who staked their claim as the first resort in the U.S. to open for the 2010/2011 ski season. This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Sunday River is the first East Coast resort to open.
"We had our fingers crossed, constantly checking with snowmakers to see where we were at. Now it just depends on how much snow we can keep making," Sunday River Director of Communications Darcy Morse-Liberty told ESPN via phone Friday."It felt strange be riding a chairlift while looking at fall foliage, but as soon as we reached the top, winter had arrived and it felt great to feel the carve of a turn again," said Nick Lambert, VP of Sales and Marketing at Sunday River.
After a sunny start to the day, cloud coverage thickened this afternoon, dropping base temperatures into the lower-30s, and the Locke Mountain lift was opened to the public at 3:30 p.m. It is currently the only lift open and is servicing one trail, the T2, which begins at mid-mountain.