December 4, 2021

Skiers, snowboarders get jump on downhill season

‘Every day we can’


Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Celia Bigoness, left, talks Saturday with Jed Sheckler, right at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Virgil. Central New York ski centers are opening earlier this year than they have in a long time.

The snow may not have stuck in cities and towns, but skiers and snowboarders got an early taste for the winter season Saturday at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Virgil.

“We got snow earlier than I think we’ve ever had for the season so I hope we can keep it going,” said Celia Bigoness, 42, of Ithaca.

Bigoness was skiing with her children, 8-year-old Cullen and 6-year-old Charlotte, and her friend Jed Sheckler, also of Ithaca, and his 8-year-old son, Alex.

Last year was Celia Bigoness’s first year skiing at Greek Peak; she plans to come back frequently this winter.

“We’re going to be here every day we can over the next few months,” she said.
The first skiing and snowboarding at the resort happened last weekend though the full winter season has not started yet.

“It was fantastic. It was the earliest opening in decades. The guests were
so excited,” said Drew Broderick, the vice president of sales and marketing.

It was also one of the earliest resorts open in New York this year, she said. Seven trails and three snow tubing trails were open over the past two weekends.

While there isn’t a set opening date for the season, Broderick said that the day after Thanksgiving is usually the opening day. Determining “opening day is solely dependent on Mother Nature.”

Otto and Beverly Roser, of Ithaca, who came opening weekend, were happy about the early opening.

“The boat’s put away and what are you going to do in the winter? You got to keep active, right?” Beverly Roser said.

Like Bigoness, Beverly Roser said she and her husband come almost every weekend during the winter. “We’re just getting back into it,” she said.

With Thanksgiving coming up, Broderick said being open this weekend was a great way to be active outside.

“The kids are coming into the Thanksgiving holiday. They’ve been at school studying hard and they obviously appreciate the opportunity to have an outlet to get outside and for parents, they appreciate the opportunity to get their kids out of the house and onto the snow,” she said.

Broderick said she was excited for the opening of the season and seeing guests again.

“It’s very similar to college kids going home for the summer and then they come back for the fall semester and everybody’s excited to see what everyone did over the summer. It’s the same here with our guests. It’s an opportunity for folks they haven’t seen since we ended the season in April,” she said.

Toggenburg Mountain will be open for riding and skiing Friday to Saturday. They will also print passes this week. The hours are:

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.
  • 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday.
  • Closed for the holiday Thursday.

Peter Harris, the owner of Song and Labrador Mountain said they try to open the weekend after Thanksgiving, but it “doesn’t look like we’ll make it this year” due to weather.