Last week in “Classic New England skiing defines the Burke Mountain experience,” I told you about the great downhill skiing to be enjoyed at Burke Mountain in Vermont, a real no-frills skier’s mountain that I’ve been sneaking off to for a lot of winters now.
Soon after my visit, but long enough after my ski hangover had gone away (or was it the beer, or both?!), I caught up with Andrew Baird, director of marketing and sales at Burke Mountain, to ask him what’s up with the mountain’s new ownership and what changes can be expected.
Here’s the skinny…
What’s new at Burke Mountain this winter?
In addition to a lot of new faces, new ownership and a new logo, we upped our available power for snowmaking, gave our base area restaurant – the Tamarack Pub & Grill – a revamped interior, and made some necessary upgrades to the Bear Den Lounge and Mid-Burke Lodge. On the mountain, we’ve used that increased power for snowmaking to commit to one of the longest snowmaking seasons in recent memory.
What are the new owner’s expansion plans short term and long term?
In the short term, we’ll be building a 116-room hotel just below the Mid-Burke Express lift. The hotel will overlook the Willoughby Gap on one side, and have a great view of the mountain from the other, all without obstructing the view of skiers and riders while they’re on the hill. We expect to break ground this spring and open in December of 2015. This summer we’ll continue work on the Burke Bike Park and hope to increase that offering over the course of the next few years.
Long term, the plans also include Tennis and Aquatics Center facilities, with an eye on making the resort the Adventure Hub of the Northeast Kingdom for active families.
What are the major happenings at the mountain between now and end of the ski season?
Live music almost every weekend, all kinds of events and activities for kids, après ski parties every weekend, a celebration of the Winter Olympics and our local Vermont athletes in the Tamarack Pub & Grill, a huge spring terrain park scene, and an overall spring event series which of course includes pond skimming.
As mentioned above we’ll break ground on the new hotel just after the season closes. And in between all that we’ll hopefully have a bunch of big snow storms, powder days and sunshine!
What’s your projected closing date?
We were originally projected to close at the end of March, but now we’re looking to push that well into April, weather and conditions permitting of course. If weather and conditions hold, we’ll stay open as long as we can. Keep an eye on SkiBurke.com and the Burke Mountain Facebook page for more info.
Tell me about summer activities at Burke Mountain?
We offer downhill mountain biking, scenic chair lift rides, hiking, summer camps for kids, weddings, live music and a whole lot more. One major event to keep an eye on for mountain bikers is the Kingdom Enduro, taking place September 28th. The Kingdom Enduro is the last stop in the Triple Crown Enduro Series, which combines races at Mountain Creek, Highland Park and Burke Mountain into one of the East Coast’s premier Enduro events.
Thanks Andrew, great stuff!
MORE INFO: Burke Mountain, 888-287-5388.