From new lifts to enhanced snowmaking, Pocono Mountains ski resorts are gearing up for another great winter season!
It's not every day ski resorts like Camelback Mountain get upgrades like this! With the new ski season comes a new lift experience that will get riders up the mountain in under three minutes.
"It means more skiers up the mountain, faster less lines and more skiing more fun," said Molly Coneybeer with Camelback.
The Black Bear 6 seats six and is high speed taking skiers and snowboarders 2600 feet up and even though it is quick it is also cozy.
"This is what we call a bubble lift," said Coneybeer. "You’re able to when you put your safety bar down a little bubble will come down, will protect you from wind, we get rain in the winter unfortunately sometimes it keeps you cozy for your less than 3 minute ride up the mountain."
When Camelback is at full operation there are 39 trails including Nile Mile, the outermost and longest trail has now leveled up on its snowmaking with thousands of feet of new water and air pipeline to make snow.
"It’s a little bit of sorcery," Coneybeer added. "This automation makes it easier to keep making snow when temperatures allow."
One more tool at Camelback's disposal this season: a new snow groomer.
All this as the resort keeps offering the same diverse experience from snow tubing, apres ski and even an indoor waterpark: Aquatopia!
"Camelback is unique for that reason alone. You can go over to indoor water park and relax in a hot tub, grab a drink at Trails End," said Coneybeer.
Different mountain, same story as a big upgrade is underway at Blue Mountain Resort for the season.
"We’re putting in a new six person high speed lift for the season, it’ll be called Main Street Express connecting our Summit and Valley lodges for our guests," said Ashley Seier with Blue Mountain Resort.
Main Street Express will be able to take 3,000 riders up to the summit in an hour making the resort in Palmerston one-of-a-kind in Pennsylvania.
"The most important part of skiing is keeping the fun moving right?" said Seier. "We’ll be the only resort in PA with three high speed lifts, the new six person lift will let people get more runs in on the mountain."
Once the new lift is operational mid December, it will result in an entirely new path and regraded trails so skiers and snowboarders can get the most out of Blue Mountain. Plus, new fan guns for making snow!
"The mountain is 60% automated which is really an industry leader and great for sustainability efforts," she added.
Do not forget the new logo and bringing music and synced lighting at night to the country's biggest snow tube park at Blue.
Snow guns all across the Poconos have been fired up by mid November this year ensuring a great season on the slopes including at Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain.
30 new snow guns are in operation here bringing the total up to about 150, upping the efficiency even in varying winter conditions.
"With all this new snowmaking equipment, when Mother Nature gives us temperatures to make snow, we’ll be out there blowing snow," said Lori Phillips with Ski Big Bear. "When there’s no snow in your backyard, don’t worry we have you covered right here."
In addition to 30 new snow guns, the rental shop is ready to roll with new gear in the house.
"We’ve got new snowboards coming in, we have over 1,800 pairs of skis in house. If you’re a beginner for the first time, don’t worry we’ve got you covered," she added.
This season, Ski Big Bear is proud to keep its tradition as the perfect learn-to ski experience. In addition to three magic carpets for beginners, the resort has industry vet Mark Absalom heading up a fleet of ski instructors.
"He’s an expert in the field and he’s added a level of professionalism and training to our staff we’re proud of, we have 75 instructors not only about learning but more about having fun."
To say it's been a busy off season for Jack Frost - Big Boulder is an understatement. Five new chair lifts for the mountains and they are quads which will be game changers for the skiing and snowboarding experiences.
"We started construction on July 8th, and since then we’ve been going as fast as we can make sure we can provide all five lifts for 2022-2023 season," said Trent Poole with JFBB.
Pool gave PTN an explainer on what the new lifts mean for riders.
"Here at Pocono we went between the old E lift and old F lift, now what does that do for us? Gives you the ability to ski 3 beginner trails all day one with one central access point. So we did a little bit of that at Boulder, changed both alignments, making it easy," he said.
Between the two mountains there are more than 30 trails to hit. Jack Frost by day, Big Boulder by night
"One thing we have this year at Big Boulder is four new trails, two are top to bottom trails, that’s something we’re excited for for the 2022-2023 season," Poole added.
Four new trails, new lifts and combine that with the Vail Epic Pass or Epic Day Pass, longtime and new skiers and boarders at JFBB will see plenty of new improvements from the moment they get on the slopes to the very last run.
It is a whole new ballgame at Shawnee Mountain Ski Area as well for the new season. Investments in snowmaking and rentals are sure to be a hit this season.
“We pride ourselves on our snow, so we really have taken the time to go through our new snowmaking equipment, invest in it, new fan guns that are going to put out a ton of snow, be a lot more efficient,” said Rachel Wycoff with Shawnee Mountain Ski Area.
Shawnee has something for everyone; beginner, advanced, two terrain parks and snow tubing plus new equipment to rent.
“We made a big investment in our rental shop this season, new skis, snowboards, boots. We can fit everyone from 3 years old to grandma and grandpa,” she added.
And true to form Shawnee is an ideal resort where you can learn to ski. Especially with a jumpstact on snowmaking for the season.
“Lessons are huge and put a package together, try to make it as seamless for families as possible,” said Wyckoff. “The rental shop puts you right on the beginner hill, meet your instructor get you going from start to finish.”
Between Shawnee, JFBB, Blue Mountain, Camelback and Ski Big Bear, the Poconos has you covered. Whether it’s new lifts, gear, snowmaking or all of the above.
Head to PoconoSki.com for everything you need on the slopes this winter.