Impressive 76-inch base on Easter holiday
VAIL — With the resort measuring a 76-inch base on Saturday morning, Vail Mountain is seeing some of its best Easter conditions ever.
On Saturday, as the Easter Bunny hopped around Lionshead Village, holiday celebrations combined with an already celebratory atmosphere — the early morning powder day buzz. Six-year-old Fletcher Taylor wore a GoPro to capture the action of the Lionshead Easter Egg hunt, which saw roughly 300 kids turn out. Some of the 7,300 eggs hidden that morning needed nothing more than the fresh layer of powder that had fallen the night before to be fully hidden from the scores of excited children.
August Cricco, 4, was one of the lucky kids to find one of only a few special eggs, good for a free gift from KidsSport.
After enjoying the egg hunt May Omori, 7, went skiing with her parents, who moved to the area from Japan a decade ago.
Stella Siess, 2, participated in the hunt while wearing her ski helmet and goggles. Her parents started her on skis last winter when she was 1 year old.
“She loves it,” Stella’s father, Kale Siess, said of his daughter on skis.
For many, the holiday also means some time away from school and work.
Matthew Gentile, a student in Charlotte, North Carolina, brought a group of 10 with him to Vail this year. It’s his second trip here in three years. His father, Darron Gentile, is recovering from Stage 4 kidney cancer, and now feeling well enough to get out on snow.
“He was really shredding this morning,” said Dean Gentile, Darron’s brother.
Joining the Gentiles is Joe Bartlett, a ski instructor from Sugar Bush, Vermont.
“It’s a really well run mountain,” Bartlett said of Vail. “All high speed lifts and they all run like clockwork.”
The Gentiles rented their skis from Buzz’s Boards in Vail. Owner Buzz Schleper said so far the Easter holiday has been busier than the Christmas or President’s Day holidays. And he doesn’t necessarily attribute it to the big snow totals Vail has logged recently — more than 4 feet has fallen in the past two weeks.
“I think most of the people were booked before they knew the snow was coming,” Schleper said on Saturday.
While he himself is laid up with a broken leg, Schleper is disappointed the mountain is closing a little earlier than usual this season.
“The snow is fantastic this spring, but it’s always good here in the spring,” he said. “Personally, I think Vail should stay open until the third weekend of April, regardless of when Easter falls, because once people get in that habit of knowing Vail is open that long, people will still continue to book.”