On The Slopes: Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
Wachusett Mountain Ski Area is located in the town of Princeton, Massachusetts. It's just over an hour from Providence. Skiers and boarders have access to 110 acres of skiable terrain.
"Wachusett is a unique ski area in that people will stay at their homes and then come skiing at Wachusett. It's all of the vacation without having to pay for the hotel room, which oftentimes is the most expensive part of the ski trip on the weeken," said General Manager David Crowley.
Wachusett has 26 trails and 18 lifts. The longest trail, Balance Rock, is a mile and a half long, The ski area has the uphill capability of more than 9,200 skiers an hour. Among the eight lifts serving the mountain, three of them are high-speed quads.
The ski resort utilizes innovative HKD tower guns that allows it to get 100 percent of coverage on all 108 acres.
"We now have a new snow-making system. We doubled the size this summer. Now we can pump almost 10,000 gallons a minute. Most ski areas are making 1100 gallons a minute, at the most. We're almost 10 times that. It's a unique place, in that we make a lot of snow," Crowley said.
The terrain on the mountain accommodates advanced, intermediate and beginners alike, and has a vertical of 1,000 feet. The resort offers skiing and terrain park. One of the new upgrades this season is the installation of an RFID system.
"This summer we put in RFID, which is radio frequency identifier. It's fairly common technology in the ski industry. But at Wachusett it's more done for security and we're hoping it's a big hit," Crowley said.
The new RFID system is easy to use. Just glide up to the RFID enabled gate, and almost instantaneously the passes are scanned and verified. Then the turnstiles drop and the skier or boarder moves on through the lifts.
"So you come up to Wachusett, we have kids' programs. We have a snowboard park. We pretty much have everything," Crowley said.
Wachusett Mountain has day and night skiing. So if you're too busy during the day, lifts close at 10 p.m., giving you plenty of time to get some runs in.