Winter seemed to show up early. It was last fall, on Saturday, October 29th, the snow storm took over the northeast causing power outages of thousands of households. I remember the date precisely, as I was confined to a hotel room waiting for the Marine Corps Marathon the following day. Although powerful, it was just a false winter alarm. Since then, the temperatures hovered in the 40s and without a proper winter atmosphere it’s almost impossible to motivate myself to go to ski. The ski resorts near the NYC metropolitan area had trouble to make fresh snow. So it was rather out of curiosity that I, finally, drove to the nearest ski area at Mountain Creek, NJ, this past weekend. The Crystal Springs Resort, new owner, built a ski lodge, Red Tail Lodge, after about 16 years the old one burnt down.
In those 16 years the area changed hands three times. The previous 2 owners failed to build such a basic amenity. It is beautiful and spacious. It’s perfect for the metropolitan type of customer. A person who wants to socialize and then, perhaps, ski or ride. There is an elevator for the rental equipment, so the socialites renting the gear don’t have to carry it up or down the stairs. It also has few quirks. It’s possible to watch the commotion and people lining up for bus in front of the lodge while using urinating bowl in men’s restrooms on the main floor. But there is no shelf to rest your gloves.
The new lodge completely changed the layout of the Vernon base area. The lodge on one side and the magic carpet beginners area on the other are enclosing the main access path. The passage may turn to be too narrow for ski patrollers to get conveniently through with a patient sitting in a sled. Customers arriving on foot across the bridge walk by the EMS/Patrol building first. Seeing an injured customer being loaded to an ambulance may have a great educational impact. It may keep the customers longer in the new lodge.