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Ski resort finishes busiest season on record

by MATT BALDWIN
Daily Inter Lake | April 12, 2021 10:00 AM

Even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Whitefish Mountain Resort logged its busiest season on record.

Nearly 460,000 skier visits were tallied for the 2020-21 winter season, about a 20% increase over the previous high mark set during the 2018-19 winter.

The 2019-20 season was cut short when the resort closed in early March 2020 due to the pandemic.

The busiest single day this winter was New Year’s Eve, “which is typical for us,” said Maren McKay, Public Relations Manager at the resort.

The resort wrapped up the season Sunday with a settled base depth of 94 inches on the summit and 231 inches of total snowfall. The ski area typically averages 300 inches of snowfall a season.

A number of changes were put in place in response to the pandemic, including a requirement for face coverings and the elimination of a singles line at chair lifts. Despite the changes, all went well, said Director of Marketing and Sales Nick Polumbus.

“We’re so happy to have been able to provide a complete ski season this year and what a season it was,” Polumbus said in a statement. “With more pass holders than ever before and plenty of concern surrounding COVID-19 we really were not quite sure what to expect when the season began. In true Whitefish fashion, at the end of the day we proved once again that life is mostly about skiing. We’re proud to be the home mountain to so many people who value the outdoors and specifically the sport of skiing.”

According to resort statistics, more than 2.4 billion vertical feet were skied, with Jesse Black leading the pack.

Black claimed the throne as the season’s vertical challenge champion with an even 6 million vertical feet logged. That puts him in second place all-time, behind only Ken Jones who tallied 8 million vertical feet during the 2015-16 season.

Jim Peterson finished in second place among all skiers this season with 4.1 million vertical feet. The total is the second highest all-time for a Super Senior pass holder. Fred Frost holds the Super Senior all-time mark with 4.2 million feet.

Laurence Kenik was third in this season’s challenge with 4 million vertical feet.

The resort’s 2021-22 winter season will start on Dec. 9 and go through April 10, 2022.