"Crowds gathered at the Jupiter access rope-line throughout the morning as word spread that the resort's famed backcountry-style terrain would finally open," said spokesman Andy Miller. "At 11 a.m., when the mountain patrol dropped the rope, guests poured across and down the traverse to get their spots on Jupiter chairlift."
The crowd may not have been as large, but the excitement was just as palpable at Eagle Point, the 14th and last of the state's resorts to open for the 2011-12 season.
"It's about time," said a woman who answered the phone Friday at Eagle Point, which previously was known as Elk Meadows and had been promoted in between as Mount Holly Club, an exclusive gated community with a private ski area and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Mount Holly went bankrupt before it ever opened.
An Eastern businessman, Shane Gadbaw, acquired the resort out of Mount Holly's bankruptcy. In this, his second season at the helm, he experienced the big challenge faced by his predecessors: limited snow.
But on Friday, Gadbaw was enjoying the day, skiing with his children. He did not return calls seeking comment on the delayed opening.
National Weather Service forecasts anticipate sunny conditions over the weekend with the next chance of snow early next week.