And what if there were no snowmaking. There would be fewer ski resorts. The lifts would be primitive. More people would be earning their turns. Vermont would still be rural. More people would go out West. "Don't Jersey Vermont" bumper stickers would never have been invented. Killington would have many poma lifts instead of just one. Vermont would be caught in a time warp![/quote]
This is a fascinating idea. So much fun to speculate. Clearly there would be far fewer skiers and a much higher proportion of experts and diehards. Very few local feeder areas, probably none south of the Vermont/Massachusetts line. What areas would be open? Cannon, Wildcat, Jay, Stowe, possibly Bretton Woods the same size it was 10 years ago (flat trails don't need as much snow depth). Killington would still be big because of its altitude, but they would have abandoned the runs along the gondola down into the valley. Sugarbush and Sugarloaf would never have come out of bankruptcy: even though they get plenty of natural snow, their competitive disadvantage due to driving distance couldn't have been overcome with fewer skier-days per year. Sugarloaf might have a club like the original Sugarloafers that keeps two T-bars running and keeps the brush cut. I'm not sure Mad River Glen would still be in business because it wouldn't be unique any more.
There would be a few high-speed quads (probably Stowe would have one), but certainly fewer lifts at the open areas because there wouldn't be the customer base. However in peak season in a good snow year, the lift lines would be horrendous.
What little areas would still be open? Probably those local hills that still don't make much snow, like Cochran's, the Lyndon Outing Club and some of the small areas in Maine. There might even be more community rope tow hills than there are now, opening for just a few weeks in a good snow year.