Earliest opening in a decade for Mount Jefferson

Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 6:02 PM EST
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LEE, Maine (WABI) - You’d have to go back a decade to find a time where Mount Jefferson opened this early to the public.

Wednesday marked the first day of the season. Just in time for kids in the area to enjoy the outdoors on their winter break.

“You just see the kids are cooped up in the house playing video games and they get sick of doing that and you know, kids don’t really get enough activity like they should like you know me and you probably did when we were younger. So it’s great for them to get out, get the exercise, you know, get the blood flowing and you know, just experienced the Maine outdoors,” said owner Kevin Zimmerman.

The first ones to hit the trails are normally the most experienced.

“The ones out here are loving it. The diehards that you see all the time. They come every year. They’re the first ones here, you know, the last ones to leave so it’s pretty, it’s pretty good to see,” Zimmerman said.

But that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few beginners out there too.

“It’s my first-time skiing,” said 11-year-old Ellie Hazelton.

“It was me and my sister and her friend and I went right into the bushes. But then I got back up and I did really good,” Hazelton added.

Ten out of the 11 trails were open to the start. In addition to tubing and the kitchen.

The early start looks to also help the mountain bring in some additional revenue to invest in its future.

“Our eventual goal is to get a snowmaking machine and a chairlift. As you see from all the wood outside, we’re starting to sell firewood and we’re gonna eventually start selling lumber. And that’s going to bankroll the whole operation from snowmaking to chair lifts, cabins and lodging and pretty much all the stuff you see at the bigger resorts. We’re trying to resemble that amount but smaller you know, family friendly type,” said Zimmerman.