Outdoors

Bluewood GM optimistic for another strong ski season

DAYTON -- Bruce Goodell, general manager for Bluewood, says that if he sees just half the snow as his ski resort received last year, he'd be ecstatic.

"Last year, we had over 500 inches," Goodell said.

Goodell is optimistic for another strong season at Bluewood, which is 21 miles from Dayton in the Blue Mountains.

The resort boasts 24 runs with two triple chairlifts and one pommel lift. The elevation at the top of Bluewood is 5,670 feet, and the base is 4,545 feet.

"We have the second-highest base elevation in Washington," said Goodell, "which also leads to drier snow."

Goodell said there other elements that draw skiers to the resort.

"You should expect a family-friendly environment," he said. "There's a wide variety of terrain. We offer extremely good beginners' programs, variety of runs and a great atmosphere."

The ski runs are 25 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate and 35 expert, he said. Of those runs, Skyline is the most popular.

"It seems like a longer run and there's a variety of terrain," Goodell said. "It's rated an advanced run, but it's really an intermediate run except for the last, short phase, where it's advanced. Otherwise, it's really an intermediate run."

For this season, Goodell said crews have cleared more trees from some of the runs.

"People tend to enjoy that, and it means they can get out farther on the run," he said.

An adult all-day lift ticket will cost $42.

For first-timers, the Platterpull package costs $46 (skis) or $50 (snowboards) and includes lift ticket, rental equipment and a 90-minute group lesson.

"There is also private and semi-private lessons for beginners," Goodell said.

If you need a bite to eat, the third floor of the lodge at Bluewood offers both deli and grill sites, and a pub that serves adult beverages.

For those who want to stay overnight, Bluewood offers a Bed, Breakfast and Bluewood package that includes options in nearby Dayton and Waitsburg.

Snow has started to fall, but unless a blizzard occurs within the next week, a Thanksgiving opening is highly unlikely.

As of Friday night, the base had just three inches. As soon as enough of the white stuff drops, the resort will be open.

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