Catskills ski season kicks off on Thanksgiving weekend

A view of the slopes at Windham Mountain on Nov. 21, posted on the ski center's Facebook page.

Aided by the sudden arrival of wintry weather in the region, all three major Catskills ski resorts are slated to open for the season on Thanksgiving weekend. 

Belleayre, Windham and Hunter are all gearing up for Opening Day on Friday, Nov. 25. Snowmaking is underway at all three ski resorts, building on a base of almost a foot of fresh snow that fell during a snowstorm earlier in the week. Plattekill Mountain, a smaller family-owned ski resort in Roxbury, is aiming for a Dec. 10 opening, and will be firing up their snowmakers over the Thanksgiving weekend.

For the ski centers, who endured a late start and an unseasonably warm winter last year, the arrival of winter weather on schedule bodes well for the season ahead.

Skiing in New York State is a $1 billion-a-year industry, a fact noted in a press release issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office on Tuesday.

"From skiing to skating and beyond, New York is home to some of the best outdoor winter recreational activities around, which attract millions of visitors all season long," Governor Cuomo said. "With over 50 world-class ski resorts across the state, I encourage everyone to come discover all the Empire State has to offer."

In the Catskills, where the local economy depends heavily on tourist spending, the arrival of skiers and snowboarders is especially good news for local businesses. Near Belleayre Mountain, the Emerson Resort and Spillian took to social media to celebrate the impending whir of ski lifts and the whoosh of skis.

In Tannersville, in the shadow of Hunter Mountain, Mama's Boy Burgers summed up the general mood with a few succinct emoji: