Three areas have closed and three have reopened in the Northeast this winter.

Mittersill and Campton Mountain in New Hampshire and North Creek Ski Bowl in New York have reopened.

Mittersill has become part of Cannon Mountain, operated by the State of New Hampshire at the north end of Franconia Notch.

Campton Mountain in Waterville Estates, N.H., is a publically owned and operated area.

North Creek Ski Bowl is part of Gore Mountain in New York State, operated by the Olympic Regional Development Authority.

Big Squaw in Maine, Tenney Mountain in New Hampshire, and Ascutney in Vermont have closed.

This comes against a backdrop of steady declines in ski area numbers across the country during the last 30 years.

The National Ski Areas Association keeps tabs on U.S. resorts. In the winter of 1982-83, 735 resorts operated in the United States. Last winter that number had dropped to 471.

The historic high point for ski areas in New England was in 1970, after which things started to fall apart for the industry. The region was saturated, with today's biggest players on the rise and the smaller family areas finding themselves unable to compete in the expensive game of improving lifts, snowmaking, grooming, base lodge facilities, and on and on.

Insurance became a bigger factor in ski area operations, and the energy crises of the 1970s hit with a double whammy: utility bills went way up, and people were not driving as far. Add in a string of bad snow years, and ski resorts closed by the dozens.

More information.