The cold is here and ski areas have turned on the snow guns. Many are hoping for an early start to the ski season. Because that means big bucks if they can open the trails by Thanksgiving.
Winter wonderland is already taking shape at Shawnee Mountain. The resort started making snow over the weekend and the slopes have a pretty good covering.
Managing Partner JIm Tust says, "We were able to make it on seven total trails out 23, which isn’t bad. We start out with our novice run top to bottom, our Pennsylvania trail and then we always make the beginners area and we try to get going on snow tubing, we were able to do that."
Now they’re hoping Mother Nature is on their side for some natural powder tomorrow and then they’ll fire the guns up again that night.
Tust says, "Maybe be able to run all day Wednesday through Wednesday night and then the nights after that look below normal temperatures so off to a great start."
Their goal is to have something open for Thanksgiving weekend. Last year’s cold snap paid off and Shawnee Mountain was extra thankful to be open for the holiday crowds.
Tust says, "We always call it not Black Friday but white Friday the day after Thanksgiving to maybe offer some skiing, snowboarding maybe even snow tubing if things go really well."
Over at Camelback, while there’s no snow, they are already gearing up.
Senior Marketing Manager AJ Stack says, "We actually have 377 brand new snow guns. So they’re HKD, high energy efficiency guns and they should be able to pump out a ton of snow and make a lot of snow quicker and more efficiently. So we’ll have a nice even base all over the mountain with these new guns. We’re really excited to get it all going."
The resort is looking to start making their winter magic tomorrow afternoon.
Stack says, "We see a window so the temperatures have to be right, has to be low humidity but really we wanted to wait till the ground froze because we can put as much snow on top of it as we can but if it’s not cold enough underneath it will melt and then it won’t be able to stay long enough during the season."
They’re also shooting for Thanksgiving weekend but it’s also important for them not to jump the gun.
Stack says, "Last year we actually were skiing until April 8th so we like to have a nice long season here so we’re looking forward to another good one."
For the latest updates on opening day at both resorts just go to their websites.