Arctic blast brings early ski season to southern Wis.

Tyrol Basin hopes to open 2 ski runs this weekend
Arctic blast brings early ski season to southern Wis.

An arctic blast has gripped much of the nation causing temperatures to plunge. While that is unwelcome news to many it is cause for celebration at Wisconsin ski resorts.

“Cold weather to us means snow-making, it means getting open for the season and having people out here having fun in the snow because that’s what we’re here for,” said Don McKay, general manager at Tyrol Basin.

Tyrol Basin crews started using their 25 snow-making guns on Tuesday night, and they hope to run them continuously until a foot of base snow covers two of the resort’s 17 ski runs.

“There’s a lot of science to snow-making and a lot of factors that affect it. Primarily you need subfreezing temperatures, 28 degrees or below, and the humidity plays a large factor in it,” McKay said.

Tyrol Basin is planning to open for the season this weekend and be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. With temperatures expected to stay cold into next week, the snow-making guns will be used to improve conditions and open more of the hill.

“It is always nice to get out here. People are so anxious in November that they’ll come out, in fact last Sunday they were hiking a half an acre of snow just because it was there and I’m sure we’ll be pretty busy by this weekend because of the early snow,” McKay said.

The quick start to the ski season is also good news for the local economy.

“From the local community we go from having about four or five year-round employees to having as many as 175 employees during the Christmas holiday period,” McKay said.