Winter recreation areas expect good season despite warm December

Artificial snow doesn't keep skiers, snowboarders off slopes
Winter recreation areas expect good season despite warm December

Despite a slight warm-up the last couple of weeks, owners of skiing and snowboarding recreation areas are expecting a good winter season. However, they are hoping temperatures don’t climb high enough to keep customers away from the slopes.

“Warmer is better than colder, but if it gets about 40 degrees then it starts to impact us,” owner of Tyrol Basin Don McKay said.

With temperatures in the 40s, its seems more like fall than the middle of December on the slopes

“When it’s a little bit more mild like this I think people have other choices for their recreational activates, as opposed to when it’s colder and they think more skiing and snowboarding,” McKay said.

The warmer weather didn’t detour around 300 people from breaking out their skis and snowboards Saturday at Tyrol Basin.

“I like it just a little bit below 32 degrees, enough to keep it not very slushy but warm enough so you don’t get cold,” snowboarder Trevor Host said.

“It’s definitely a good ski day because the snow seems pretty fresh. There’s no ice or anything even though it’s a little bit warmer so it seems like it’s been a pretty good day,” skier Scott Hunyadi said.

Little snow fall this December means that fresh powder is all artificial. McKay said natural snow fall is a plus but not necessary. However, there is one thing besides Mother Nature that can impact his business.

“Well, I certainly hope the Packers don’t make the playoffs. It costs us quite a bit of money when they do. People stay home and watch football instead of being out here on the slopes,” he said.

McKay opened the season early this year in the beginning of November, because of the colder temperatures. While the temperatures this December are not what he would like them to be, as long as there’s snow, he’s hoping customers will continue to come.

“It’s still fun either way. It really doesn’t matter that it is artificial snow but you’re still having a good time,” snowboarder Alec Giger said.

McKay said the best time for skiing and snowboarding is after the Christmas season, with temperatures in the 30s for those who like it a bit warmer or temperatures in the teens for the best snow condition.