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Snow, cold means business for Ski Bowl

Alex Doty • Jan 2, 2016 at 8:00 AM

This past week’s snow and cold weather brought some relief to fans of downhill winter sports.

The snowfall, combined with the colder temperatures, allowed Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl operators to turn on their snowmaking machines Sunday and Monday to get the area ready for skiers and snowboarders.

Nick Baker was one of the many people who flocked to the local ski hill on Wednesday, glad to have a place to snowboard since options so far this season have been limited.

”We were pumped to come out here and ride,“ he said. ”A lot of our friends are here from all around, and it’s nice to get back on the hill and feel the board.“

Baker noted that this season’s weather is a far cry from a year ago.

”Last year, we had snow on Thanksgiving,“ he said. ”We were getting a little concerned, but we know it’d come around.“

The Ski Bowl is one of the few hills Baker said he’d been to since so many other places haven’t been open.

“We went to Bittersweet last week, and they were open a couple of days,” he said. “We thought (the Ski Bowl was) going to be opened Monday, but obviously all that nasty weather was around.”

This winter has been all but kind to the operators of the Ski Bowl.

“We’ve had three days (we’ve been) open,” Ski Bowl director Ben Shananfelt said Wednesday. “We haven’t really had much business.”

This compares to the 20 or so days that the hill was open up until this point last season, he said.

Ski Bowl operators say that even though the area received some snow, the key to allowing the hill to be open is cold weather to make snow.

“The snow we’re using right now is manmade,” Shananfelt said. ”Even if we don’t get fresh snow, continuing to make snow will be key to carrying us through the rest of the season.“

Ski Bowl operators spent Sunday night and all day Monday running the snow machines, and planned to use the New Year’s holiday to help the hill catch up with the season by making more snow.

Shananfelt said the lack of snow has limited the hill in both capacity and the number of runs that are open. The goal, he said, is to get the remainder of the Ski Bowl operational sometime soon.

“We’ll continue to make snow,” Shananfelt said, “and, hopefully, Mother Nature will help us out here soon, too.” 

 

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