Ski resorts hoping for return of cold weather

January 14, 2013 2:51:48 PM PST
The combination of mild weather and rain has made for poor conditions at local ski resorts.

After all, few things hurt the ski industry quite like 50 to 60 degree temperatures in January.

However, the bad news for the resort is good news for the few people who are actually out on the slopes.

At the Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton, Pa., Ray Bush was taking advantage of the conditions to give his three-year-old daughter, Kaya, a few lessons.

"There's plenty of space, it's nice and warm, we don't have to bundle her up in a lot of clothing, the trails aren't crowded, the snow is soft," said Bush.

While Ray and little Kaya appreciate the benefits of visiting the resorts on a relatively balmy winter day, many others are not.

But, officials from Blue Mountain say there is reason to remain optimistic.

"We'd like it to be a little colder than it is right now, but we hear that the forecast is turning cold around Wednesday, so we're keeping our fingers crossed," said Heidi Lutz of Blue Mountain.

The crowd was also pretty thin at the Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie. The people who were there said they were taking advantage of advertised specials, designed to make people aware that the slopes are snow-covered and ready.

"It's a $20 college lift ticket, so we're taking advantage of it while we can," said Shawn McCoy of Wilmington.

Salvaging this year's ski season would be as simple as a good, sustained wintry blast from Old Man Winter.

"We do have the holiday weekend coming and a nice, cold snap that's around the corner. Hopefully we'll be able to get more open and everyone will be happy," said Lutz.

It was cold enough earlier in the season that the resorts were able to lay down a decent, machine-made base of snow.

As it turns out, this year is shaping up to be better than last year, when it barely snowed at all.