PLAINFIELD CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — After all the snow over the last few days in West Michigan, Cannonsburg Ski Area is hard at work getting ready to open for the season.

But don’t expect to hit the slopes just yet.

The good news: Cannonsburg just started making snow on Friday night, thanks to temperatures hitting the 20s. But when the ski lifts start running depends on Mother Nature.

In an interview with News 8 on Saturday afternoon, Cannonsburg Ski Area Marketing Director Danielle Musto did not say when the resort will open, explaining that “we are not jinxing anything quite yet.”

“Preparations are well underway,” Musto said. “We had to wait for temperatures to drop to the mid 20s, but if you look outside all of our snow guns are blasting away, and we are so excited for this winter season.”

The ski resort typically opens before Christmas break. The resort uses man-made snow.

“We need feet and feet of snow, but natural snow is always kind of the icing on the cake,” Musto said. “Everyone loves that fresh pile; it’s always the best.”

Musto promised that the resort will “open as early as possible.”

“We just need Mother Nature to cooperate just a little bit and stay cold,” Musto said. “We need a few feet of snow as a really good base, and we have a really wide base.”

As long as it stays in the 20s, Musto said they can keep making snow and potentially open even faster.

“We always look at the extended forecast,” Musto explained. “While we are making snow whenever possible every now and then, temperatures will rise up to the 30s and 40s, and we can’t make snow at that temperature. We have to wait until temperatures drop to the mid-20s.”

“We need a few feet, and that’s a few feet after it’s been groomed,” Musto added. “We’re making big piles of snow so that the snow will also remain insulated should temperatures rise.”

While Cannonsburg works on getting the slopes ready, Kent County remains interested in buying the ski resort. The county would turn the property into a park while keeping skiing operations going through a contractor.

Kent County is waiting to hear back from the DNR about its application for a grant to help make the purchase possible.

Musto says no matter what happens, skiing is here to stay at Cannonsburg.

“Everyone respects Kent County Parks,” Musto said. “They preserve green space. I can also assure everyone that Cannonsburg Ski Area is not going anywhere. It’s the local ski hill for West Michigan, and we love the ski industry. People should not be worried. Cannonsburg Ski Area is staying.”

With a potential sale up in the air, Cannonsburg is staying focused on the big months ahead. On Saturday, they celebrated Moosejaw, a Michigan-based retailer, bringing a new shop inside the lodge. It is filled to the brim with ski gear and ready to service skis and snowboards.

People gather around a campfire for the opening of Moosejaw, a retailer opening inside the lodge area at Cannonsburg. (Nov. 19, 2022)

Moosejaw replaces the previous shop run by Summit Sports, which closed last New Year’s Eve after the business declared bankruptcy.

“It was a really big letdown for the West Michigan community in general and especially for Cannonsburg Ski Area,” Musto said about Summit’s closure. “Because we have so many families who come to Cannonsburg to get their skis and snowboards serviced throughout the winter season.”

Musto called it a “huge disservice to not have the shop.”

“Not only do we have customers who come here on a regular basis, but all of the local ski teams practice here quickly,” Musto added. “So they always need their skis waxed and tuned up. To be able to have Moosejaw here is amazing.”

As the season approaches, Musto said the ski resort is doing well with staffing numbers, but they can always use more. She encouraged people to apply through their website.

“We hire almost up to 300 people for the winter season,” she said. “So if anyone’s looking for full-time work, part-time work and wants to work outdoors in a fun environment, I would say apply.”