Early winter may make for early ski season

Kent County

CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — In late December last year, the lodge at Cannonsburg Ski Area was quiet. The slopes had turned to slush.

“It was sad,” Cannonsburg spokesperson Danielle Musto said Wednesday. “Obviously rain is the enemy for a ski area. And no one wants to see rain when it’s supposed to be snowing.”

This year, they’re doing something they haven’t done for about a decade at Cannonsburg. They’re making snow in mid-November.

“We are so excited about the colder temps and of course, making snow,” Musto said.

  • cannonsburg ski area
  • cannonsburg ski area
  • A photo of the Cannonsburg Ski Area on Nov. 13, 2019.
  • A photo of ski lifts at Cannonsburg Ski Area on Nov. 13, 2019.

If Mother Nature continues to cooperate, opening day at Cannosnburg could be the earliest it’s been in about 10 years — though management hasn’t marked an exact date on the calendar.

“As early as possible. Obviously late November, early December would be awesome for us,” Musto said.

Of course, that’s if the weather continues to cooperate.

It’s been tough sledding for Cannonsburg and other ski areas over the last decade, but those in this business plan for the atmospheric ups and downs. Employees still get paid. The lights stay on.

“What suffers is plans for expansion for the following year,” Musto said.

There’s high hopes this year may make up for the past. Musto said that as long as the temperatures don’t go much over 40, Cannonsburg will be able to keep making snow and building the base.

So could a Thanksgiving weekend opening be possible?

“I don’t want to jinx it. There’s a chance that we could open right after,” Musto said. “We love being open, we love seeing families returning, so the earlier the better.”

Cannonsburg is not alone. Swiss Valley near Three Rivers is also hoping for an early opening and Timber Ridge near Gobles is hoping for a Thanksgiving weekend opening.

Conditions are even better at Bittersweet Ski Resort near Otsego, which plans to open Thursday.


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