PINE GROVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The mild temperatures in December have meant a slow start to the skiing and snowboarding season. At Timber Ridge ski area, near Gobles, things started to open Monday afternoon.
Crews at Timber Ridge worked around the clock to get the first chairlift open around 3 p.m. Skiers and snowboarders were excited to finally hit the slopes.
Warmer temperatures have meant a delay in building up the snowbase. The snowmaking operation kicked into high gear just within the past few weeks.
Ski resorts rely on the Christmas holiday with kids off school for a big portion of their yearly revenue.
Luke Schrab, the operations manager at Timber Ridge, says they’re grateful to be open, even with the later start this year.
“Normally, we would be open for weeks already at this time,” he said. “Unfortunately, we can’t change the weather. All we can do is work with it. It took until now. We’ve made a lot of snow and we’ve saved it. Fortunately, we’re going to get open quickly.”
Timber Ridge expects additional runs will be ready by Tuesday.
For Cannonsburg Ski Area in Cannon Township, the slopes aren’t ready yet, but crews hope to have it open by Saturday.
Crews are working around the clock to make up for lost time.
Missing out on the holiday revenue is a concern, but they are staying optimistic that there still will be plenty of pent up demand.
“For us to lose Christmas, it was devastating,” said Danielle Musto, the marketing director for Cannonsburg. “We weren’t happy with the weather. Obviously no ski areas in the state were happy, so what we’re trying to do is make the most of what we have. We’ve been watching the temperatures constantly.”