Area slopes cope in lukewarm weather, economy

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON — This winter is a far cry from “Snowmageddon” two years ago and last January’s “Commute From Hell.” Even if you enjoy the warmer weather and lack of snow, it’s bad for business.

It’s not just meager snowfall that’s hurting attendance at local ski slopes, it’s also the lack of cold weather which is needed to create snow with machines. Dreams of a white Christmas have turned into prayers for the white stuff at area resorts.

Though it’s been a slow start, not all is lost, says Mark Glickman, vice president of marketing and sales at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. There is still a lot of season left.

“We feel fortunate in spite of warmer than usual temperatures that we’ve been able to make a lot of snow and provide some great conditions up there for skiers and riders.” he says.

“Snowshoe is at an elevation of close to 5,000 feet,” Glickman says. “We have our own climate up there.”

Each day, Snowshoe staff are able to create a base on the slopes of 10 to 20 inches. They’ve opened 11 lifts and almost 30 trails.

And they did have a white Christmas at Snowshoe.

“We got 2 inches of natural snow on Friday right before Christmas,” he says. “So, a white Christmas came up at Snowshoe early.”

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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