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Area resorts: Ski in shorts this Presidents Day holiday

John Pivec of Dover, Pa., dives on his tube and flies down the tubing hill, Friday, Feb. 3, 2006, at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. Roundtop is expecting similarly warm weather this Presidents Day weekend. Resort officials are welcoming skiers. The cold overnight temperatures have allowed the resort to make snow. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — A weather forecast calling for temperatures in the 60s or even 70s has many in the D.C. region considering whether to toss on shorts and a T-shirt, but perhaps not skis or a snowboard.

The long Presidents Day holiday weekend, which officially recognizes George Washington’s Birthday, is usually a good time to take a road trip to one of the local ski resorts.

However, the springlike weather isn’t likely to inspire droves of skiers to hit the slopes.

But area ski resorts won’t let the unseasonable weather dampen their prospects.

“When it gets warm like this, it gets people out. They just enjoy tailgating in the parking lot and enjoy skiing in lighter clothes,” said Roundtop Mountain Resort spokesman Chris Dudding.

Pennsylvania resorts have not seen much snowfall this winter. It’s not a problem for them, but it’s not ideal either.

“Typically, we can make all the snow we need ourselves,” Dudding said. “Natural snow is the best marketing tool we could possibly have. When it snows and people see it in their backyard, of course they want to go skiing. We’ll always take natural snow if we can get it.”

Roundtop has seen about 10 inches of natural snow this season, which means the snowmakers have been working all season long.

Those machines are not cheap to operate and require a significant amount of manpower, Dudding said. Natural snow would be much cheaper.

Dudding still maintains a positive assessment of the relatively dry and mild winter.

“We’ve had some really good skiing and we actually opened fairly early, in the middle of December. So in terms of length of season, this is turning out to be a decent one,” he said.

This weekend, Roundtop is ready for visitors who like to ski in shorts, all thanks to the recent cold overnight temperatures — the prime time to make snow.

“Of course, we would prefer for not to have it stay warm for too long of a period of time. But for a couple of days, it’s actually OK,” said Dudding.


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