Warm Weather Delays Start of Wintergreen's Ski Season
Nelson Co., VA - The warm weather is delaying ski season in Central Virginia.
Wintergreen was supposed to open this Saturday. But now the general manager says they're hoping to do it December 15.
On the slopes at Wintergreen you are more likely to catch a tan than a ski lift lately.
"While we've expanded and improved our snow making capabilities dramatically, we haven't figured out a way to make snow at 70 degrees," said Hank Thiess, Wintergreen's general manager.
Thiess says starting ski season a week late won't have much of an impact on the resort's bottom line because 90% of its December business happens at the end of the month.
"We're very optimistic of having a good Christmas holiday but we're recognizing it may not develop much before then," Thiess added.
Wintergreen isn't leaving all of it up to mother nature.
The new owners invested $6 million in upgrades including a 5 million gallon water tower. The expensive upgrade is expected to double the amount of snow the resort can make on its own.
Years ago, people determined the quality of the snow. Now, computers are able to analyze the snow for them.
The vice president of Resort Operations says Wintergreen has one of the only fully-automated snow making operations in the country.
"It provides what our skiers have said is the gold standard in snow production," said Jay Roberts.
Wintergreen's just hoping the old saying 'good things will happen to those who wait' holds true.
"By the end of the month, I think we'll be in the midst of a great ski season," Thiess said.