Wintergreen's Ski Season Starts Off Strong

Wintergreen, VA - Wintergreen is in the midst of a critical holiday ski season and so far, managers say they're exceeding expectations.

It's one of the largest employers in the area. Many employees worried about the future of their jobs when there was an unseasonably warm winter a few years ago, but things are turning around.

McKenna Berardi traveled to Wintergreen from Florida, trading skis for a snow tube.

"It's just like a water slide except for snow. And they had fake snow for this, so it was really fun," Berardi said.

What a difference one year can make. The VP of Resort Operations says overall visitation is up.

"I know on any particular day, our trail count's been better and the snow quality's been better," said Jay Roberts.

Warm temperatures in 2012 forced the Nelson County ski slopes to close early, and management to re-think the way they do business. The resort poured $6 million into upgrading its snowmaking system, doubling the amount of snow that's produced every hour.

"If we can't change the weather, we want to make more snow," Roberts added.

Philip Bubel, who learned to ski on these slopes when he was two years old, has definitely noticed a difference.

"It's night and day. You can tell that next morning when they've made snow and the slopes are a different shape," he said.