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Right now, there's no business for snow businesses

November 23, 2001

Right now, there's no business for snow businesses



By LAURA ERNDE / laurae@herald-mail.com

Last year, Black Friday turned into White Friday for area ski resorts blessed with unusually cold weather that allowed them to make snow.

There's no chance of a repeat this year because fall has been much warmer than normal, said marketing coordinators at Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pa., and Liberty Mountain Resort in Fairfield, Pa.

But the ski resorts are ready to open - with a few updates for the new season - as soon as temperatures drop.

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"I'm looking outside and it's beautiful. It's great for golf, but not terribly good for a ski area," said Ron Kennedy, marketing coordinator at Liberty Mountain Resort.

Ski resorts can make snow after three or four consecutive nights of temperatures at 28 degrees or below. If it's warm enough to melt during the day, there's no point, said Chris Black, marketing coordinator at Whitetail.

Generally, the resort is open by the middle of December, he said.

Both ski resorts have made changes for the season.

At Whitetail, snowboarders will find a bigger snowboard park located at Lower Angel Drop, Black said. The new park is expected to relieve congestion, especially in the beginner area.

Liberty has replaced the two double lifts on the front side of the mountain with one quad lift, Kennedy said.

"They were getting a little old and we felt it was just time to replace them," he said.

Because the new quad lift takes up less space, there will be more room for skiers to maneuver on the mountain, he said.

Liberty has also enlarged its food service area on the back side of the mountain, adding a barbecue grill, Kennedy said.

Both resorts have upgraded their snow-making equipment.

The fall's drought will not hurt the ski resorts' ability to make snow. Water reserves are adequate and the water is recycled during the snow-making process.

Whitetail and Liberty are owned by the York, Pa.-based Snow Time Inc.

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