Snow business is back in business at Whitetail

January 23, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Fresh snow and temperatures in the 30s Monday drew skiers and snowboarders to Whitetail Resort after mild weather had closed the Snow Time Inc. operation for 12 days earlier this season.

"The weather has been phenomenal for snowmaking," said Amy Stine, events coordinator at Whitetail. "Our base is about 18 to 24 inches."

At the top of the mountain, snow guns created a haze of white as they covered the closed slopes with more snow.

Stine said the resort's 94 snow guns have been working around the clock since temperatures dropped last week. In less than a week, 13 of the resort's 19 slopes were open with more opening every day, she said.


A fresh layer of "powder" on top of the man-made snow created "skier's gold," according to Stine. The skiers and snowboarders who hit the slopes Monday afternoon found the conditions very favorable.

Making her way to the lift, Margaret Doty of Silver Spring, Md., said, "This is the best skiing I have done on the East Coast, ever. The snow is nice on all the slopes."

Justin McGarvey of Ellicott City, Md., rated the conditions a 6 3/8 out of 7 saying, "It (the powder) is soft in some spots, hard in others."

After weathering the sunny days and warm nights at the beginning of the year, Stine said the resort is optimistic for the remainder of the season.

"This season has not been as good as we anticipated, but we are recovering," Stine said. "We don't need snow to be open, just cold weather."

For the employees of Whitetail, seeing crowded, snow-covered slopes has been a relief, according to Stine.

"We can handle being busy, it's the down times that are hard," she said.

Stine said the resort anticipates the weather staying cold over the next few months, allowing it to stay open through mid-March.

Whitetail opened snow tubing Friday and hopes to open more trails this week.

Liberty Mountain Resort near Fairfield, Pa., a sister resort to Whitetail, also reopened last week and had 10 trails open Monday with what its Web site boasted as "some of the best conditions of the year."

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