Area ski resorts ride weather roller coaster
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Amid bone-chilling temperatures Tuesday morning, Blue Mountain Resort ski patrol members Ed Kupillas and Marc Lemoi conduct their daily check of the trails for conditions and hazards.
From pouring rain, to fog, to ice, to sub-zero temperatures.
Despite the uneven weather conditions experienced in recent days, local ski areas haven't missed a beat.
Over at Blue Mountain Resort in Lower Towamensing Township, it's business as usual, according to Barbara Green, president.
"Our business is weather dependent, but we have invested a significant amount of money in the past 10 years in automating our snow making system to mitigate our dependence on the weather," Green said. "In fact, we have one of the largest automated snow making systems on the East Coast."
As long as the temperatures are below 32 degrees for more than 12 hours, the automated system eliminates most of the icy conditions, Green said.
"With two nights of temperatures below 32 degrees, we will have 100 percent of our terrain covered in fresh snow," she said. "Ten years ago, this would have taken us between four to five days to do the same thing."
Green added that the ski area's best marketing technique to attract visitors are its web cams.
"Philadelphia, New York and local television weather stations show live shots of the mountain every day," she said. "When the sun comes out tomorrow, it will not be showing ice, it will show the fresh three inches we made the night before groomed into fresh corduroy."
It's much the same at Jack Frost Big Boulder Ski Area in Blakeslee, where skiing conditions remain good, according to Heather Schiffbauer, director of marketing.
"The conditions are still really good; they've been out there all night making snow," Schiffbauer said. "We didn't lose anything; we just have to groom a little more."
Schiffbauer added, "For instance, yesterday, we did have business."
"It's just a matter of being consistent, and making sure the conditions are good in rain, ice," she said. "It's just to make sure they're getting a good product."