41ºF

Wintergreen Resort hoping to open this weekend after long stretch of warm weather


NELSON COUNTY (WSLS 10) - For people hoping to hit the slopes this Winter, the wait may almost be over.

Resorts in our area are banking on this weekend to be cold enough to begin making snow, but the late start this year has taken a toll on cold weather businesses, forcing them to make adjustments.

Wintergreen staff say they're making due with the lack of skiers this December, entertaining guests with a variety of warm weather activities.

"We've pulled out our archery operation, and the folks that have been here through the holidays have done archery and they've done the zipline. We've had a whole lot more golf than we usually have," said Operations Vice President Jay Roberts.

But for stores that depend on the resort's customers, the delay has been causing problems.

"It's been a long time since I haven't employed anybody into January, and it's looking like still a couple more weeks before we can actually get to business," said Ski Barn Manager Nikki Chambers.

The Ski Barn sits at the base of Wintergreen Mountain.

With no ski traffic, the store has had to cut back its seasonal employees during the holidays for the first time in 15 years.

"I hope this is the only Christmas they are at home, and New Years, but it is what it is," said Chambers.

Wintergreen staff say once the temperature drops, it doesn't take long to get the slopes into skiing shape.

"Depending on the temperature, we can open in as little as 40 hours," said Roberts.

Roberts says while Winter may be taking a while to get here, he has a positive outlook for how long it will stick around.

"What has typically happened is we open slower in December, the snow carries through March. We've opened as late or stayed open as late as April," said Roberts.

Roberts says Wintergreen Resort hopes to start making snow by 5pm Friday, which means the slopes will hopefully be white and open for skiiers by Wednesday of next week.