Despite Lack of Snow, Ski Resorts Optimistic
Coming storm cycle expected to improve conditions
ANCHORAGE - Despite a lack of snow going into the middle of December, ski resorts around the Anchorage Bowl are optimistic.
Hilltop has three out of four runs open thanks to man-made snow. CEO Steve Remme says while conditions are good, turnout hasn’t been.
“Cross-country skiers aren't really enthused just yet. They want to go out but there's not a lot of snow. Same with downhill. Alyeska hasn't seen the crowds they normally see this time of year had we had the natural snowfall,” said Remme.
With another storm cycle on the way, he expects the chair lift to fill up over the weekend.
“I have high hopes we're going to have a great Christmas season,” said Remme.
Arctic Valley doesn’t have the snowmaking advantage Hilltop does. Being completely reliant on Mother Nature means the resort likely won’t open for a few more weeks.
“At this point we probably need another two to three feet of additional snowfall to open. By the time it gets packed down, we need that much to get all the rocks and stuff covered up,” said General Manager John Robinson-Wilson.
While opening day is usually around Christmas, Robinson-Wilson said even if that gets postponed to the New Year, it won’t have a huge financial impact.
“We only have one full-time employee. We do a lot of stuff with volunteers. Most of our costs are related to being open when we have our seasonal employees on site, which we obviously don't,” said Robinson-Wilson.
Both hope the latest storm will help out the snow pack to get even more skiers on the slopes.