There’s not enough snow for skiers to hit the slopes in Arctic Valley, but thanks to the help of some man-made snow the tube park opened Thursday.

For the first time the park opened on a weekday, so kids could make the most of their winter break.

“It’s really fun. First, I thought it wasn’t going to be that fast but since I was the first one to go down it was really fast and I was nervous,” said Asher Clayton, 9.

He was there with his family celebrating his mom’s birthday.

“Here we go,” Terry Clayton said as she plopped down in the tube. “Nice to not walk up the hill by yourself, too.”

Terry Clayton said tubing makes her feel like a kid again.

“It’s a mixture of sheer joy and terror because you get spun around and you can’t see where you’re going and you don’t want to fly off the edge,” she said.

Arctic Valley still needs another foot of snow before it’s safe for skiers. In the meantime, tubing provides the financial boost the Anchorage Ski Club needs to keep up operations.

“With all of the recreational opportunities we offer, it really helps us maintain these old chair lifts and makes sure everything is safe and fun,” said board member Rich Todd.

It might not look very steep but tubers can catch quite a bit of speed in the short ride down.

“My guess would be 50 miles per hour,” Asher Clayton guessed. Volunteers said they clocked the ride at a top speed of about 27 miles an hour.

The tube park is typically open Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15 per person for an hour and a half session; there are three sessions per day. Volunteers highly recommend people purchase tickets online because groups are limited to 50 people to make sure there are enough tubes to go around.

KTVA 11’s Heather Hintze can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter

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