Cold temps don't keep skiers away from local ski hills

CREATED Jan. 22, 2013

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SLINGER - The cold temperatures didn't stop some diehards from hitting the ski slopes Tuesday.

Yes, people chose to be outside.

Skiers are used to cold temps but the owner of Little Switzerland in Slinger admits staying open in the bitter cold was a tough call.

"It's not any easy one with these temperatures," said Mike Schmitz. "Obviously the crowds are not here."

A few skiers bundled up to brave the cold but Sunburst in Kewaskum and The Rock in Franklin decided to shut it down for the night. But has it been a good year for the resorts?

"It's been up and down as you know," said Schmitz. "We had a good start."

New owner Mike Schmitz and his brothers have dumped tons of money into snow making equipment and lift upgrades.

Now they need Mother Nature to dump some snow on them.

It is supposed to snow in Wisconsin. We average about 10 inches in December, 14 in January and less than 10 in February. But so far this season we've only have had seven inches recorded in Milwaukee.

"People have to realize that we make our own snow and the product is great out here," said Schmitz. "Even though it's not white in your backyard, it's white out here."

That's a bonus for Dan Groskopf. He races for the Oconomowoc High School ski team.

"Right now [being a skier in Wisconsin is] not too bad because all the hills have man-made snow," said Groskopf.

The good news for these skiers is that the weekend looks to be just about perfect.