Ski hills already making first 'snow' of season
KEWASKUM - Fall is a time of the year for fall colors and raking but TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka actually geared up to go snowboarding in October. “We love it! This is Wisconsin, the weather can change, any time and it changed last night, we got down below 28 degrees and were able to fire up our snowguns and start making some snow,” Sunburst General Manager Steve Voss tells Ritka.
Sunburst Winter Sports Park workers were as busy as elves late last night as the arctic air invaded. “There's probably 6-8 inches underneath in the bigger piles over there, most of which will melt in the sun today but it's enough to slide on, that's all it takes,” Voss explains.
So despite the fall colors surrounding the hill, snow pup “Copper Mountain” and Ritka made the first tracks in the fresh snow, “A little difficult in October. I think I got more snow on top of the board than under it,” Ritka laughs.
And while most of the newly made snow will melt away, there is a purpose to making it Voss explains,“Testing our new equipment, our pipelines, we do it every year but this is a little earlier than usual.”
So early that Sunburst is still hiring for the snow season, a process they may need to speed up. “There is pent up energy waiting to get on the hill,” Voss exclaims, “If we can get enough tests in that we can get open for a couple hours on Saturday, we'd be more than happy to.”
When they do open, you’ll notice some changes: 14 new permanent snow guns on the tubing his, a Starbucks and sandwich shop to be named “Freshies” and an expanded tubing hill. Improvements that are sure to lift snow-lovers spirits.
“You live in Wisconin... get out and enjoy it!” Voss exlaims. The conditions are a little less than ideal, Ritka reports, but then again it is October. And if the weather stays this cold, ski hills may possibly be looking at an extended snow season, in which Sunburst will have the time to do some grooming.