CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A cold front packing a punch and winter storm warnings from the National Weather Service are exactly what ski resort operators in West Virginia have been wanting to hear. The temperatures early in the week rose in to the high 60’s and the snow at some resort had become in such short supply, Timberline and Winterplace suspended operations.
That all changed Thursday when the cold arrived and with it some natural snow Both resorts are restarting operations and all are running at nearly full capacity.
“All the resorts were able to aggressively make snow–and continue to make snow right now,” said Joe Stevens, spokesman for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. “We’re in lots better shape than we were just three or four days ago.”
In addition to the right conditions to make snow, mother nature dumped about eight inches of natural snow on the highest elevations to go along with the new stuff being produced hourly. Stevens said if history holds true, they slopes will be packed again this weekend.
“If they get on a resort’s webcam they can see it snowing and see the conditions,” he explained. “As soon as they hear from the meteorologists in their areas that it’s snowing in the mountains, the phones start to ring.”
All of West Virginia’s resorts invested millions of dollars in recent years into modernized and upgraded snow making machinery. According to Stevens the new equipment can winterize the areas much faster.
“When the temperatures drop the new equipment can make snow much faster,” he explained. “They can recover from a winter thaw like we’ve had much quicker.”