GHENT, W.Va. — The temperatures are expected to climb back to average winter-like around the state this weekend and the ski resorts are ready to welcome all because of it this Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

West Virginia ski officials held a press conference on Tuesday to speak on the facts that despite the warm weather recently, ski resorts remain in good shape and unveiled a few new programs.

Terry Pfeiffer, the President of the West Virginia Ski Areas Association and President of Winterplace Ski Resort said the snow grooming teams are ready to go.

“Every resort in this state has invested millions and millions of dollars in their snowmaking system. We have automation that runs a lot of our snow guns,” Pfeiffer said.

Because of the technology, Pfeiffer said the recovery time for making snow is much faster and has helped through the weather conditions.

“It would literally take us three to four hours to get us the full snowmaking compacity here at Winterplace,” he said of the old technology. “With the new technology that we invested in, it takes us about a half-hour to get up to full snowmaking capacity.”

The Ski Areas Association also introduced a state Passport Program in an attempt to attract younger skiers and snowboarders to the mountain state’s slopes, according to a release. The program has been implemented to 4th and 5th-grade students.

According to a release, it allows the students to ski and snowboard on 11 occasions and take a lesson at the resort of their choice. The cost of the program has only been $25 and nearly 500 passports have been purchased.

Pfeiffer said it opens up opportunities for out of state kids to come here and always remember it.

“We all here in West Virginia want to create lifelong skiers and snowboarders,” he said. “We want them to come back to our state again and again. This is not a one time deal.”

To find out more about West Virginia winter sports programs go to www.goskiwv.com and click on a resort link or resort cam.