Weather Finally Cooperates as Winterplace Ski Resort Opens

By: Alex Snyder Email
By: Alex Snyder Email

RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Snow may be rather scarce this month, but after weeks of anticipation, skiers and snowboarders no longer have to wait.

Winterplace resort near Beckley held it's opening day Sunday.

Last week, Michael DeHart brought his family up from Tennessee, but until Sunday all they could do was wait.

"We've been here for two days waiting for the snow -- so, it's been a long two days," said skier Michael DeHart.

So far, Mother Nature has been putting the winter fun on hold.

"It's just the weather hasn't been very cooperative. I mean, we had some good snowmaking right after Thanksgiving and then the weather kind of turned sour on us," Tom Peterson of the Winterplace management team said.

Winterplace was hoping to open in early December, but the lack of snow put a damper on that and potentially on the ski resort’s bottom line.

"Couldn't come any sooner -- I mean, we normally try to open a little bit earlier -- but, at least we're open earlier than we did last year," Peterson said.

With hope in the air, workers fired up their 88 snowmaking guns, anticipating what they hope leads to a post-holiday influx of skiers and boarders.

"It definitely gets people psyched up to come later on in December when most people come out -- and it helps us kind of, operationally, work out all the bugs," Peterson said.

Some people didn’t want to wait and were ready and hitting the trails on a long awaited opening day.

"It's great, I mean we were chomping at the bit last night looking out over the slopes waiting to get out here," DeHart said.

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