ASHLAND, Ore. - This Mt Ashland Ski Lodge is being completely rearranged to make room for the more than 80,000 visitors expected to walk through the doors this winter. Construction workers are racing towards the start of the snow season to finish renovations by December 9th.
General Manager Hiram Towle says, "It's always a race against mother nature and time to get the ski area open on time."
Snow enthusiasts are wondering if they'll get to throw on skis for Thanksgiving weekend. NewsWatch12 asked if this week's snow forecast could push the grand opening date two weeks early.
Towle says, "When the snow really starts to pile up we'll always push open early. We were able to open up earlier than our projected date last year but will have to see."
Mt Ashland Ski Area is asking folks to be careful if they use the slopes before the area officially opens in December.
Towle says, "We've had a lot of people up here sledding, people have even come up here hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. Just to be aware that until we open we don't have patrols out on the slopes to keep people safe, we don't necessarily have the level of plowing that happens in the parking lot. Drifts can build in the parking lot to over the tops of your car in a hurry up here because of the wind in the amount of snow, so just a cautionary note that although we really appreciate people coming up and playing in the snow because that's what we're all about just be careful until we open."
1,000 square feet are being added to the lodge by enclosing two decks and relocating the rental shop to be closer to the bunny slopes.
After two busy years, Mt Ashland had enough cash to combine with a half a million dollar donation to finish the $1.7 million dollar renovation.