ASHLAND, Ore. -- It's all white up on Mt. Ashland, just the way General Manager Hiram Towle and the rest of the Ski Area's employees like it.
"It's wonderful. The snow [showed] up just in time. We had 14 inches fall up here in the last storm cycle. We have a good looking forecast from here through the weekend so it's looking good but we never know what Mother Nature is going to deliver. We’ll just keep crossing our fingers and doing our snow dances and be ready to open," said Towle.
They spent today getting ready for this weekend's snow stomp party and hopefully an opening day next week. Towle said employees have actually moved up the projected start date. They typically shoot for the second Saturday in December.
“We were committed and ready for Thanksgiving if that's when it came. Those early openings are a challenge but we want to prove to the community that we're wanting to get them on snow the first minute that it's possible," added Towle.
Last year's season was completely different. Towle said the season lasted about 48 days, that's a little more than half of the typical season. The Ski Area didn't lose any money. It actually put some money in the bank. But last year's opening day was a soft opening toward the end of January.
"We just ran really lean. We try to save as much money as we can when we're going through those rough times. We staffed down. That's one of the hardest parts for me, not being able to give these amazing employees that we have work. But it’s all up to Mother Nature."
So far, Towle says she's cooperating. Just like last year, the ski area will have about 130 employees. All hoping to be up on the mountain on the projected opening day, Saturday, December 8th.
You can head up to the Ski Area on Saturday, December 1st for the annual Snow Stomp Party from 2-5pm at no cost.
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