April 4, 2013
Wintergreen is making history by opening up in full operation on Saturday extending the season later than ever.
"We're gonna open for a celebration of spring skiing that Virginia has never seen before," said Hank Thiess, Wintergreen's General Manager.
"We're not just operating, we're in virtual 100% operation. We'll have 2 or 3 trails out of 26 that won't be available but 80 or 90% of our terrain is open and as you can see, its not open in minimal coverage we have lots of snow."
There's about six or more feet of snow on most of the mountain and Thiess says he and his team saw this coming.
"We felt that it was going to remain cool and that our snow would be here and more than just minimal amount but a lot of snow," he said.
Wintergreen employees and snow-lovers aren't the only ones who are excited about the spring skiing, Andy Hickman runs the convenience store at the Exxon gas station right at the foot of the mountain.
"We're hoping for real spring skiing people will be out in shorts skiing, so we'll see we're hoping for a big crowd," Hickman said.
Between March and May, when the resort is usually closed, it's a slow time but this year, since it's stayed open sales have gone up 23% from last year.
"The ski season extended it's put more customers on the road and helped us out. We're hoping for real spring skiing people will be out in shorts skiing, so we'll see we're hoping for a big crowd" he said.
Pools are just opening up for the spring and summer but that isn't stopping Wintergreen from making one last shred down the mountain for 2013.
Lift tickets on Saturday will be $25 and a lift ticket plus rental gear will be $50.