December 9, 3009
It's been a cold start to the month of December, and that's great news for the folks at Wintergreen. Officials say they will be opening this weekend and there is already plenty of snow on the slopes.
This past weekend Wintergreen had six inches of natural snow and has been running the snow guns around the clock until Tuesday.
"4,000 gallons a minute, doing the math we will put 12-inches or 18-inches of snow on all the trailsl we're trying to open without too much trouble. We essentially bury the place," said vice President of Resort Operations, Jay Roberts.
Wintergreen plans to open five slopes for skiing and snowboarding starting at 9am Saturday, December 12. Roberts says that is a fairly average start date.
"Some years we get a little cold air in November, followed by a brief warm up in the beginning of December. What we're seeing is, we didn't get a whole lot of cold in November, we are getting it all in December which is fine with me," said Roberts.
Wintergreen has a $6 million computerized snow-making system that includes 400 snow guns and 45 weather stations. In theory, they could cover a football field with 37-feet of snow in just 24 hours.
"It isn't natural snow, but it is absolutely as close as you can get, and our customers rave about it. They ski other places that haven't made that investment and recognize that we really are the gold standard," said Roberts.
New this year to Wintergreen is an automated rental shop where you can pre-register online. Officials say the new shop helps eliminate paper work and gets you on the slopes faster.