ZANESFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – At Mad River Mountain, skiers and snowboarders have been waiting weeks for opening day to come. Officials say it was the right combination of cooler temperatures and snow producing weather that made today possible.
For many people, today was their first time hitting the slopes the season. Skier Angela Thompson says–while it was long over due–it was well worth the wait.
“It was great,” Thompson said. “Sometimes they open right after Thanksgiving. So we’ve been waiting a while so it was great.”
Mad River Mountain Marketing Manager Mike Mihnovets says opening this late in the season wasn’t the most ideal.
“We always want to be open before Christmas,” Mihnovets said. “We always plan accordingly to be open the first or second weekend of December.”
But this year, the unusually warmer temperatures made opening on time impossible.
“Snow-making wise, we can’t make snow if it’s not a wet bulb of 28 degrees,” Mihnovets said. “So you either have to rely on natural snow or man-made snow.”
Once the temperatures dropped, Mihnovets says they wasted no time producing fresh snow.
“We’re ready,” Mihnovets said. “We’re ready to go. We just wanted to get open. That was the goal just to give the people of Ohio something to ski. We’ve been waiting long enough. We wanted to open today and we made it happen.”
Currently, Mad River Mountain is the only ski resort in Ohio that’s opened for the season. Mihnovets says being the first to open is an accomplishment that means alot considering the challenges they faced having to rebuild the ski lodge after it was destroyed in a fire back in September.
“With all that we’ve had to deal with this pre-season. With the temporary structures being built. It was just a lot of pressure off your chest to open and get everyone out here,” Mihnovets said. “There’s a lot of smiling faces. Everyone’s just glad they’re skiing and snowboarding right now.”