Frigid winter couldn’t dampen region’s skiers

Frigid winter couldn’t dampen region’s skiers

As appeared in Standard-Speaker by Jon O’Connell on March 27, 2015.

Skiers like the cold, generally speaking, but too much of it could keep them indoors.

A skier waits at the top of the Limited trail as wind and snow blow past at Montage Mountain in Scranton on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer


With the 2014-15 skiing season wrapping up, Elk Mountain marketing director Bob DeLuca said overall it was a success, but the near record-breaking cold last month kept away some skiers and snowboarders.

“When it was bitter cold, I don’t think people were doing much of anything — including skiing,” DeLuca said. “Overall, I don’t think we did badly.”

Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Lake Harmony are keeping the ski season going through Easter, and possibly longer, depending on conditions. Operations were suspended this week due to rain, but will resume today, and colder temperatures this weekend should make for great groomed trails, according to the resorts’ website.

Two other ski resorts, Eagle Rock Resort and Montage Mountain saw their last day of operation for the season on Sunday.

Charles Jefferson, part owner of Montage Mountain, said Presidents Day weekend — most ski resorts’ “bread and butter” — was one of the coldest of the season, which left the mountain all but barren.

While he blamed the cold, the hype around it made matters worse, Jefferson said.

“The single digits don’t bode well for the outdoor recreation industry. I think that weather forecasts don’t help us either,” he said. “Outdoor businesses in particular are vulnerable to conditions, but we’re more vulnerable to the forecasts.”

Jefferson said he had “mixed emotions” about ending the season with a few good cold days left in the forecast, but resolved that this season was about as good as last year.

Elk Mountain in Susquehanna County will open for two final days today and Saturday, giving skiers a little more time to get in a few more runs.

With 40 to 60 inches of base layer down on most trails, “conditions are awesome,” DeLuca said.

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