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Business & Economy

Central Ohio ski resorts not yet open as region deals with warmer winter temperatures

Cross-country skiers slide past the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl during an Ishpeming Ski Club practice in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 3, 2021. Many of those who ski jump also cross-country ski. The Olympic winter sport Nordic Combined integrates the two sports of ski jumping and cross-country skiing.
Nic Antaya
Cross-country skiers slide past the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl during an Ishpeming Ski Club practice in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 3, 2021. Many of those who ski jump also cross-country ski. The Olympic winter sport Nordic Combined integrates the two sports of ski jumping and cross-country skiing.

Many ski resorts are not open as central Ohio deals with warmer winter temperatures and a lack of significant snowfall.

Vail Resorts' Mad River Mountain near Zanesville is one of the resorts that has yet to open its slopes to skiers and snowboarders this winter. Snow Trails in Mansfield is also not open after initially opening briefly earlier this month.

Vail Resorts spokesperson Pamela Hoye said the company usually want its Ohio resorts to be open during the holiday break, but typical openings usually happen between late December and early January. Hoye said it takes about four to five days once weather conditions are right to get enough snow made and on the ground to open at least some parts of Mad River.

"The team at Mad River is ready. It's like the snow guns have been tested. We have been making snow and we have the staff in place. We have all the components. We just need Mother Nature to kick in," Hoye said.

Hoye said the moment conditions are right, the team can start blasting the snow guns to get the slopes ready, but there is not a set date yet. She said weather forecasts do look promising for early to mid-January.

"If we have the conditions that we need and we're making snow around the clock, we can get the resort to a really good spot within four or five days," Hoye said.

Vail-owned resorts in northeast Ohio have opened for the season, including Boston Mills Brandywine in Peninsula. Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg near Cincinnati is also open with limited terrain.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.