BEECH MOUNTAIN, NC (WBTV) – People working at
North Carolina Ski Resorts say they need the weather to
turn cold to get people working and people skiing.
At Beech Mountain Resort the snow guns are in place and all the other equipment is being readied for the season.
"All we need is cold now," said Gil Adams. Beech Mountain will hire about 400 seasonal workers; other slopes will be adding similar numbers to their work force in the coming weeks.
"It pays the bills," said Steve Potter, who heads up the rental area of the ski resort. He's hoping for colder weather too so he can get people working. "If you ain't got the right weather you have to lay people off."
Economists say the ski industry in North Carolina pumps close to 150 million dollars a year into the economy.
Tourists spend money at the slopes, shops, restaurants and lodging establishments. The past two ski seasons have been near records for the industry.
The season started early both years and continued well into March. In 2010, some slopes were open before the second week of November.
This year, officials aren't sure when the opening day will be. Forecasters expect a cold front to come through the area this weekend but also expect a rapid warm-up into the middle of next week.
"We need 36 to 48 hours of below freezing weather to get the slopes in shape," said Adams. Beech Mountain Resort has added ten new state of the art snow guns for this season.
Other resorts have added equipment as well.
The goal for many right now is to open by thanksgiving, though officials say there have been many profitable seasons in the past when opening day was later than that.
The key will be staying open once the season starts.
Story By WBTV