EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) –The recent winter blast is good news for skiers and snowboarders who are itching to hit the slopes.
If conditions continue, Willamette Pass managers say they could open a week from Friday.
There are already a few inches of snow up at Willamette Pass ski area, and if it continues as forecasted, ski resorts will be in good shape. Mountain manager Isreal Fuller says they need just about three feet of snow to open.
If they get a couple of feet over the weekend and another foot by next week, he says they could be up and running by Thanksgiving weekend. Fuller says when a ski resort opens in November, it's always a good thing. “It gets us open before Christmas break and gets all the employees trained up and just gets a buzz going. If we open a little later sometimes it kinda lulls out for our Christmas break, so the earlier the better for sure,” says Fuller.
Right now, he says they’re aiming for an opening day of Friday, November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving. Last year they were able to open about the same time, and it ended up being a good ski season overall. There was a little down time in January but then the snow came back, and stuck around late into spring.
Willamette ski lifts were operating last year until April, then reopened for Father's Day in June because of the late snow. In July, they still had more than 10 feet of snow on the back side of the mountain.