Snow on the slopes at Swiss Valley
JONES, Mich. – Snow poured down onto the slopes at the Swiss Valley Ski and Snowboard Area on Monday.
“I can’t even tell you how happy we were.”Marketing Director Jamie Stafne said as snowflakes danced and swirled around her. “It’s wonderful to see things white again.”
From the sky down to the bottom of the slopes, it was all white, the winter wonderland the people at Swiss Valley have been waiting for.
“Mother Nature was getting a little stingy with us,” Stafne said, “But today she opened right up she gave us the temps and the natural snow.”
Now only did flakes fall from the sky for hours, Swiss Valley made even more snow. Snow guns shot tiny, cold, white blobs glistened through to air, blanketing the manufactured snow up and down the slopes.
Stafne said it was finally cold enough to make the white powder, “We take water and break into small particles and with the right temperature and humidity the hang time allows it to freeze before it hits the ground.”
By the time it lands, it is snow. Stafne said most if not all of the ski and snowboard areas in the Midwest have to make their own snow. What the snow guns shoot out is not as fluffy as the real stuff, which is actually better for skiers and snowboarders.
Enough fluff did fall from the sky, but Stafne said they’re waiting to open up the slopes. The plan is to build a bit of an insurance policy, get a three foot cushion of snow of the ground, a base for the rest of the season.
“That will allow us to stay open even if it gets a little warmer,” Stafne said. Swiss Valley usually stays open until Mid-March which means they need to keep snow on the ground for the next two months.
Stafne said they want to make up for for lost revenue, “It’s been lonely out here.” With no snow, Swiss Valley has had no business and no customers yet. “This is the latest we’ve opened since the 1970’s,” Stafne said.
The warm temperature delayed the ski and snow board area from opening for more than a month, but now Swiss Valley is almost ready to go.
The three foot base should pile up in the next two or three days, Stafne said Swiss Valley should be open by Thursday or Friday.
“It’s a relief,” Stafne said. “We’re so ecstatic, winter is finally here.”