Mild Winter, Fewer Crowds

The mild winter is not only impacting ski areas in the Poconos, it’s also affecting surrounding businesses that depend on snow.

Snow covers most of Alpine Mountain Ski Area, with nearly all of the trails open, but there is one problem.  There aren’t many skiers or snowboarders using those trails.

“Snow quality is fine but I think it’s more in the perception that people have that would be traveling here to go skiing. They look out the window, look at the temperature gauge and it’s reading 50 degrees.  Golf courses are open and skiing has become an afterthought,” said Scott Matthews, general manager of Alpine Mountain Ski Area.

He added the ski area near Canadensis, is still making snow, but due to the mild winter, Matthews has also had to make some tough decisions.

“We’ve had to close a couple days that we ordinarily would have stayed open. That was something we didn’t want to do, but had to do. We had to lay off some of the staff, cut back some hours, things like that,” said Matthews.

The mild winter is also affecting other local businesses that depend on natural snow.  One of those businesses is just outside the ski area, called The Canadensis Country Store and Deli.

“As far as Alpine right up the road. We don’t have as many skiers, especially on the weekend. The weekends are where it’s really hurting us,”  said manager Chris Dyda.

He added during the week business is actually good at the store and it’s making up for the slow weekends.

“It seems without the snow we get a lot of construction workers and stuff. They’re working right now, in February.  I was just golfing Wednesday,” said Dyda

“It really is okay to come skiing. Conditions are really great. Just because there is no snow in your backyard doesn’t mean we can’t do it here,” said Matthews.

Alpine Mountain Ski Area is only open Friday through Sunday and closed the rest of the week due to the mild winter.

As for other ski areas, they too had to make some adjustments.

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