Cold Weather, Early Ski Season Great For Some Businesses

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SCRANTON -- On Montage Mountain, the slopes are snow-covered, ready for skiers and snowboarders.

"We've been making a lot of snow over the last eight to 10 days, mountain-wide. We're looking forward to the cold temps coming up this week. It's going to be an exciting thing to get open this early in the season,” said Jeff Slivinski, marketing director for the ski resort.

Last season, the folks at the ski resort in Scranton say it was too warm.

They didn't open until January and that was tough both for folks hoping to hit the slopes and nearby businesses, too.

"We've had our business for 34 years and last year was our worst year ever,” said Lee Ann Mitchell of the nearby Bear Creek Ski Shack.

The hope is that this year is colder, snowier, and better for the bottom lines at nearby shops and hotels.

At Bear Creek Ski Shack, they've already seen a steady stream of customers.

"Everyone is coming in and getting what they need to enjoy their winter! “ said Mitchell.

"It's good! So we can go skiing earlier and yeah. Can't wait!” said Brian Berti of West Wyoming, who stopped in for ski goggles.

In addition to the boost in business, some people we spoke with say these early seasons are better for the sports of skiing and snowboarding.

"The cool thing is it's going to bring a lot more people back to the sport. A lot of people lost a lot of interest because of not having a good winter last year. We didn't start until January. It kind of sucked, but we're getting back into it!" said Kristopher Littleton of Wilkes-Barre.

OPENING DATES FOR SKI RESORTS:

Big Boulder Opened Thanksgiving
Elk Mountain Tuesday, Dec. 13
Blue Mountain Wednesday, Dec. 14
Montage Mountain Wednesday, Dec. 14
Shawnee Mountain Wednesday, Dec. 14
Camelback Mountain Thursday, Dec. 15
Jack Frost Thursday, Dec. 15
Ski Big Bear Saturday, Dec. 17
Ski Sawmill Resort Saturday, Dec. 17