Ski Season Kicks Off in the Poconos

SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- It's a day many people in the Poconos have been waiting for: the first day of ski season.

Dozens of people hit the slopes at Shawnee Mountain Ski Resort near Marshalls Creek.

"We are finally hitting slopes! We have been watching the snowfall for the last couple weeks and have been praying that they open up soon. We are glad we didn't have to wait until January. That's for sure," said Elizabeth Barcellona of Bushkill.

Anthony Barcellona from Bushkill hasn't been able to ski for almost two years. Last year's mild winter put a damper on his favorite winter sport.

"It feels really good. It's about time to get back on the mountain, you know. It's good conditions. It's not bad. It's been pretty cold lately, so it's working out pretty well," said Anthony Barcellona.

Right now, Shawnee Mountain Ski Resort only has two of its 23 slopes open, but the hope is for that to change soon.

With freezing temperatures expected over the next few days, the snow guns will be blowing and what a difference a few days can make.

"We are prepared for that colder weather, and I mean it's what you expect when you come up here," said Elizabeth Barcellona.

"It's going to be exciting because, by the weekend, you can't believe the different we have overnight, so we can have more trails open in 24 hours," said Robin Manfredi.

Manfredi is a program director at the resort. She's thrilled to see ski and snowboarding enthusiasts back on the mountain.

"You've got to remember what we are coming off of from last year. So it doubles the excitement. It's almost like getting up on Christmas morning," said Manfredi.

In addition to Shawnee, Camelback Mountain Ski Resort and Jack Frost Big Boulder are also expected to open this week. Montage Mountain in Scranton opened Wednesday as well.

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