Warm Up Halts Ski Season

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SCRANTON -- The week of Christmas is usually a big kick-off for the ski season in our area. The cold start to December meant an early ski season. But this weekend, it came to a screeching halt.

A ski resort in Lackawanna County closed early Monday because of the warm weather.

Montage's mountainside in Scranton, which is usually snow-covered this time in December, instead looks like it would in mid-March. The terrain is more mud than snow after the weekend warm up, prompting Montage Mountain managers to call it quits early Monday afternoon.

Few people were on the slopes to begin with, but the Subramayan family who came from Maryland to ski and snow tube had to be turned away.

"This is not the usual weather I expected in the Poconos around this time of the year. I was looking forward to lots of snow and doing some skiing. But that's ok, we are enjoying it," Vasanth Subramayan of Columbia, MD said.

Workers at Montage tried to see the bright side too. They stayed open for a few folks to pick up season passes and gift certificates. They hope the heat wave will end in time to start making more snow and reopen the day after Christmas.

"Everybody's on call, we'll be making snow. The weather looks great the next three days, we will be making snow around the clock even on Christmas, [we] expect to be 100 percent open on the 26th in time for everyone who's on break," said Montage's General Manager Mark Verrastro.

The cold weather at the beginning of the month gave the crews here a head start, so they thought they would have Christmas Day off. But now they'll be working Christmas Day blowing snow because December 26th is typically one of their biggest days of the year.

"Weather is always nerve-wracking, but this is our job, this is what we're all about," Verrastro added.