Warmer weather not slowing down ski season - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Warmer weather not slowing down ski season

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Temperatures hit the upper 50's atop Sugar Mountain on Thursday with even warmer temperatures possible on Friday. Still, the slopes were getting crowded as the holiday rush got underway.

Many skiers said despite a lack of powder on the surface, conditions were close to perfect.

The next two weeks are traditionally the busiest two-week periods in the  North Carolina Ski Industry. Vacationers from across the southeast head to the mountains for the holidays.

It means a big boost to the economy if the ski slopes are in shape to attract people.

"The better the weather, the more they will open their pocketbooks to us," said Bill Leonard at the SkiCountry shop across from Sugar Mountain.

By "better" he means colder. Forecasters say he likely will get his wish and that the current warm up is not going to last very long.

Some rain could move into the area over the weekend, but not enough to wash the snow off the slopes and by Monday it should be cold enough for the snow guns to be turned on again.

Frigid temperatures in November and continued sub-freezing nights have made it possible to put down a solid base at all ski resorts this fall. "We have several feet in some places," said one Sugar Mountain worker.

Many hope that will be enough to withstand any major changes in the weather. The slopes are hoping to stay open continuously until mid March.

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