Ski slopes still open, hoping for cold weather

BLOWING ROCK, NC (WBTV) – The North Carolina ski industry is hanging on despite above average temperatures for most of the month of December.

The snow pack on the slopes is shrinking as the traditional busiest week of the year approaches.

"We are hoping for cold weather and soon," said Brad Moretz of Appalachian Ski Mountain.

The resort was still open on Thursday with the main slope and one side slope open but others were shut down for lack of snow. "We're having a blast," said one snowboarder after a run down the mountain.

Conditions were wet and icy but a moderate crowd was there. The temperature was 57 degrees at two o'clock in the afternoon with forecasts not expecting the temperature to drop significantly overnight.

Freezing temperatures or below are needed for snowmaking.

Some colder weather is on the way. Officials hope to be making snow Christmas night but after that, they are unsure of what will come.

They hope to make enough snow to keep the business going until a major cold snap comes in.

With the warm weather affecting slope conditions and business, it means many workers in the ski industry are not getting the hours they expected.

Hannah Roth, who works in the main office, said she expected to get 40 hours a week but has only been getting 30 or 35. "It's tough when you have bills to pay," she said.

Officials are hoping to get everyone back to work when the weather turns cold.