Ski centers struggling to bring people to the slopes

Warm weather hurting the bottom line

FAYETTEVILLE (WSYR-TV) - At Four Seasons Ski Center an underwhelming winter has meant lower turnout on the slopes.

"We got going before Christmas, but then we went through January where there was no natural snow to speak of," says Bill Hane, the Operations Manager at Four Seasons.

Hane is usually in charge of keeping the slopes in perfect shape for skiers, but the combination of three straight days of record breaking temperatures and rain have made that nearly impossible. 

Only patches of snow spot the hill where skiers would typically make their runs; water pooling at the base of the slopes.

They've had to cut back on staff to keep things cost effective. On Saturday, they even shutdown for the day.

"You adjust accordingly. You may not have as many lifts open and you may not run as many hours," says Hane.

Hane says turnout is about 25% lower this season.

"The problem is that when people don't see snow in their backyards, they think that we don't have snow," says Hane.

Workers are making the most of the situation, using whatever snow they have, however they can.  

With another week of warmth still ahead, Hane says he may have to decide to close up shop for the season or hold out for a late season cool down. He's not ready to commit just yet.

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