Mount Holly resort opens early to skiers, snowboarders - WNEM TV 5

Mount Holly resort opens early to skiers, snowboarders

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It’s certainly feeling like winter now with temperatures flirting with freezing this weekend.

That means staying inside in the warmth, but for others, it’s time to start the winter sports.

Several ski resorts here in Mid-Michigan started their season early.

“The weather in Michigan said it was time,” said Mark Tibitts, the general manager at the Mount Holly resort.

It’s time to hit the slopes and we don’t have to wait for the official start of winter to do so.

“This may very well be the earliest opening ever here at Mount Holly Ski resort in its 61 years,” Tibitts said.

Tibitts has been running the ski resort for more than 40 years and this is the earliest he’s ever opened the slopes.

Thanks to Michigan’s low temperatures this November, crews were able to operate 85 snow machines to coat some of Mount Holly’s trails.

“We have a startup of 28 degrees, that’s generally our mark,” Tibitts said.

Mount Holly spends nearly $6,000 dollars every 12 hours running show machines. In total it costs $18,000 to open early, something Tibitts said is well worth it.

“If we feel that skiers are ready to go and it’s looking like it’s getting close to winter, why not give it a try,” Tibitts said.

At Mount Holly, they say as long as the skiers and the snowboarders keep showing up they’ll keep making the snow.

Once the word was out, hundreds of skiers and snowboarders jumped on the lifts to dust off their skills.

They were happy to get an early crack at it.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Joey Course, a snowboarder. “I’m really excited to go again because I’ve been waiting for it all year.”

“It’s pretty cool to get out early and hit it,” said Shane Campbell, a snowboarder.

While Mount Holly is showing off their slopes for a couple early weekends they say rain and warm-ups in temperatures could keep them closed for the weekdays.

“We’ll stay down and we won’t open but the base that we’ve got out here is a very durable base,” Tibitts said.

Tibitts said if you missed this weekend’s fun there’s still a chance for you to get a jump start.

“We’ll go for another weekend and hopefully at some point in time winter will be here to stay and off we go,” Tibitts said.

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