Ski resorts delay openings due to lack of snow, inconsistent temperatures

Warm temperatures and the lack of significant snow are forcing ski resorts to delay their openings. 

In Colorado, Steamboat Ski Resort, originally scheduled to open this weekend, postponed its opening by one week to November 27. The resort says they haven’t been able to keep up with the snowmaking due to the inconsistent temperatures and lack of snow. 

"Normally, this time of year, we’ve had more than 20 inches of snowfall, a 10–20-inch mid-mountain base and 200 hours of snowmaking under our belt. This year we haven’t been able to capitalize on extended snowmaking temperatures and windows, with only 8 hours of total snowmaking.," said Dave Hunter, vice president of resort operations for Steamboat Ski Resort. "While our mountain crews have done an incredible job of pulling every magic trick out of their hats, reality is that our slopes are not ready to welcome skiers and riders this weekend."

And just like in the northern Colorado Rockies, Telluride Ski Resort, located in southwest Colorado, is also delaying its opening due to inconsistent temperatures, so they can safely open a week later. 

"This happens every few years or so, and we just take it day by day. We push as hard as we can, and we are making as much snow as possible so that we can be ready by December 3," said Scott Pittenger, Director of Mountain Operations for Telluride. 

Thanks to a pattern change with colder and more consistent temperatures, Purgatory Resort only had to push their opening only by a day. 

We’re making the best of early-season conditions," said Dave Rathbun, general manager with Purgatory. "This week, Mother Nature delivered the right combination of sustained cold temperatures and low humidity for consistent snowmaking. We were able to blow snow for 16 hours last night, and the forecast is in our favor. We will continue making snow every chance we can through the holiday week." 

And Colorado resorts are not alone. Popular resorts in the West have also pressed pause. 

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, a third of Utah’s 15 resorts hoped to open by this weekend, but none anticipated to be open by November 23.

In Tahoe, California, Heavenly and Northstar said that they too would not be able to open this week as planned. 

"While we were hoping to ski and ride with you this weekend, Mother Nature had other plans with some warmer temps. We work hard every year to meet our targeted opening dates, but we’ll be pushing back just a bit this year," the statement said on Twitter

If you had plans to visit Jackson Hole Mountain Resort the weekend of Thanksgiving, you’re in luck. The area looks to receive plenty of snow by the end of the weekend.