NJ ski slopes sweat out the unseasonably warm weather
The folks who run ski slopes in New Jersey are praying for Mother Nature to realize it's the end of December.
Business at the slopes has been poor to nonexistent so far, thanks to above-average temperatures and hardly a hint of wintry accumulation.
"It's a total bummer," said Tony Rinaldi, director of daily operations at Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah.
The site is bringing in no money, obviously, but the worst part, Rinaldi said, is the fact they can't bring their employees in to work and actually get paid.
"They're relying on that money to survive," he said. "There's an effect on everybody."
The hope at Campgaw is that the current weather forecast holds steady and the state experiences a long run of low temperatures at night.
Temperatures in the range of 27-28 degrees are ideal for making snow, Rinaldi said. The mountain has 27 snow guns on site, eight of which are brand new.
The sweet spot is 26 degrees and below for Mountain Creek in Vernon.
"As long as the temperatures are cold enough and the moisture works in our favor, we can make snow even if it's not falling from the sky," said Sara Hazen, Mountain Creek's director of marketing and sales.
According to Hazen, the resort would ideally have had some form of opening already, but the staff has grown used to unusual weather patterns - milder temperatures at the end of the year, followed by a full-force burst of winter in January.
"Winter is coming, it's just a matter of when," she said.
November and December of 2014 offered warmer-than-average temperatures as well, and months later, Mountain Creek was handling record crowds.