Mount Ashland ski resort is open. Skiers, employees, and even surrounding business rejoicing because the resort not only means a good time, but good news for the economy.
Perhaps the snow was a little icy, but that didn’t seem to matter - Mount Ashland Ski Resort is open early, an important factor to everyone in the area since last year was the worst season in 20 years.
It’s a different world on top of Mount Ashland.
"It’s wonderful to be out, the snow is great, we’ve been skiing all morning and now we’re back out for the afternoon," says Ashland resident Susan Chichester.
Ski and snowboard buddies, families, and new comers alike getting on the slopes for the first day of the season.
"First day is always exciting. There's all this pent up excitement about getting on the ski or snowboard again. Especially after last year, it was pretty rough," comments resort employee Mike Dadaos.
The mountain is now officially open, 4 days ahead of schedule. The resort a big draw for Ashland."
"That’s why I came to this college, it’s like 20 minutes to drive from there to here," says SOU student Skyler Munson.
"Mount Ashland has a big role in local economy," continues Dadaos, "We employ 140 people... all those folks earning their income here and spending their money."
And essentially for every person on a lift it’s an extra 63 dollars for the resort. Each paying up to 43 dollars for a day pass, plus most spend an extra 20.
Not to mention the symbiotic relationship the ski resort takes on with local hotels and restaurants. "When the ski is open we get people from out of town, we look forward to that," says Callahan's co-owner Ronald Bergquist.
"I’m happy to see it’s a full parking lot," continues Chichester.
And while revenue totals are not out yet for opening day, if a packed parking lot is any indicator, this year things are looking bright on top of Mount Ashland.
The resort is open 5 days a week until December 20th.
For more information you can go to the ski resort's website: http://www.mtashland.com/