Mt. Ashland opens for the season

Ashland, Ore.- Whether you’ve been skiing for a few years or for decades, opening day on the mountain is exciting.

“I haven’t been happier than this in a very long time,” Hiram Towle, Mt. Ashland general manager said.

Hundreds of people hit the hill Friday morning after a slow start to the season.

“We waited until Mother Nature kicked in and she finally delivered,” he said. “We’ve got really good snowpack out there right now.”

Like many, crews were upset it took so long.

“Yeah everybody is relieved especially our skiers and our crew, I mean we’ve been holding on bringing people in because we weren’t open,” Towle said.

But even with the late start, workers say skiers and snowboarders with season tickets can still get their money’s worth.

“It is taking a little bit of risk obviously,” he said. “For example this year we opened late but the fact is it’s a discounted program essentially. You only need to go six or seven times to pay down what you paid for a pass.”

The ski area hopes to stay open as long as it can.

“We generally close… around April 15 and this year depending on the snow and depending on business levels, we’ll push the season as far as we can so people get the best value we can give them,” Towle said.

Only two lifts were open Friday. The mountain hopes to have the others running by the end of the weekend. Until then lift tickets will be offered at a discounted rate.

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