Warm Weather Dampens Winter Sports

By: Lauren McKay
By: Lauren McKay

You've heard of the winter blues, but what if the warm weather is causing them? This weather hasn't been ideal for skiers, snow boarders, or for one local store selling equipment for the slopes. Some folks wait all year for the snow to fall and cold fronts to move in - so when that doesn't happen, stores like function 4 sports in Harrisonburg don't have a lot of business. "The warm weather, we've definitely seen a decrease in traffic. A business like this that is so dependent on mother nature, we have a couple of things up our sleeve to help us get through," says Function 4 Sports President Aaron Ludwig. Including a special sale they've just started that speaks for itself. "We didn't really want to have a 'warm winter sucks sale' going on in the middle of January, but you know, that's just one of the ways we have to deal with it," says Ludwig. Skiers have had to deal with it as well. "We kind of put off our trip a couple of times because of the warm weather and we just figured we'd wait until after Christmas hoping it'd be a little bit colder, and we just kinda chanced it," says Skier Paul Brown from North Carolina. Brown says he's one of very few hitting the slopes. "That's a big thing this year when we got here, we thought it would have been crowded, but the slopes are just about dead, hardly anybody's on the lifts, it's almost like you've got the mountain to yourself," says Brown. "It's what we typically call the January thaw and hopefully it will get over quickly and lead to a cold February and March," says Steven Showalter, ski area operations manager at Massanutten. Ski officials at Massanutten say right now 13 out of 14 slopes are open and sales haven't been affected too much by the season's mild winter.


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