Snowfalll Means Big Bucks

By: Mary Pulley Email
By: Mary Pulley Email

Thursday's snowfall meant cancellations and even some business closings,
but at least one business in the Valley was grateful for the snow. The ski slopes at Massanutten Resort were filled with people, which made for some very busy cash registers in the area.

"It's a big boost. This snow is the advertising you just can't buy," says Steven Showalter, the ski area manager at the Four Season Resort.

He says the snowfall, which was the most seen so far this winter, has meant big profits for the resort.

Showalter says, "Every time we get a natural snow, that's probably worth about a quarter of a million of dollars in revenue, because you may have a lot of slopes open, but it really takes a natural snow to get people really in the mood to go skiing or snowboarding."

Skier Carla Martin made her first visit to the resort Thursday. She says she was waiting for a day like Thursday to visit.

"The conditions were great. It's cold. It snowed, and we wanted a fresh packed powder," says Martin.

The resort counts on visitors coming for that kind of fresh-packed snow in order to make up for revenue lost earlier in the season.

"This year was a tough start. We started early, but the Christmas temperatures and the Christmas weather just wasn't conducive to lots of snow-making hours," says Showalter.

On average, the ski area sees around 500 visitors to ski or snowboard on the powdered snow, but Showalter says he's excited that on Thursday alone, that number doubled.

The resort has gone from just three slopes open to nine open slopes since last week when the temperature first started to drop. With the possibility of more snow on the way, the resort says it's looking to make another $250,000.


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