New England ski resorts are dreaming of a white Christmas vacation week – what’s typically one of their busiest times of the year.
“Christmas week is huge for us,” said Sunday River spokesperson Sarah Devlin. “Ideally it would be below freezing and pretty dry out.”
But instead of snow, ski resorts are struggling through record-breaking heat. In Newry, Maine, Christmas Eve temperatures hit the 50s. It’s expected to be even warmer on Christmas.
“It’s hot,” said skier Hilla Almog. “The one year I actually bring a ski mask, it’s too hot to wear it.”
Hilla’s father, Doron, said the family from Wayland, Mass. almost cancelled their annual ski trip to Sunday River this year, due to the mild weather. Doron said he was pleasantly surprised to find snow on the mountain, even if it was artificial.
“Just to see the coverage here, we are excited to see what’s on the trails,” he said.
Another family, visiting from Boston, said they also considered cancelling.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t cancel because we booked this in June,” said Elaine Gershman.
“I was worried we would be skiing through flowers or something,” said her daughter, Masha.
Sunday River has been able to open 33 trails, the most terrain out of anywhere in the northeast, according to Devlin. They have been able to make snow about two nights a week.
“It’s been a challenge,” said Devlin. At times, even the overnight lows have been too warm and too humid to turn on the snow guns.
“All the ski resorts have been fighting this challenge,” she said.
While it won’t be a white Christmas in New England, there is supposed to be a turn in the forecast early next week. Temperatures could be in the 30s, and there is the possibility of snow.
“Seeing snow in the forecast makings us feel fabulous,” said Devlin.