Warm Weather Impacting Ski Areas

The rain and warm air are putting a damper on business at New England ski resorts during what's usually one of the busiest weeks of the year.

The rain is putting a damper on business at New England ski resorts during what's usually one of the busiest weeks of the year.

At Pat's Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire, on Christmas Eve, there were no lines, empty chairs and plenty of room on the racks.

"There's nobody here," said Henniker resident McCauley Campbell.

It's because of the rainstorm that's kicking off the nearly two-week long Christmas vacation.

"Obviously, the weather is keeping the crowds away today," said Pat's Peak General Manager Kris Blomback.

But the mountain remains open to anyone who isn't afraid of a getting wet.

"There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing," said Henniker resident and skier Amy Patenaude Gunn.

"Snowboarding is awesome," said Ryan Guidaboni of Nashua. "If it's raining, oh well!"

About a half hour southeast in Manchester, McIntyre Ski Area shut down until Friday because of the rain.

"We opted to close to save the snow for after Christmas so everyone can take their new skis and snowboards out and enjoy it," said McIntyre Vice President Ross Boisvert.

Despite what it looks like right now, Boisvert says season ticket sales are up.

"The Thanksgiving storm certainly got it in everyone's mind," he said.

And that November nor'easter is why Pat's Peak was able to open three weeks early, making this rainstorm hurt just little bit less.

"If you look at the grand score card, we are still ahead of the game," Blomback said. "This is New England after all so this kind of weather is going to happen."

And skiers say there's an upside to it.

"Last year, we were here and we couldn't even park," said Bradford resident Ed Otto who was carrying out a long-time family tradition of skiing on Christmas Eve with his son, who is now 28 years old.

"There's nobody really in your way," said Henniker resident Reece Masters.

And those are perfect conditions especially if you're just learning to ride, like little Ethan Sanders who is in town from Georgia.
"He's going to have the whole mountain to himself it looks like," said his dad Scott Sanders.

It's proof that here in the Granite State, it'll take a lot more than rain to dampen the holiday spirit.

"Merry Christmas we are happy to be on the slopes," said Patenaude Gunn.

Because of the rain, Pat's Peak delayed the opening of six trails. Blomback says as soon as the weather moves through, those trails will open, which means 24 or 28 trails will be groomed and ready just in time for the weekend rush.

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