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New Year’s Day is tentative opening day for Marble Mountain ski hill

['GERALDINE BROPHY/THE WESTERN STAR<br />Tony Abbott, operations manager with Marble Mountain, hooks up another snow gun to tow up the mountain Wednesday. The ski facility has 21 snow-making machines, the last three of which was put in place Wednesday.']
Marble Mountain management is aiming for a Jan. 1 opening.

By Dave Kearsey

The Western Star

Seeing snow falling at this time of the year warms Melissa Dwyer’s heart.

Dwyer is the general manager of Marble Mountain ski resort and she’s anxious to get the hill open for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts sooner rather than later.

A batch of snow for the west coast over the past 24 hours was welcome news, but Dwyer said unfortunately there isn’t enough natural snow to open the hill and conditions aren’t right for snowmaking so she’s just keeping an eye on the weather over the holidays.

Ideally, she said, temperatures have to hover in the -6 to -12 range with low humidity for the snow guns to be broken out at the Steady Brook ski resort.

“Right now it’s just a matter of waiting for weather conditions suitable for snowmaking,” Dwyer said.

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The outside operations crew has been busy preparing the hill for opening day with general maintenance, but there won’t be a real beehive of activity on the mountain until the snow guns are fired up.

Mother Nature has the final say in what happens, but Dwyer said Jan. 1 is the tentative opening day.

She said season pass holders were told back in August that Marble management would be shooting for a New Year’s Day opening and she said every effort will be made to meet that date.

She hasn’t fielded a lot of calls about an opening date because there wasn’t a speck of snow around until the west coast got whalloped with its first big dump of the season Thursday, but she expects people will be making enquiries once the opening date has been officially announced.

While she expects to do what she can to bring back some of the regular groups from outside the province who make an annual trek to Marble the focus for the management team this year is to cater to the skiers who call Newfoundland and Labrador home.

“The cost to fly or even take the ferry to Newfoundland is quite high so until we can see better rates coming from the ferry or from the airlines we’re really focusing on our Newfoundland market,” she said.


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