Mild northeast Ohio weather impacting winter sports

CHESTERLAND, Ohio -- While many people welcome a mild winter, others need snowy weather this time of year to keep people employed and to make their livelihood. Ski resorts in the region are cranking up the snow machines to try and just keep slopes open during our lack of true winter weather.

At Alpine Valley Ski Resort in Chesterland people are still showing up thanks to man made snow, but business is always better when people see real snow in their own backyards, because it puts them in the mood for winter fun.

"A lot of people right now are looking out their back windows and they see grass. And they're not shoveling their driveways, so they're not thinking about skiing and snowboarding, but as you can see our slopes at Alpine Valley have snow here," said Tom Conti Public Relations Director for Alpine Valley, Brandywine and Boston Mills Ski Resorts.

Although mild winter weather can hurt snow business, people were still hitting the slopes this weekend to ski, snowboard and for snow tubing.

However, they couldn't make enough snow to keep Brandywine's slopes open.

Meanwhile, Alpine Valley and Boston Mills Ski Resorts are open for business with up to a three foot base of snow from snow machines.

"It is a challenge to remind people we are open for business when the weather is mild," Conti said.

Despite a lack of real snow, Conti remains optimistic that winter will eventually show up in northeast Ohio for winter sports enthusiasts since the slopes stay open until mid to late March.

"People just need to get outside and embrace winter," Conti said.

"I'm from Florida so at Christmas time we had fake snow for the children, but it's nice to come up here where there's been no real snow, but to get some snow on the slopes from snow machines," said Shaun Green.

Lauren Thompson was teaching her three-year-old daughter Ella how to ski and said it's easier for her daughter to learn when the slopes aren't packed with people.

"More snow would be nice, but it's a great day to come out and ski and there's not a huge crowd out here, so it makes it even better, especially when teaching a youngster," Thompson said.

The mild winter weather has been a boost for other businesses too.  Several local golf courses were open Saturday including two of them in Shaker Heights.

More on Alpine Valley Ski Resort, here.

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