Mansfield resort starts making snow, earliest in its history

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MANSFIELD, Ohio (WJW) - While some might be cursing the early season winter-like temperatures, at the Snow Trails Ski Resort in Mansfield they are celebrating.

Late Thursday, the family-owned resort started making snow. It is the earliest they have ever been able to do that in the history of the resort.

"We waited on the temperatures. Probably about 9:30 last night we were able to turn the guns on and were able to go for about eight hours here and got, you can see behind me, what we were able to get down, and it's a good start and we will do it again tonight," said Scott Crislip, the resort's general manager.

The industry goes by a "wet-bulb" temperature of 28 degrees or below to start making snow. So while many trees in and around Mansfield are still turning color and most yards are still green, the slopes at Snow Trails are turning white.

The hope is that the early start making snow will translate into an early start of the ski season, which Crislip said normally lasts only about 90 days.

"Normal is probably mid-December to mid-March, but we had a few times when we were open late November just after Thanksgiving and if we got an early record start on snow making, we like to get a record start on getting the season open. So if we open prior to Thanksgiving that would be amazing," Crislip said.

After sharing news of the newly-created snow on its social media, skiers and snowboarders have been streaming into the resort to renew their passes, also anxious to get the season started.

"Golf is over and now it's time to do a winter sport" said Paul Hursh of Mansfield. He brought his helmets and boots to his locker at the resort, where he learned to ski and has been a member for more than 30 years.

"I'm hoping that because of this that means the season will start sooner," said A.J. Talerico, of Columbus, who stopped in Friday to renew his season pass.

The resort was hopeful  it could add to the early season start after nightfall on Friday and, while looking ahead to the near-term forecast, cannot rule out a record setting early season start.

"It would probably take all of a week to do that, but those temperatures again as you saw some of them might allow us to go around the clock with snow making, where the daytime temperatures don't even get above freezing and that would be ideal," Crislip said.

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