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Slow start to ski season has some mountain residents nervous

Posted at 5:30 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 19:31:17-05

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo.,- A look around the high country and the scene looks more like summer than winter.

While people like property manager Ana Fishbaugh put up Christmas lights around Breckenridge in a short-sleeved shirt, many store owners are concerned about the slow start to ski season.

“People are very afraid and you know we also have the ski spectacular coming up, and that's just a whole group of people and what are they going to do if you know we don't get the snow? They're going to have to go somewhere else, and it's kind of sad," said Fishbaugh.

Breckenridge has already had to move opening day back once, along with many other resorts around Colorado.

Some resorts around Colorado are already seeing some cancellations as a result of the lack of snow, said Fishbaugh, who also cleans condominium rooms.

“It will affect my condo cleans if we don’t get any snow, a lot of people are going to be canceling which I understand there’s already quite a few people that are making cancellations already,” said Fishbaugh.

While some are canceling trips, others are staying the course even though there isn’t any snow.

“Unfortunately no snow, but we get to eat ice cream, short sleeved shirts on, you know, all of the above, but we’re still enjoying the city, though,” said Sir William Haggins IV, who’s in Breckenridge visiting from Texas with a group of friends.

Haggins said he had a ski trip planned but has had to alter those plans.

While some resorts struggle to get their man-made snow to stick, others like Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are seeing more skiers come from other mountains.

“We are seeing a little more traffic than normal, some of the other local mountains are coming over, and they’re enjoying the great conditions,” said Dustin Schaefer, spokesperson at Loveland Ski Area.  “For other mountains, they’re having a rough time, and we’re rooting for them to pull through and get terrain open.”

Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain are planning to open in time for this weekend.

Other spots like Winter Park, Steamboat, Aspen and Crested Butte will be opening just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend, which marks the unofficial start to ski season in Colorado.