Winter Weather Advisory issued November 20 at 12:49PM MST expiring November 23 at 12:00PM MST in effect for: Archuleta, Delta, Dolores, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, San Juan, San Miguel
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. -- The warm weather felt in Colorado over the past few days has ski resorts worried, especially at Copper Mountain where the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix is currently taking place.
The best in the world are competing all week for a sport at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, and the snow machines were in over-drive Wednesday trying to help the ski resort feel like winter had finally arrived in the Colorado high country.
Stephanie Sweeney, a spokeswoman for Copper Mountain Resort, said not nearly all the lifts were open for the general public, but that’s typical for this time of year, despite the lack of wintry conditions.
“Luckily the temperatures have dropped so we have really great snow making here at Copper so we were able to pull this together," Sweeney told Denver7. "Our crews did an amazing job being able to build these venues."
It’s still a little too bare for skiers like Joey, who has been coming here his entire life.
“Each year is definitely different, you know? I was saying last year was a bad start too but this seems to be an extended bad start,” he said.
The lack of snowfall is also not favorable for some businesses such as Christy’s Sports. Employees said they’ve had to cut down on some hours because it’s been so slow.
But if you work in the resort village like Alison Olmstead, you’re probably doing OK.
“It’s been pretty steady. People need their coffee,” said Olmstead. “I think it’s a lot of locals out right now. I don’t think a lot of people are coming into town to ski.”
Once all the exciting Grand Prix action goes away, they can all only hope for the best.
“Hopefully just a snowier pattern tracks through Colorado,” said Joey. “Let’s do our snow dance.”
According to Copper Mountain Resort Marketing staff, seven of 22 lifts are open, which is only a few less than normal this time of year. Sweeney said the resort is operating with a full staff and business has not been affected.