Just how cold has January been for the Twin Cities? Cold enough to close ski areas. Repeatedly.
To get a sense of how often skiing and riding has been disrupted, I reviewed the Facebook fan pages of Afton Alps, Buck Hill, Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area, Trollhaugen, Welch Village, and Wild Mountain.
The worst day so far was yesterday, Monday, January 27, when all six were closed. Today, Monday January 28, and Monday, January 6, were second, with four areas closing. Curiously, only Wild Mountain and Trollhaugen, the two northernmost resorts, were open that day.
Altogether, the six resorts have been closed for 17 days this month. But the disruption has not been limited to stopping the bullwheels for an entire day. On 18 days, resorts have closed early or opened late. All local resorts had shortened hours on Tuesday, January 7. Four areas had shorter-than-expected hours on Sunday, January 5.
Nobody at a ski area relishes closing for business. It means a disruption to guests and workers and a disruption to the brand. Still, safety does matter, for guests and workers alike.
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Afton Alps closures: January 6, 27, 28
Buck Hill closures: January 5, 6, 27
Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area closures: January 6, 27
Trollhaugen closures: January 23, 27, 28
Welch Village closures: January 6, 27, 28
Wild Mountain closures: January 6, 27, 28