Giants Ridge pushing back ski opening due to warm temps

Giants Ridge pushing back ski opening due to warm temps
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:19 PM CST
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BIWABIK, MN. (Northern News Now) - If you’ve spent any time outdoors this past week, you may have seen plenty of green and brown colors, but not much white.

While warmer temperatures may be good news for some, it’s not so great for skiers and the businesses that cater to them.

At Giants Ridge Ski Resort in Biwabik, there’s not a speck of white on the slopes as of November 16.

“It kind of puts a damper on the start of the season for people who are really passionate about the sport. So yeah, it does affect,” said Benji Neff, Director of Mountain Sports for Giants Ridge.

The weather this November is so warm the facility had to push back its opening, which was planned for the day after Thanksgiving.

According to Neff, the tentative opening is now December 2, which is not ideal.

“Our business is to get people out here having fun in the snow and the sooner we can get people doing that, the more excitement there is through the whole winter,” Neff said.

Giants Ridge is one of the many ski resorts in our region that uses snow guns to help create their own snow.

The resort has 23 new snow guns this year, but they still need temps to drop for them to work.

“Once we can get temperatures below 28 degrees is really when we can start making the machine-made snow,” Neff said.

It’s not just ski resorts that benefit from people hitting the slopes, Neighbor’s BBQ sits at the base of Giants Ridge.

“There will definitely be a lot more people coming in once the snowmobiling season comes around, you know, skiing and stuff like that,” said Dillon Drake, Manager of Neighbor’s BBQ.

Drake is excited for the snow, but also says they’ve had busy days from people recreating in the fall conditions.

“People are still coming out enjoying the nice weather and walking their dogs,” Drake said.

As for Neff, he’s confident cold weather will arrive soon, but until then he’s checking the forecast regularly.

Once temperatures drop below 28 degrees and Giants Ridge starts making snow, it will take about seven days to get enough snowpack for skiing.

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