New Mexico

Ski Apache delays 2016 season due to lack of snow

Ski Apache delays season

RUIDOSO, New Mexico - You'll have to wait if you're planning to hit the slopes in southern New Mexico this year.

Ski Apache announced on its Facebook page, due to unusually warm temperatures and minimal precipitation, it is unable to open on Thanksgiving day.

Representatives with Ski Apache hope to have enough snow for a mid-December opening.

“Unfortunately we did not get the early winter snow-pack we had hoped for, and while we have been making as much snow as possible, it still isn’t enough without some help from Mother Nature,” said Marketing Manager Justin Huffmon. “We will continue making snow at every opportunity in the hopes of opening as soon as possible.”

ABC-7 found one El Paso family who didn't mind the lack of snow at Ski Apache, but skiers say it's a little disheartening.  "It's surprising, we're hoping for a good snow tonight," a visitor told ABC-7.

Currently, the slopes have some man-made snow, but officials say it's not cold enough to stick.  They say it has to be 27 degrees or lower to use the snow machines.  

"We've had four nights in November below 27 degrees so that's sort of where were at with manmade snow," Justin Rowland, Director of Operation at Ski Apache, said.

Every winter, Ski Apache boosts Ruidoso's economy by helping it attract more than 130,000 visitors. People are now canceling their reservations because of the unexpected delay in ski season. Officials say they're helping visitors reschedule.

"The cancelations kind of all happened in one day and it seems like everyone I talked to and everything I've heard is we still have a lot of people planning to come. We pray for snow, that's all we can do now is pray for snow," Becky Brooks, Executive Director for Ruidoso's Chamber of Commerce said.

"It's not fun but we deal with the guests on a group by group basis and let them know what's going on," Rowland said.

In the meantime, if you want to take a scenic ride on the gondola lift or take the zip line those will be opened beginning on the 25th, weather permitting. 

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