Ski industry preps for early start to season

POSTED: 6:06 PM Sep 29 2013
Johnson City, Tenn. -

This nice weather isn't expected to last for long and we could see our first snow within weeks and that means folks will be hitting the slopes.

And the ski industry is getting ready for the first big snow.

An early snow isn't out of the picture in October, that's why Alpine Ski Center is getting ready for ski and snowboarding season.

"You know we had a big winter storm come in at the end of October around Halloween so it kinda like prepped the season,"said Justin Burgan, who works at Alpine Ski Center.

Justin Burgan and is co-workers at Alpine Ski Center are prepared for an early start to the season again this year.

News 5 found out that the store is extending is hours, hiring extra staff, and stocking up on skis and snowboards and all of their accessories.

But Burgan tells News 5 the best preparation for them is to keep an eye on the weather.

"When October and November rolls around early morning I check my phone, my manager gives us weather updates," said Burgan.

Most people in Tri-Cities head to slopes in North Carolina.

We did some digging and found that in recent years - the 6 major ski resorts nearby attract more than 670,000 visitors, while bringing in more 1,500 jobs and generating $32 million in gross revenue.

The North Carolina Area Ski Association researches shows that the numbers fluctuate from year to year depending on the weather.

"It's rare to see enough snow to be able to ski on in October Every now and then we may get a snow if November, but often time we have to wait until December. But of course it's just up to individual storms and where exactly they track," said Meteorologist David Boyd.

Burgan tells me that they are hoping for a big one and they are ready.

"If there is a big storm or the temperature just drops we are ready," said Burgan.