DES MOINES, Iowa — This unusually-warm February has plenty of people out and about, enjoying the sun.
But for some local businesses that rely on winter weather, it’s a different story. Snow plow businesses, of course, are short on work. But for skiiing and snowboarding business Sleepy Hollow Sports Park in Des Moines, the weather could cut the season short.
Staff at Sleepy Hollow say overall they’re prepared for situations like this because they make their own snow.
“We don’t rely on necessarily snow to be open for skiing or snowboarding, because we’ll never get enough natural snow in the Midwest to have a ski area that doesn’t have snow-making,” said Matt Kenoyer, winter operations manager with Sleepy Hollow. “So your snow-making and your water, that’s all kind of naturally built into your budget.”
But Sleepy Hollow says despite making its own snow and keeping it conditioned even in warmer days, it may have to cut its season short should the warm streak continue. Kenoyer says temperatures must be below freezing to properly condition the slopes, so the park will close Sunday and into next week to give it time. The park plans to reopen next weekend, with a tentative season close date of March 12, unless warmer weather melts the snow sooner.
But patrons were still out at the park Saturday; some even said the warm weather is what got them to come.
“Actually you’d be surprised the amount of people that come, just because of the nice weather,” said Aaron Martinez, a snowboarder. “I think it’s just a lot better than coming when it’s really cold out. I know the tubing hill is always way more busy when it’s way nice outside, because who wants to come out when it’s freezing compared to who wants to come out when it’s 65 degrees outside?”