It's warming up but winter sports park in Illinois still open for business

By  | 

Andalusia, IL (KWQC) - The temperatures are warming up this weekend but there's still snow on the ground at Snowstar winter sports park in Andalusia.
Tracy Montgomery traveled from Orion and was happy about the higher temperatures. "I was excited that it was a lot warmer, we definitely didn't have to bundle up as much as we thought," she told TV-6 news.
Snowstar is not completely open, but three of its main runs are available for visitors to use.
"We're trying to offer a product even when mother nature isn't necessarily on our side," says General Manager Dan Mccanna.
Normally a weekend lift and rental would cost $60 per person. But the warm weather is one of the reasons Snowstar lowered its prices for the weekend.
"We're offering spring like condition pricing. Ten dollar lift tickets, ten dollar rental, and ten dollar tubing tickets," says Mccanna.
The winter sports park says any temperature above 26 degrees makes it nearly impossible to make snow.
Snowmaker John Thomas says the machines need the cold weather to turn water droplets into snow.
"We have machines that are specially designed to make snow most of them use a large electric fan to blow air out and there are water nozzles and we can control how many of them we open at a given time and how much water we let out," says Thomas.
"Snowmaking keeps getting better and better the colder it gets. so we can make snow in the upper twenties but the problem with it is the volume we get is very low, however, our input costs are very high so that very little bit of snow is very expensive," he added.
And while the conditions may not have been ideal for snowmaking visitors say they couldn't really tell the difference
David Lyons travelled from Orion and says his main concern "was whether or not the slopes would be open, and we called ahead of time and we found out they were still going to be open."
He says the snow "was a little soft and if it had been colder would have been a little icier but it was still fun."
Tracy Montgomery told TV-6 news that "with it being a little warmer I thought it would be a little more of a wet snow but it's not it's great."
Snowstar says they probably saw about 20% of their normal Saturday visitors. But considering they only have three major runs open and are not one hundred percent open, they're calling Saturday a success.