Wintergreen Resort Opens Early Thanks to Winter Weather - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Wintergreen Resort Opens Early Thanks to Winter Weather

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Monday's winter weather was the perfect gift for Virginia skiers, coming just as Wintergreen Resort in Nelson County gets its season started.

Wintergreen was planning to open the day after Christmas, but this weekend's colder weather allowed the resort to fire up its snow guns and pack enough powder to open a few days ahead of schedule.

The first skiers hit the slopes on the mountain Monday morning. Wintergreen opened the Upper Dobie trail and Loggers Alley lift.

The resort credits its new snowmaking system for making this Christmas Eve opening possible. The $6 million system doubled capacity. Mother Nature added to that with steady snowfall most of the day. Wintergreen hopes the cold temperatures continue to allow more trails to open by the weekend.

"We knew if we pushed real hard and ran the snowmaking system hard, then we had a chance of getting open today and that's exactly what happened," said Jay Roberts, vice president of operations at Wintergreen.

"We played golf yesterday morning and here it is, top of the mountain and we're skiing," said Jim Martin, a visitor to the resort from Indiana.

This month's weather delayed Wintergreen's target opening date, which was December 8. Roberts says they started making snow two or three times and had to stop because temperatures warmed back up.

Wintergreen is open until 8 p.m. Monday. The slopes re-open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. Massanutten Resort is also open, with skiing and snowboarding on two of its trails.

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