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Michigan ski resorts struggling with unusually warm December weather

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Warmer than usual temperatures are taking a toll on Michigan’s ski slopes.

Most resorts have less than half their runs operating with only thin layers of man-made snow. With temperatures expected to rise as Christmas approaches, many resorts may struggle to make more snow. 

Mickey MacWilliams is with the Michigan Snow Sports Industry Association. She admits it’s hard to motivate people to think about hitting the slopes when it doesn’t feel like winter.

“If there’s no snow in your backyard, people just don’t think about heading out to the slopes,” says MacWilliams. 

MacWilliams says December is not as important to Michigan’s ski industry as January and February.   Still, it would be nice to see more people hitting the slopes. 

“Believe me, it’s a big deal when we don’t have snow over Christmas,” says MacWilliams, “But we can survive this.”

MacWilliams says Michigan ski resort operators are used to the sometimes capricious nature of Michigan winters.  She says they provide options when Mother Nature is slow to start the winter season.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.