Let It Snow

Last year, nearly 60 million skiers and snowboarders reported to U.S. slopes. One resort looking to cash in on the snow bunnies with downhill passions is Paoli Peaks. The nearby winter attraction waits for cold weather every mid-December through March, and this ski resort in Southern Indiana needs snow. If Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, the snow show must go on.

More than 110 stationary towers and artificial snowmaking machines can produce approximately 12 inches of manmade snow over 65 ski-able acres in 24 hours. All that snow means that even if your front yard isn’t quite a winter wonderland, Paoli’s landscape is.

Paoli may not need freezing temperatures, but the right weather makes a difference. Ideal conditions for the resort call for low humidity and temperatures in the teens or 20s, but dense manmade snow withstands temperatures up to 50 degrees. “You can come and ski even when you think you shouldn’t be able to,” says Vickie Lincks, Paoli’s marketing director.

To blanket the slopes with fresh powder, Paoli officials fired up the snow machines Dec. 1. The goal was to reach an average snow base of 30-50 inches — a mark Paoli reached Dec. 17, 2010, when it opened for the season. The staff still dreams of snow. “I say ‘snow’ a thousand times a day,” says Lincks. “It takes over everything here. Snow is why we exist.”

For more information on Paoli Peaks, visit www.paolipeaks.com.

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