Ski season ends early this year

Arapahoe Basin, Colorado on October 26th of 2011 with an early snowstorm that allowed the resort to open early

by Dave Hennen
CNN Senior Meteorologist

The early spring, and unseasonably warm temperatures that have gripped much of the U.S., has taken its toll on the ski industry.   Arapahoe Basin, which is typically one the last resorts to close in Colorado, will end its skiing season on Sunday.  “Sometimes Mother Nature tells us it is time and, sadly, it is time to close,” said Alan Henceroth, Arapahoe Basin COO.  The resort had hoped to stay open until the end of May.

Much of Colorado was plagued by a lack of snow.  Denver, which averages over 20″ of snow in March and April, totaled a measly 1” for both months combined.   It’s lowest totals since records have been kept.

It’s not the earliest close for Arapahoe, but its much earlier than their normal close date in early June, and shows how dry this year has been when you consider that last year there was skiing at the resort on the 4th of July holiday.

Snowfall as of May 4, 2012 showing limited snow cover across the state

Snow Cover on May 4, 2011 showing widespread snow cover across the state.

Not to worry powder hounds, there are still a couple of resorts open in North America.  Whistler, North America’s largest ski resort in British Columbia lists May 21st as their last day of operations, and Snowbird in UT, and Alpine Meadows, and Mammoth Mountain in California are expected to be open for at least the next couple of weeks.

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