WHEELING - The Oglebay Park ski and snowboard facility started the new year on a positive note, as the recent cold snap allowed the facility to open Monday for the first time this season.
Rico Coville, director of golf and skiing for Oglebay, said temperatures dipping into the teens overnight during the past few days has provided the park the perfect opportunity to make the necessary snow base to open the facility this week.
"We were just unable to make snow because it's got to be below 28 degrees to make a lot of snow," said Coville.
GETTING IT READY — Oglebay crews replace light bulbs above the park’s ski lift Wednesday afternoon. The ski and snowboard facility opened for the first time this season on Monday. - Scott McCloskey
He said the park has to have a significant snow base or the snow groomers will just start "bringing up dirt."
"When it's in the teens like it was last night, we make a lot of snow. ... We just want to keep making as much snow as possible so we can build up a good base so that when it does get warm we can continue to be open. We wanted to be open a couple of weeks ago - that would have been great, but we just couldn't do it," he added.
Coville said plenty of local ski and snowboard enthusiasts have turned out at the ski facility during the past two days.
"We were packed each day, it was awesome. It seemed like everybody was having a good time - and a lot of people got new gear for Christmas and they wanted to get out and use it," Coville added.
He said the ski facility is back on its regular schedule, weather permitting.
The hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.