HERRICK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The signs of winter are evident at Elk Mountain Ski Resort in Susquehanna County. The record low temperatures are allowing crews to prepare the powder for the upcoming season.
"It's very exciting! I don't know if this is the earliest we've ever done it, but it's earlier than the last few years that we were able to start snowmaking,” Elk Mountain Ski Resort’s Marketing and Group Sales representative Bob Deluca said.
It's not unusual for a cold snap to happen before winter actually begins. The same goes for a warmup, and snowmakers at Elk are prepared for that.
"We make piles, and we leave them until we're getting ready to open because if it happens to warm up, a whole pile won't melt where if it were spread out, it would melt,” Deluca said.
It's an early start for Elk Mountain to be putting snow on the slopes, but local businesses in the area also have to prepare for those skiers that are coming in earlier than normal.
You can't head down the mountain without skis or snowboards. Nearby ski shops like Gunther’s Ski Haus have piles of skis needing a tune-up, wanting to get ahead of the game.
The racks and shelves at Idlewild Ski Shop are stocked, and employees are ready to help with winter sports needs. Many local businesses along the way to elk benefit from the early buzz of the snow guns, including Dunnier's Country Store.
"I've seen a lot of traffic of people going up to the local ski shops up the road getting all of their supplies and things that they need, so we are ready for the mountain to get open and see more traffic coming by our business,” Lynn Cole of Dunnier’s Country Store said.
There is no date set yet for Elk Mountain to open, but they are planning for early December.