While most Iowa travelers grumble when they hear about the expectation of more snow, a forecast of falling flakes is just what Iowa’s ski resort operators want to hear. Deborah Schmidt, spokeswoman for Sundown Mountain in Dubuque, says they were able to open the slopes on November 30th this year and the snowy, nippy weather is perfect for business.
Schmidt says they’ve had low temperatures so they’ve been able to make a lot of snow in addition to all of the natural snow, with about 70-inches of snow on all of their slopes now. Yes, she said 70-inches, seven-oh. Schmidt says the more snow, the better.
She says: "You want to make and-or have enough snow out on the hill so that if those warm weather conditions ever come, that you don’t lose your snow. So we’re sitting at a pretty comfortable place with over five feet of snow." While plenty of Iowa skiiers are hitting the slopes during the holidays, Schmidt says their busy season has yet to arrive.
She says: "Certainly the kick-off is during the Christmas holiday weeks when the college students and other students are off of school so we really start the busy time now and then January and February are just awesome months for us." Business is especially good now, especially when compared to a year ago as the resort was closed due to unseasonably warm weather.
Schmidt says Sundown is able to make its own snow when it’s cold enough, drawing up to 2,000 gallons of water per minute from the Mississippi River. Other ski resorts in Iowa include: Seven Oaks in Boone, Mount Crescent near Council Bluffs and Sleepy Hollow in