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Ski centers: Let it snow

Some facilities prep for early openings

Photos by Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Keith Smith, Labrador Mountain assistant manager, checks on the facility’s snowmaking machines on the Jacopie ski trail Wednesday in Truxton.

Snow — and plenty of it — is in the forecast. Maybe as much as 9 inches.

While the snow may disrupt morning commutes Friday or delay a school here or there, it could also benefit some businesses.

“The jury is out,” said Peter Harris. “It all depends on the weather.”

Harris, the owner and operator of Song and Labrador mountains, in Preble and Truxton, is expecting snow-making on the mountains to begin any day now. Four inches of snow fell overnight Tuesday to Wednesday at both hills.

If the incoming weather does give the mountains enough to work with, they could open early. “It’s kind of early, which is good,” Harris said.

Song and Labrador mountains were tentatively scheduled to open Nov. 24, Harris has said.

For now, all that’s left for preparing for the upcoming season is dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, Harris said. “We’re ready to go.”

The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a winter storm warning for a portion of the state, including Cortland County, which will remain in affect until 10 a.m. Friday. Heavy snow is possible throughout today and early Friday with potential accumulations of 5 to 9 inches.

Ski and snowboard technician Eric Brown preps for snowy weather by waxing a snowboard Wednesday at Labrador Mountain ski area in Truxton.

The warning covers Oneida, Seneca, southern Cayuga, Onondaga, Madison, Cortland, Chenango and Otsego counties.

For today, the weather service forecasts snow mainly after 5 p.m. with a high temperature near 29 degrees. Overnight will possibly see snow and temperatures will be around 26 degrees.

Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Virgil began making snow Tuesday night, said Jessica Sloma, vice president of sales and marketing. “We’ll continue again tonight,” she said Wednesday.

However, with the snow made and potential for more to fall, the ski center doesn’t expect to open early. “Unfortunately, there is a warmup next week,” she said.

Sloma said that following improvements to the ski center the upcoming days will be a good test for new equipment.

At Toggenburg Mountain Ski Center in Fabius, which is owned by Greek Peak, it’s the same deal, Sloma said.

The ski centers all made improvements during the off season that included installing new snow-making pipes; new snow-making guns; and purchasing new snow groomers.

Sloma said Wednesday that Greek Peak is tentatively scheduled to open Dec. 15 followed by Toggenburg on Dec. 22.

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