For the week of December 2 thru December 8, 1998  

Seattle Ridge, Bowls open Saturday

Express Staff Writer

cover.jpg (11869 bytes)Lift lines at the Warm Springs base moved quickly on opening day at Bald Mountain. More than a foot of new snow brought out the crowds. (Express photos by Willy Cook)

Seattle Ridge and the Bowls on Baldy will open Saturday, only one week after a Thanksgiving opening weekend that posted slightly smaller than normal numbers.

According to mountain operations director Denzel Rowland, this is one of the best starts to a ski season since he joined Sun Valley Company in 1974.

"The Bowls usually open by Dec. 10 or 11," he said, "sometimes later than that."

Jack Sibbach, Sun Valley Company public relations representative, said the resort is very happy with the snow coverage and the good conditions. He emphasized that it is very important to get off to a good, snowy start to ensure that skier and vacation numbers are constant throughout the season.

Crews have been working steadily to get things ready, Rowland said, putting pads on lift tower poles and on snow guns. They are also doing final checks of lifts slated for opening, he said. Snowmaking has been running during all available hours to complement the natural snow pack.

Lift operators and guest services personnel are being trained. In past years, said Rowland, personnel have not had to be trained and ready for the entire mountain to be open this early.

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend saw 8,715 skier days on Baldy with opening day numbers at 2,852. Sibbach said that due to clouds and snowy weather on Saturday and Sunday, the numbers on those days were down from the first two.

Sibbach did say, however, that the entire first holiday weekend’s numbers were a little disappointing.

More snow is forecast for this week. The long line of Pacific fronts continues to stack up off the coast.


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