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Weather takes ski areas on wild ride

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Weather takes ski areas on wild ride
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Mother Nature is not letting ski resorts off easy this season. This week, spring-like temperatures gave staffers a run for their money. Tamara Lindstrom checked in at Greek Peak to see how the warmup has affected the runs.

CORTLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- While some bask in the unexpected break, nice warm days in the middle of January don't do the ski resorts any favors.

"With record warm temperatures for several days and over an inch and a half of rain, that certainly took a lot of that snow," said Greek Peak Vice President of Operations Wesley Kryger. "We still have a pretty good depth of base, but prior to that we'd gotten about 30 inches of natural snow. And that all melted."

"We took a hit. Everybody took a pretty good hit in the industry. But recovery efforts are out there right now," said Ski and Ride director Robert McGraw. "From yesterday to today, it's a totally different world."

On Friday, skiers and snowboarders were back with the plunging temperatures.

"It's alright. It could use some snow. But I think it's cold enough now they can blow snow, so things are looking good for the future," said skier Andy Billingsley.

And that's exactly what they plan to do, with frigid nights ahead setting up the perfect conditions for making snow.

"All ski areas have millions of dollars invested in their snow making system. So there's always snow at the mountain," Kryger said.

"We're used to it. We recover well. We know how to put out fires, and we know how to make it work under adverse conditions," McGraw said. "So the stress level was more last year than this year because we've been through it. And the long range forecast it looking really good."

The resort will have 18 runs open this weekend.

Greek Peak has also teamed up with Cortland Transit to offer bus service to the ski area. The buses run Friday through Sunday, and rides cost just $1.

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