After spending nearly $250,000 on improvements, all Snowstar Ski Winter Sports Park needs a little cold weather.
Snowstar general manager Ed Meyer on Wednesday said crews have been busy making snow when they can. He said he hoped to be open by Dec. 8, but warm temperatures are postponing that opening until Dec. 15.
"Looking at the forecast, it looks like we might be able to make snow at night Tuesday or Wednesday of next week and then be open by the 15th. And then I think we will be able to stay open after that," Mr. Meyer said. "We're all ready; we just need some cold temps."
Snowstar's many improvements during the off-season included new snow makers. Italso dug out a three-acre lake on the property to increase water capacity and aid snow-making. Dirt from thelake project was used to double the capacity of the tube hill and smooth out some low portions of the parking lot.
Snowstar also installed geo-thermal heat beneath a patio to keep ice from forming on the surface. And Mr. Meyer said Snowstar spent about $75,000 on new rental skis and snowboards.
Now all they need are cooler temperatures.
Mr. Meyer said his crew can start making snow when temperatures dip to the lower 20s. Perfect snow-making weather comes with low humidity, he said.
"We had a good couple of nights, but this warm up is going to keep us from making any for a couple days," Mr. Meyer said. "We shouldn't lose much as long as it doesn't rain."
When conditions are right, Snowstar can make snow 24 hours a day right up to the opening, Mr. Meyer said. After they open, however, snow-making will be limited to nights.
"Nobody wants to ski while we are making snow," he said. "That's pretty miserable."
Today is Thursday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2013. There are 26 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A new passenger car has been placed on the Coal Valley railroad, and R.R. Cable is running the trains at present. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. G.W. Gue preached a convincing sermon on the need of a new First Methodist Church in Rock Island 1913 -- 100 years ago: Dr. W.S. Marquis preached his farewell sermon at Broadway Presbyterian Church to the combined congregations from First Methodist, First Baptist, United Presbyterian and South Park Presbyterian churches. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's mayor is seeking to enforce the rules governing PWA projects in the city which state that local men are to be hired for the work. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Argus Santa Claus requests that the names of needy Rock Island boys and girls through 12 years of age be registered by parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 11or Dec. 14. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Alcoa and its employee union have reached tentative agreement on a 43-month labor contract covering about 7,500 workers at six plants, including 1,900 employees at Alcoa's Davenport Works, company and union officials said today.