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 Monday, March 10, the 69th day of 2014. There are 296 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Numerous counterfeiters are around, taking advantage of the influx of currency to pass their worthless trash. 1889 -- 125 years ago: J.J. Reimers, secretary and treasurer of the Rock Island Lumber and Manufacturing Co., on behalf of that firm, contributed $500 toward construction of a new Methodist church. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Samuel Ryerson, county recorder, was re-elected president of the 19th District of Knights of Pythias. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Three condemnation suits have been filed by the city of Rock Island to acquire property needed for an approach to the Rock Island-Davenport bridge, which has been under construction since March 6. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Plans for an eight-story Sheraton Inn in downtown Rock Island were announced today at a luncheon meeting at the Gay Nineties sponsored by the Rock Island Chamber of Commerce. Cost of the structure is estimated at $2.5 million. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Representatives of the Hardee's Golf Classic and tournament sponsor Hardee's Food Systems may meet next week with PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman to discuss a possible change in the tournament dates.