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 Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Never in the history of Rock Island was there such a demand for houses as at present. Our city is suffering for the want of suitable tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The choir of Central Presbyterian Church presented a ladies concert under the direction of S.T. Bowlby.
1914 — 100 years ago: Miss Rosella Benson was elected president of the Standard Bearers of Spencer Memorial Methodist Church.
1939 — 75 years ago: Mrs. Nell Clapper was elected president of the Rock Island Business and Professional Women's Club.
1964 — 50 years ago: Gerald Hickman, of Seattle, Wash, will move his family to Rock Island to assume the position of produce buyer for the Eagle Food Center chain of food stores. This announcement was made today by Bernard Weindruch, president of Eagles.
1989 — 25 years ago: Care & Share, formed in 1984 to provide food to jobless and needy Quad-Citians, will disband because the major part of a crisis created by plant closings is over. Food for the needy is still necessary. So groups separately will continue to raise money and collect food.