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 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: A new steamer, Keithsburg, now is at our levee taking on board the balance of her fixtures preparatory to assuming her position on the daily Rock Island and Keokuk line. 1889 -- 125 years ago: C.W. Hawes was appointed deputy county clerk by county clerk Donaldson. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. O.E. child, of Moline, was named president of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church Rock Island District of the Central Illinois conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Augustana College is making plans for a drive for funds to erect a field house and make football field improvements. 1964 -- 50 years ago: A expanded election coverage system featuring a 16-foot chalkboard showing up to the minute running totals, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Argus newsroom last night. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Balloons frame Rock Island attorney Stewart Winstein who was given a surprise party in the rotunda of the Rock Island County Courthouse on Thursday to honor his 50th year of practicing law.