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Northeast Ohio's ski resorts opening during holiday break for winter activities

Snow Trails, a family-owned and operated resort, opened a dozen of its trails to the public Friday afternoon with peak days beginning Saturday.

MANSFIELD, Ohio — It’s the time every kid looks forward to in the middle of a school year: winter break is here! And that means keeping them occupied with a fun and safe activity, preferably outdoors due to the pandemic. Ski resorts around the region are excited to fill the gap.

“We’re definitely excited to get our slopes going. We’ve been making snow and we’ve got the slopes groomed up really well right now,” said Nate Wolleson, Marketing Manager for Snow Trails in Mansfield.

Snow Trails, a family-owned and -operated resort, opened a dozen of its trails to the public Friday afternoon and with peak days beginning Saturday.  

“Our third shift crew and second shift crew were able to turn on the snow machines. Our snow guns are firing away each night when people are sleeping,” said Wolleson as he spoke about preparing for this busy time period. “They don’t realize what’s happening out here when the sun goes down”

The resort has health safety precautions in place, asking guests to wear masks and maintain social distancing. There are also seating limitations inside where a wait list will be used to monitor capacity.

While weather conditions have been conducive for winter fun in Mansfield, mother nature hasn’t cooperated for resorts closer to the lake.

“Being close to Lake Erie, we’re getting a little bit of the warmer temperatures coming off the lake making it a little bit warmer at our ski resorts up here,” said Thomas Conti, Marketing Manager for Boston Mills Brandywine and Alpine Valley Resorts.  “So we have had challenges making snow at our resorts.”

Both Boston Mills Brandywine and Alpine Valley planned to open this weekend. But opening was delayed by weather. At this point, Conti estimates they’ll be able to welcome guests soon after Christmas as temperatures are expected to drop later in the week.

“People are definitely looking for an escape,” said Conti. “And skiing is the perfect socially distanced outlet where guests can get outside and be comfortable with the skiing experience.”

Those resorts will also use a reservation system to keep the number of guests under control – a new system enacted due to the pandemic.

“Our main focus is going to be on the health and safety of our guests. And we want to make sure people are confident in the experience coming to our resorts,” said Conti.

The Toboggan Chutes and ice skating rinks are also open during winter break – additional options to enjoy the outdoors. Don’t let the pandemic keep you from having fun.

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Editor's Note: The below story aired on December 4, 2020