Afton Alps to open for season Wednesday

Warm temps push back ski resort openings

Warm temps push back ski resort openings

Afton Alps Ski Resort is opening for the season on Wednesday after temperatures dropped low enough for snow to fall over the past weekend.

For die-hard skiers, Wednesday may be a short workday for you, as Afton Alps opens at 3:30 p.m. and closes at 8.

Workers at Afton Alps got their giant snow machines running last week, and the general manager says the magic number to start making snow is 27 degrees, which the area has been below for quite some time. The best temperatures for making snow is in the teens.

RELATED: Minnesota ski facilities are preparing to open – and hoping for colder weather, snow

RELATED: Ski resorts get head start on snowfall

“We have an incredibly powerful snow making system, we have an incredible team here, and we just wait for Mother Nature to cooperate,” said Trevor Maring, the general manager for Afton Alps.

As far as staffing at the resorts, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) says skiing facilities across the state provided nearly 2,800 jobs for the first quarter of the year, the highest number in a decade following the pandemic lull.

“To me, that indicates there’s high demand for those workers,” said Carson Gorecki, a labor market analyst for DEED.

In addition, wages for ski employees have doubled from 2018 to 2022.

“This industry, ski facilities, has bounced back pretty well, and has actually surpassed in numbers in terms of jobs,” Gorecki continued.

Many ski resorts across the state are also preparing to open – as previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Buck Hill announced it will open this Friday, as will Lutsen.

Meanwhile, Welch Village is open to season pass holders only for the upcoming weekend.

RELATED: Buck Hill prepares to open for the season

RELATED: Buck Hill set to open for winter soon with new upgrades

RELATED: Owners of Lutsen ski resort pausing expansion project

RELATED: Wisconsin ski resort using snow from last winter for weekend event