JONES, Mich. – With a healthy dose of March snow forecast, skiers and operators of Swiss Valley in Jones, Michigan can't believe their good fortune.
Many of Michiana's tubing hills and ice rinks have already closed, but the slopes are still open.
With the sixth snowiest February on record and another winter blast on the way, it's like money in the bank at Swiss Valley where they plan to keep the slopes open until St. Patrick's Day.
The sun is out, the slopes blanketed in snow, lifelong skier Becky Zoleman couldn't imagine a better a place to be.
"You're always constantly hoping for snow and you're one of the only people really excited when there's a storm coming in. You're like, 'oh good, I get to go skiing,' so it's real nice," said Zoleman.
Zoleman plans to ski for as long as there's snow on the ground.
"We were out skiing last year when it was 80 degrees up in Michigan."
And Mother Nature just might let her. Swiss Valley got off to a slow start this season, but they finally got a break just before New Year's, and it looks like the cold weather is sticking around for a while.
"Good roads, good weather and a good time to ski in the spring," said Jim Wiseman, Swiss Valley Ski Area Manager. Wiseman says the weather has been more consistent this year, drawing big crowds and big business. And thanks to cold temps, they were able to make plenty of snow and don't need anymore.
"I'd like some snow in Indiana. We call it the windowsill factor. If it's on the window sill, they think about going skiing up north, and here we are up north," Wiseman said.
And up north is where you'll find serious skiers like Zoleman, who look forward to a good snowstorm so they can hit the slopes. "It's a challenge, it's a good workout," she said.
So, what kind of profits could they be looking at this season at Swiss Valley? They won't have the final revenue numbers until the end of March, but here's what's interesting. Managers say Swiss Valley doesn't close because of a lack of snow. They close because people stop skiing. In the spring, people start looking forward to summer and sort of forget about the slopes.