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Lack of snow delays ski area openings and jobs

Bare ground with a scattering of snow at the top of a ski lift.
Hoodoo Ski Area
Hoodoo's summit, as seen from a web cam on Dec. 28, 2023.

A dearth of December snow has delayed some Oregon ski resort openings and impacted some New Year’s weekend plans.

As of Thursday, Hoodoo Ski Area’s website lists six inches of snow on the ground and has no set opening date.

According to a letter from the company’s owner, Chuck Shepard, it’s only the second time in about 25 years the resort has not operated over the winter holidays.

A New Year’s Eve party was planned, with fireworks, and live music in the lodge until midnight, but Hoodoo’s website says it’s been canceled. Shepard’s message said employees are on standby, and he added quote, “Sorry, guys.”

Shepard said the area will open as soon as about 30 inches of snow is on the ground. He said if customers have not yet picked up their ski passes, they may get a refund upon request.

Willamette Pass Resort also remains closed, with no opening date in sight. The area’s weather conditions page reports zero inches of snow on the ground, with less than an inch forecasted for the weekend.

Avid skiers can head to Mount Bachelor, which is open and running eight lower lifts, with a base snow depth of 26 inches. Resorts on Mount Hood are also offering limited options.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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