Drought Not Hurting Ski Resorts

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Ski resort operators in North Carolina
say the ongoing drought doesn't change how they operate, especially
when it comes to making snow.
Snowmaking requires water, but several resorts say they maintain
their own reservoirs fed by natural springs and melting snow
reclaimed off the mountains.
Appalachian Ski Mountain began making snow last Thursday, and
the resort plans to open its slopes before Thanksgiving, as it has
done for nine of the past 12 years.
Areas of Western North Carolina received between a trace to an
inch of snow Thursday night and Friday morning. The National
Weather Service's 90-day outlook for the period starting in
December predicts below-normal precipitation and temperatures above
normal.
Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, west of Asheville, opened
Nov.7. The resort makes snow with water from its own pond fed by
springs. General manager Chris Bates said he's monitoring flows
more carefully this year, but he's not worried.


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