Oakridge businesses excited as ski season kicks off

Willamette Pass Resort kicked off its regular operating hours Friday.

Posted: Jan 10, 2020 6:46 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Skiers and snowboarders are jumping for joy after the Willamette Pass Resort kicked off its regular operating hours.

Owner Tim Wiper said a lack of snow forced them to start nearly a month later compared to last winter.

"We've been struggling with low snow depths. There was no moisture coming in," Wiper said.

But Wiper said recent storms gave them 28-inch base at the lodge, allowing them to open up all chair lifts.

Snowboarder Sam Ou said while it's a late start to the season, he plans to take as many runs as possible.

"I got my board waxed back in September, already bought my multi-day pass in October," Ou said. "It's kind of late, but it's a good start since we have already had some serious amount of snow fall."

Business owners in Oakridge are also hoping for busy ski seasons. Ashley Perkins, the manager at A&W, said skiers and snowboarders often to stop in Oakrigde to buy food and gas. She said when they don't stop or mother nature delays the season, it can mean an uphill battle for them.

"If it wasn't for the ski season, it would hard to stay open and running through winter," Perkins said.

The Willamette Pass Resort is open Wednesday through Sunday.

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