ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. - Businesses in the Southern Tier are getting ready for the cold weather and forecasted snow this weekend. But the weather Friday was a far cry from what they are preparing for.
"It is a little unusual what a beautiful day it is today," Jane Eshbaugh, the marketing director at Holiday Valley, said.
On Friday, it seemed almost impossible that a place with sunny skies, temperatures in the 60's and rolling green hills may turn into a winter wonderland in a matter of days.
Holiday Valley resort is anxiously awaiting the predicted temperature drop and snow over the weekend to usher in what they hope is a better winter season than last.
"Last year was a very challenging year," Eshbaugh said. "We had very warm weather...a lot of weather cycles."
Holiday Valley said ski and snowboarding business took a hit. In an average year, the resort is open for about 115 days of snow sports. Last year they were open for just 98 days.
"This winter, they're predicting a much better winter," Eshbaugh explained. "More normal. More like Western New York. With plenty of snow and cold. So we'll have natural snow and will be able to make snow."
Eshbaugh said preparations for that natural snow and the man-made equivalent are well underway.
In fact, Friday's weather was the perfect condition to wrap things up.
Workers ran final chair lift inspections and ensured their newly updated snowmaking system, compete with 270 automated snow guns, is ready to fire.
"Snowmaking is a natural process helped along by humans," Eshbaugh said.
Eshbaugh said air and water mix in the guns, water sprays out, breaking into tiny droplets, and if the air is cold enough, freezes into snow crystals.
The resort is hoping to turn the guns on Sunday or Monday.
Staff said it is hard to say for sure when the slopes will open. They said they are shooting for the day after Thanksgiving but it is all dependent on Mother Nature.