The lack of wind gusts this winter is tough for some businesses.
One year ago today, the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove was cold, frosty and crowded. A few inches of snow were grazing the hills.
Mild winters are fraught with difficulty, with patches of greenery and lack of snow.
“We ran all but one hill at the end of December, and then the weather warmed up,” said Scott Smith, operations manager at Norge Ski Club.
He said the warm weather has canceled training at Norge for the junior jumpers who will be competing next weekend.
“All our kids and our program literally got to jump one night and then warm up,” he said. ”
At Villa Olivia in Barlett, you can also see patches of green grass formed by melting snow. There are segments of artificial snow that are difficult to maintain due to high temperatures.
“We need temperatures below 27 degrees to make it snow here,” said Barrett Park District Executive Director Rita Fletcher.
Fletcher said less snow means less income.
“People have to pay to go skiing, snowboarding, tubing lessons. It’s all money coming in. No money coming in when we’re closed,” she said.
Fletcher said he’s never seen a winter without so much snow from late December through January.
“We had over 60,000 people come to ski and snowboard here last year. So far, less than 7,500,” said Fletcher.
Snow America Inc. owner John Geroulis also feels the weight of the lack of snow. He runs a snow removal company.
“It sure hurts, especially being born and raised in Chicago. We’re used to these harsh winters,” he said.
He said he expected much more snow than we had.
“We were expecting at least five or six snowfalls. So far we’ve only had one on Dec. 22. It was only two inches,” he said.
All three venues want more snow.
“I hope things change a little. I know a lot of Chikajón people don’t like snow, but for us, it does,” Geloulis said.
“Now I can settle in three inches of snow and be a happy human being,” Fletcher said.
“It looks like it’s going to be cold here early next week so we can start making snow so we have enough for next week’s event,” Smith said.
They plan for the cold weather to continue normal operations, with Norge Ski Club saying it will continue to compete next weekend and Villa Olivia saying it hopes to be open by Thursday.