Warmer weather delays Rockford snow activities - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Warmer weather delays Rockford snow activities

Posted: Updated:

WREX reported early December that high temperatures were delaying some of Rockford's winter weather attractions.  Gateway Parks at Alpine Hills is still waiting for lower temperatures to operate. 

"We need several days of cold temperatures, very cold temperatures to be able to make enough snow to be able to open up," Gateway Parks Manager Brice Brzostek said. 

The park opened last year on December 20th, but staff said it was much colder and they need that kind of weather now.

"To make snow it has to be under 28 degrees and relatively no humidity," Brzostek said. 

Friday's snow fall wasn't enough to open this weekend, because of warm temperatures. 

"If its not cold enough or its too humid the guns will end up just pushing out water because it cant freeze fast enough because the air is already saturated with water or its not cold enough to freeze," Brzostek said.

Gateway has a partnership with the Rockford Park District.  Park District representative Laura Gibbs said the snow making system was tested and everything was running great and they're just waiting for colder temperatures to make snow.   She said it has not been a long enough season to see a financial impact because the park opened last year on the 20th and at this point there may be savings in operational costs.

"We're not pulling a bunch of electricity right now (or) not having to fill our pond," Brzostek said. "Since we're not having to do all that right now its not costing a lot of money."   

Brzostek, however, said the weather this season has affected Gateway Parks.

"We cant open up so we're not bringing money in," Brzostek said.

Their other location in Idaho, where temperatures are similar but a little colder, was able to sustain enough snow to open.  He said because they made a "good base of snow" when it was cold.

"If we had a couple of weeks where we could lay down a really good base then we would be able to operate even if it was in the 40s out. I know we had some days last year where it was in the 50s and we were still out here snowboarding," Brzostek said.

Gibbs said they are not sure when they will open, but are playing it by ear.

Powered by Frankly