Frigid air helps Indiana ski destination whiten its slopes

A southern Indiana ski destination that was hampered by early January rains and the task of making snow for its slopes has now opened its gates for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.

Paoli Peaks spokeswoman Lauren Grenier said the Orange County business may have lost some would-be visitors due to this winter's late opening and because of delays in the time needed for machines to make snow.

Paoli's slopes about 100 miles south of Indianapolis and 70 miles northeast of Evansville opened on Dec. 31, but were temporarily closed on Jan. 3 due to rainy conditions and to conserve the slopes' remaining snow.

But Greiner said those slopes are now snow-covered and groomed thanks to the recent frigid air that swept the state and made for excellent snow-making conditions.

"We've got a ton of snow out there now, and it's fantastic," Grenier told The Times-Mail of Bedford. "The single digits allow us to make really high-quality snow."

That cold air arrived in time for students who were still home from college for winter break to visit the slopes with friends and family.

Next weekend, Grenier said visitors will be able to use a giant air bag originally intended for professionals to practice tricks on, allowing them to focus on aerial acrobatics without having to be concerned about their landings.

That air bag will allow people coming off a large ramp at the slopes to "do tricks as they please without worrying about the landing," she said.

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