Let it snow? Arizona Snowbowl hopes to open this weekend as cold front moves in
PHOENIX — A week after being forced to delay its opening, a ski resort in northern Arizona may officially open this coming weekend.
In a tweet sent Wednesday, Arizona Snowbowl said it is hopeful an incoming cold front will allow it to open for the ski season.
A winter storm is rolling in! Depending on the accumulation we plan to open the Grand Canyon Express at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/H9frRItSAb
— Arizona Snowbowl (@AZSnowbowl) November 16, 2016
The resort hoped to open Friday, but said overnight temperatures were not low enough. However, it said there was a 70 percent chance it could open Saturday morning.
“Snowmakers and cat operators continue to work throughout the day to make snow as conditions permit so we can open as soon as possible,” the resort said on its Facebook page.
The delayed opening also pushed back the debut of Snowbowl’s $10 million renovation to the resort, which includes the addition of the first six-person ski lift in Arizona.
“We are not discouraged given that it is early November and ski season should last well into April,” General Manager J.R. Murray said in a release. “We are excited to kick off the winter season and welcome back our guests who are ready to ski. We just have to be a little patient and wait a bit like many of our fellow ski areas this season.”
However, those high temperatures are about to take a big drop.
The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for both Snowbowl and Flagstaff. It said gusts as high as 55 mph are possible and temperatures will drop into the low teens at night, meaning perfect temperatures for snowmaking.
However, both the city and the mountain will stay above freezing during the day. Highs are expected to be nearly 50 degrees.
Last year, Snowbowl opened on Nov. 20, which represented the earliest opening since 1979. The resort also enjoyed one if its best seasons attendance-wise, welcoming the second-highest number of guests in its history.
KTAR’s Matt Faye contributed to this report.