Snow means white gold for North Shore businesses

By KBJR News 1

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM CDT

Lutsen, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Up on the North Shore lots of white tends to translate into lots of green.

That's why workers at Lutsen Mountain and resort owners along the shore are excited about the early snow storm.

They say that it's a perfect set up for a white gold winter tourism season.

"Well winter's here.. right?" said Matt Kartes, ski patrol director at Lutsen Mountain.

And those on the North Shore know that when the snow begins to fall, the money starts pouring in.

"Snow is critical to our business," said Nancy Burns, owner of Lutsen Resort.

Managers at Lutsen Mountain say that the snow allows for them to open up a number of slopes on the early side.

"It's early on in the season so it really kicks off the season well," said Jim Vick, marketing director at Lutsen Mountain.

As of Wednesday, Dec. 18, 51 runs are open out of 94 total runs, and the remaining slopes should be open closer to Christmas.

And with 95 slopes in total, and 40 of those labeled as back country slopes that rely entirely on natural snow fall, this winter blizzard only benefits businesses up north.

"More skiers, more lodging sold." said Burns.

But even with all the snow, workers at Lutsen Mountain are keeping busy by prepping the snow with grooming.

They say that grooming helps to pack the snow down, and even it out.

"If we get a good amount of snow like this the groomers are out pushing everything and spreading it out," said Kartes.

Ski patrollers say fresh snow is always good, and you can see it through the smiles on everyone's faces.

"People are thinking about getting out and getting fresh tracks or first tracks in the snow," said Kartes.

Giving winter tourism businesses a jump start on the season that counts.

Daily operations at the mountain begin Friday December 13th.

Elsa Robins