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Paoli Peaks’ Delayed Opening Hurts Local Businesses

Because of the warm weather, Paoli Peaks and Paoli have missed out on tourists during the week before and after Christmas.

Paoli Peaks

Photo: madrigar (Flickr)

Paoli Peaks is typically filled with snow as it was during 2007. This year, warmer weather has forced the peaks to remain closed.

Paoli Peaks ski slopes in Southern Indiana has delayed its opening for nearly two weeks because of the warm weather, and if the weather does not get cold soon, the opening will be pushed back again, making it the latest the Peaks have opened since the 1980s. The delay also means other businesses in the area are having a tough holiday season.

Paoli Peaks spokesperson David Castan says even though they have snow machines, they still need cold weather.

“The snow guns that we use to make snow actually don’t make snow,” he says. “They blow vaporized water, which then the air temperature has to freeze it to crystallize it and turn it into snow.”

Paoli Chamber of Commerce President Mike Harkness says the city has still received some business from guests at the French Lick casino, but it has missed out on the second batch of tourists that normally come from the slopes.

“The peaks brings in another set of traffic we normally wouldn’t get into the casino,” he says. “We’re talking younger kids, younger adults.”

They were originally scheduled to open December 17.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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