No snow, no rain, no business for local ski rental shop

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The unseasonably warm temperatures are affecting more than just the mountain snow resorts – local businesses are also taking a big hit.

Stan Wolf is the owner of Colorado Kite & Ski located in Old Colorado City. He says this isn’t the first time it has taken snow this long to fall but it is the first season in which he has seen his business cut in half.

“Dramatic, drastic,” said Wolf. “To the extent that I can’t rent skies if there’s no snow or no snowboards. It’s not going to happen until we get the snow.”

According to FOX21’s very own meteorologist Jeff Womack, signs of that first snow are minimal.

“We’ve had snow hold off until November and that looks to be the case now,” said Womack. “Any sure sign of snow — not quite yet.”

In a typical snow season, Wolf says by now hundreds of skis and boards would be gone.

“Right now zero have rented skis,” said Wolf. “With one run open at Arapahoe Basin, who’s gonna rent skis and go up there and stand in line for 45 minutes? So it’s zero, that’s how bad it is.”

Colorado Springs hasn’t seen a whole lot of rain this year, a contributing factor for why there’s no snow.

“If you think of a sponge, if there’s nothing there when these systems come in to wring out moisture wise, that’s exactly what we’re dealing with,” said Womack.

But it’s not just the lack of rainfall that’s causing the problem – it’s just simply not that cold out.

“How many winter jackets do you think I’ve sold so far this year? One,” said Wolf. “Who’s going to buy a winter jacket when it’s 60 degrees outside?”

“All the way up into Canada and points north where we would get that first surge of cold air, no field of that has really happened yet,” said Womack. “So we really don’t have anything to draw the cold air from and that is a lot of the issue that we’re dealing with right now.”

Wolf has even gone so far as to offer major discounts as a way to draw in customers but says even that isn’t helping much.

“If we get another whole month of no snow, you know we could be out of business,” said Wolf. “That could happen.”

Although nothing is selling, Wolf says he doesn’t blame the customers but he is optimistic an overdue snowfall will come soon.

“Just try and be nice to everyone that comes in the door and tell them to come back when they’re ready,” said Wolf. “That’s all we can do.”

As of Monday, Telluride Ski Resort is among the most recent resorts to delay Opening Day due to the warm weather.

Right now, only Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Resort are open.


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