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China Peak plans to partially open in time for "White Friday"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You can add one more reason to be thankful for this week as the Valley's closest ski resort plans to partially open for the holiday weekend.

China Peak Mountain Resort will open its beginner and tubing slopes the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, just in time for what skiers and snowboarders now refer to as "White Friday."

"We're excited. We're ready to get open, ready to get people up here, shake the sand out of their sandals, get ready for skiing," said Chief Financial Officer, Debbie Neely.

On Wednesday morning, a pair of painters rushed to put the finishing touches on the inside of the ticket booth , as workers outside doubled their efforts to prepare the slopes for opening day.

"I'm out here prepping jibs, getting everything ready for the season," said Russ Dubois. "We're going to try to get them in the ground here tonight, maybe even tomorrow and have them ready for Friday."

He said, those jibs include new rails and boxes that will provide skiers and snowboarders with a place to slide.

"They're going to be going on the bunny hill right now," he said. "We're hoping to move them to the upper mountain as soon as possible."

Earlier in the week, employees faced an uphill battle in getting the park ready for the crowds.

"We wish we could be blowing snow, but it's just too warm right now," said Dubois.

The storm that swept over the Sierra over the weekend was supposed to bring significant snow, but workers said they were disappointed, so they turned to heavy machinery for some man-made help.

"Snow makers, this is their time to make magic," said Neely. "We actually pull the water we use to generate the snow out of our creek so these last storms that came through were very beneficial in filling up the creek a little bit for us. As it gets colder, every opportunity we get, we make snow and then hopefully Mother Nature will just kick in."

For now, it will make the best of what little weather its received to give eager guests a chance to get their park legs back underneath them.

"You always work with whatever you have and I always find it to be a miracle how we can turn it into such a wonderful experience. It will be fun," said Neely.

China Peak will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd through 25th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will close the following week with plans to reopen December 1st and 2nd with more lifts and runs.

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