Bottineau Winter Park gets ready for ski season

BOTTINEAU, N.D. - The Bottineau Winter Park has begun making its own snow, in time for the winter season.

Even with real snow falling from the sky, that doesn't mean this mountain is ready for skiers and snowboarders just yet.

“Once we've got temperatures that are below 20 degrees we can start putting some water in the air to create that base of snow we like to use for the skiers and then add the natural snow on the top of it,” said Brad Knudson, Bottineau Winter Park general manager.

The crew at the Bottineau Winter Park makes a lot of snow before any skiers even hit the slopes.

“We try to make our snow early on in the season, dumping any place between eight and twelve million gallons of water on the hill,” said Knudson.

This costs them about $45,000 in electricity and labor alone.

We went out on the slope to see just what the process looks like.

“This is our tubing run. So right now we're on a pile about 12 feet high that I'll push down and fill in that creek down there,” Knudson said.

They have to wait for the snow to dry out before they can move it so they don't end up with sheets of ice below the surface.

“There's the ground. It's approximately 4 feet in that spot,” Knudson said.

All to make the perfect conditions on opening day. Knudson estimates the Winter Park will open the day after Thanksgiving at the earliest.