- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire ski areas hope long school vacations will help counteract the rain and unseasonably warm weather they’re dealing with this week.

Jessyca Keller, executive director of Ski New Hampshire, says the recent rain isn’t ideal, but next week should be big for ski areas that rely on Christmas vacation as major revenue drivers. She told the Concord Monitor that the Thanksgiving snowstorm and a series of shorter cold snaps have helped keep snowmaking operations steady.

“There were some good stretches of cold weather perfect for snowmaking,” she said. “We were able to get a cold base, and if we do get rain, I think the snow will hold up.”

With Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Thursdays, many school districts stretched vacation from before Christmas to Jan. 5. Ski areas hope that means an extra few days for skiing.

More than 2.5 million people visited New Hampshire resorts last winter. And this winter has barely begun, noted Bill Quigley, spokesman for Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford.

“Everything we get up until the beginning of winter is nice. We’ve got a lot of ski season left,” he said.

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Information from: Concord Monitor, http://www.cmonitor.com

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