- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) - Unless big winter snows fall on the ski area at Mount Ashland, there may be no season at the southern Oregon site and big trouble for the nonprofit association that’s been running it since the 1990s.

“It could potentially close the area,” General Manager Kim Clark told the Daily Tidings (http://bit.ly/1m3VQVa). “Could any business survive a year without income?”

The forecasts for the region this week call for either the snow the ski area desperately needs or the rain that could be a disaster for what snowpack exists.

They put the snow level “up pretty high. There will be more rain than snow probably,” said Charles Glaser of the National Weather Service.

Clark said he’s seeing forecasts with conflicting moisture forecasts.

Snow fell over the weekend, bringing the depth to 11 inches, not enough to open.

The latest the ski area has ever opened was Feb. 17 in 1977.

A handful of area employees are working part-time, the ski area is paying its bills while earning no revenue, and, “We continue to watch our reserves dwindle,” Clark said.

Some season-pass buyers have begun asking for refunds.

But Clark said no refunds are being offered now, and the ski area has no policy to issue refunds if it never opens for the season. “Our primary focus is to get the doors open,” he said.

Meanwhile, competitive skiers and snowboarders in the area have traveled to Mount Hood, Mount Bachelor and Lake Tahoe to practice and compete.

“The lack of snow has brought a lot of camaraderie out,” said Troy McCrae, operations manager for the nonprofit Mt. Ashland Racing Association. “People are trying to share resources. It’s good to see everyone working together.”

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Information from: The Ashland Daily Tidings, http://www.dailytidings.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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