Arizona Snowbowl Delays Opening


Here in the Southwest a projected opening day of November 11th was hopeful, but too good to be true.

In a post on the Arizona Snowbowl website, general manager JR Murray announced today that the ski area will delay it’s planned opening. Warm overnight temperatures are cited as the cause.

Snowmaking Not Enough

Snowmaking, which is relatively new to Arizona Snowbowl, relies on overnight temperatures below freezing to be effective. Mr Murray states that “Nightly temperatures above freezing have made it difficult for snowmaking crews to make enough snow on trails we plan to open first. Our crew at Snowbowl continues to monitor temperatures and make snow as we plan to open as soon as conditions allow.”

November 11th would have been the earliest opening date in the history of AZ Snowbowl. The snowmaking facilities, now in their 3rd full season, have made it possible for Snowbowl to offer a more consistent season to their guests. The opening date of November 20th in 2015 was the previous record for earliest opening. During that season Snowbowl had received more than 3 ft of snow at their opening on November 30th. Only trace amounts of snow have fallen on the downhill ski trails of the San Francisco Peaks this year.

Improved Amenities In Store

arizona snowbowl grand canyon express lift

Photo Credit: Arizona Snowbowl

Skiers and riders at AZ Snowbowl look forward to improved amenities thanks to the investment of snowmaking. A new high speed, 6 person lift dubbed “The Grand Canyon Express” will be available for guests as soon as snow conditions allow. Mr Murray again cites the need for adequate snowmaking to facilitate the opening of the lift: “The lift will open once our snowmaking connects Ridge from 10,900’ to the top of Sunset lift which is only weeks away.”

The opening remains in limbo as Murray’s language does not commit to an opening. “We’re hoping to open on Friday, Nov. 18, as temperatures allow.  If we are not able to open on the 18th, Snowbowl will open as soon as possible.” Weather and temperature will be the deciding factor.