Warm winter weather hurting ski slopes, skating rinks

(WTNH)–It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas as the carols ring across the ice at Bushnell Park in Hartford.

But Mother Nature is still turning up the heat, and raining on the Christmas parade as the weather continues to feel more like the end of spring than the beginning of winter.

Denmar Daley has been working with the crews double time and in shifts to clear off the water at the park, so that ice can refreeze for the holiday skaters.

“We will take a break from everyone skating and have the crew come out and have them squeegee some of the water off, and then have the skaters come back on then maybe after two hours of skating around, we do it again,” he said.

And there will no rest until old man winter decides to show up, as the show must go on. On Christmas Day, Bushnell Park will be open, and Daley says it will be ready for the skaters after they open their presents.

We asked him what he thought about the predictions for 60-degree weather on Christmas.

“Not looking forward to it. It is going to be a rough day,” he said.

“But you’re going to try to keep it open?”

“Yes, yes, without a doubt, we will try to keep it open as long as we can,” Daley said.

So while Bushnell Park is hit-or-miss, the ski slopes have just a little bit of snow. But with the warm temperatures predicted through Christmas, the snow is all going to melt and this is the time of year when they need to make their money.

The snow guns are a no-go, as the base layer they laid down at Ski Mount Southington dissolves into the grass. But general manager Jay Dougherty Says the lifts and the ski patrol are ready to bring the heat at the first sign of the cold.

“[We need] three days in a row where the nighttime lows are between 20 and 25°, and the daytime highs don’t exceed 45,” he said. “We can hold the majority of the snow if it doesn’t get too hot.”

Both said their advice to customers is to check the local websites before heading to the slopes or the ice rink, just to make sure they are open.

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