PALMERTON, Pa. - For Pocono skiers and snowboarders, taking that first trip down the slopes in November is a win.
"Hey, that's more time to shred," said snowboarder Zach Mellon.
"As long as there's snow on the mountain, we're going to hit the mountain," said Sean Koch who skis and snowboards.
The snow is man-made but that didn't stop hundreds of people from coming out to Blue Mountain on Friday for opening day.
"Our snow makers here really did a killer job of getting everything ready," said David Stianche, Blue Mountain Lodge Manager.
Stianche says there were about 1,500 people at the resort on Friday and he expects to see more throughout the weekend.
"We opened up with five slopes open today, three lifts running and it was overall a great day for people to come out," said Stianche.
And it was a similar scene at resorts across the Poconos.
At Big Boulder Park, there was energy and excitement in the air as skiers and snowboarders made their runs.
"Everyone's cruising, just having fun you know just nothing but smiles and a good time," said snowboarder Mark Gama.
"They blew for like a day and a half and they got all this, you know it's crazy," said snowboarder Mikey Kim.
The early openings mean an extended ski season and no matter your slope of choice, more time on the mountains means big business for the Pocono region.
"This is huge for the area it brings in a lot of tourism and it's great for the economy," said Kelly Shannon with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
Riders also say getting out in these earlier months means warmer temperatures and more enjoyable conditions.
"It's really warm outside and I don't have to really bundle up all that much so that’s really nice," said skier Rosie McDonald.
Most resorts only opened a limited number of slopes but employees say as the season goes on and real snow falls, more trails will be up and running.
The Lehigh Tunnel on the northbound side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was closed for more than an hour Friday night after a wreck inside the tunnel.Read More »
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