Cold Keeps Some Skiers Off The Slopes - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Cold Keeps Some Skiers Off The Slopes

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WHITEFISH -

Ski areas around the state are closed because of the wind chill, but not Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Things are a bit quieter Wednesday at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Most lift seats are empty and you can really only see a few skiers coming down the mountain at a time. Subzero temperatures are keeping a lot of people off the powder.

"We do notice a change in the number of people out on cold days. Opening weekend was that other cold snap and it still brought people out, just not as high numbers as we expected," said Riley Polumbus, a spokeswoman for the Resort.

Discovery Ski area, Snowbowl, and Blacktail Mountain are all closed on February 5, partly because of the extreme cold. Whitefish Resort had closed chair one, and put a delay on chairs seven and eight because they were getting blasted hard by the wind, but all were up and running by the afternoon.

"Usually -20 is a turning point for us because that is a temperature in which frostbite can happen within minutes," explained Polumbus.

Rick Sawyer skis here almost every day and says some negative temperature aren't going to change that.

"The cold's keeping everybody away, which is good for some of us," said Sawyer, with a chuckle.

He says he usually sees about 800 people on a typical day out here. Today, he estimates that number is closer to 100. These may be vacationers who don't get to come to Whitefish all that often, but it also includes the truly dedicated.

"There are a lot of hardcore skiers that are out and they want to get their vertical. They want to ski every day so they'll be out here no matter what the temperatures are," said Polumbus.

Even with the slump in numbers in this second cold snap, Polumbus doesn't think this will significantly hurt business this season, especially with those record setting numbers they just reported around the holidays.

"We're having a really good season so far. We're pretty happy with the way things are going," said Polumbus.

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