Early snow helps winter sports businesses

Pando Winter Sports Park makes snow. (Nov. 20, 2014)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thursday was the ninth consecutive day with snowfall in Grand Rapids, and all the white has some people seeing green.

Thursday evening, a total of 28.4 inches was officially measured in Grand Rapids, making this the snowiest November ever recorded in Grand Rapids.

Pando Winter Sports Park makes snow. (Nov. 20, 2014)
(Pando Winter Sports Park makes snow.)

Pando Winter Sports Park in Rockford is expected to open at 5 p.m. Friday. Andy Smith of the park said that’s the earliest start to the season he can remember.

Though more than 25 inches of snow has fallen, Pando is still making its own snow.

“You look at the forecast and they’re calling for rain this weekend, and we’re hopefully going to beat the snow,” Smith explained. “If we can make enough (snow) so that the rain can’t hurt us, then will be good to run next week and next weekend, as well.”

==Watch above: Smith pulls a 24 Hour News 8 live truck out of the snow.==

Cannonsburg Ski Area is preparing for a Saturday opening. If the rain creates a problem on Saturday, opening day will be pushed back to Saturday.

Fox Shawmut Hills has seen a 300% increase in snowmobile sales this year over last year — and last year was a good one. Troy Van Hooren of Fox Shawmut Hills told 24 Hour News 8 the retailer sold more snowmobiles this preseason than any other year in its history.

“A lot of new entries, a lot of people who have never been on a snowmobile. And for us that’s great because we want to get those people into it, get their kids into it,” Van Hooren said.

Michigan’s snowmobile trails don’t open until Dec. 1.

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