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Mild winter forcing local ski hills to work overtime to make snow for skiers, snowboarders

"What happens is you wind up working 24/7 to get it done in difficult conditions," said Robert Friedl.
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Posted at 2:56 PM, Jan 08, 2023

KEWASKUM, Wis — A cold and sunny Saturday provided the perfect conditions for skiers and snowboarders at Sunburst Winter Sports Park in Kewaskum, but this season hasn’t always been so picture-perfect.

Park managers say they haven’t seen nearly as much snow this season as they need to keep the hills ready for boarders.

“It’s been harder for us to make sure we have a real good product for everyone to enjoy,” said CEO of the park, Robert Friedl.

So, what do you do when it doesn’t snow on a ski hill? You make your own. That’s exactly what Friedl said Sunburst has had to do to make sure that athletes were able to ski and snowboard all season long.

“It’s a lot. It’s a lot of water, a lot of electricity, a lot of manpower, a lot of know-how,” shared Friedl. “What happens is you wind up working 24/7 to get it done in difficult conditions, but you either love doing it or you don’t. And we love doing it.”

This winter’s warmer temps haven’t stopped hundreds of boarders, like the Yapp family, from stopping by to hit the slopes.

“I would say there's not really a temperature that we won’t come out,” said Lindsey Yapp. “It’s just how many layers you gotta get the kids to put on to get out here.”

Her husband, Jerad, agreed. “The hill is doing the best that they can to try and keep up with the snow because the weathers been not very good for that lately. So, they’re doing their best and they’re doing a really good job.”

The Yapps and their three children started snowboarding as a family two years ago and come out to Sunburst frequently. They told TMJ4 they’re planning a snowboarding trip out west but are looking forward to coming right back to their hometown hill.

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