Mother Nature Puts Winter Recreation On Hold | WTAQ News Talk | 97.5 FM · 1360 AM | Green Bay, WI
BRILLION, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) – A skier here, a trail groomer there — it was a quiet Wednesday morning at the new Ariens Nordic Center in Brillion. But given the mild, wet weather the last couple weeks, even having this amount of snow is a feat.
“Well, we’ve doubled our hours of snowmaking at this point. Not only in pump hours but in man hours,” says Sean Becker, general manager of the Ariens Nordic Center. “To have a team that’s down for anything and never had made snow before in their lives and I had to teach them had to do it and they said, ‘Yeah, sure, we’ll come at one in the morning, two in the morning, whenever, we’ll do all that’… absolutely, absolutely proud about it.”
And all that hard work has kept three of their five kilometers of trails open for anyone who wants to come use it.
However, the iffy weather has caused their grand opening celebration to be pushed back twice already. They would prefer to have their facilities up and running at full capacity before they put on that event.
In the meantime, freshman Noah Straka from the UW-Green Bay cross country ski team is just happy to have a place to train. “Some of the older people on the team are like, ‘Yeah, it was terrible before this’ because we’d have three or four inches of snow and we’d be on rock skis, couldn’t even properly ski. Or they’d be roller skiing or running. So this Ariens Nordic Center is really a game changer.”
The Nordic center isn’t alone dealing with the un-ideal weather. The city of Green Bay was excited to see their new magic carpet tube lift in action at Triangle Sports Area on the city’s east side.
But they only got to see it in action for a grand total of two days. They’ll need some better luck with snow for it to open again. “We’re gonna need probably a good four inch base, so probably at least four to six inches to get this back up and running. We really need a good base for this. Cross country skiing is about the same, once we get something to be able to groom those tracks and lay those tracks down,” says James Andersen, deputy director of the Green Bay Parks, Recreation and Forestry department.
While they do have other winter programming going, like the Chill Chaser and Frenzy on the Fox that don’t necessarily need snow, he does wish the weather would cooperate a little bit more. Andersen also says the city hopes to make some of their own luck by next winter by adding snow guns. But fundraising is ongoing.
The city’s ice rinks are also sitting empty, soggy and muddy, unable to be flooded and frozen because our weather has just been too mild. It’s not even like it needs to be particularly cold — just a return to normal highs in the mid 20s and lows in the low teens would be enough.
But for now, they’re still at the mercy of Mother Nature.