Several ski areas around the Twin Cities metro area are open this weekend and the state's largest resort, Lutsen Mountains, opens Saturday.
Most ski areas have been making artificial snow when the temperatures drop low enough, but have opened only a few runs. Two runs open today at Lutsen, where there has been enough cold weather at night to make snow in spurts, said Jim Vick, marketing director.
"What we make, we don't lose. The sun is low enough in the sky," Vick said. "There's not a lot of solar taking it away, that the snow that we lay down does stay."
Vick said warmer winter temperatures are not a great concern for their business as long as the weather is cold enough to make snow. Last winter's warmth helped, because there were no brutally cold days that kept people off the slopes, he said.
"The hard core [skiers] will come out. There are some folks that are just chomping at the bit — can't wait," Vick said. "They've not been able to slide on their skis or snowboards since months ago."
Elsewhere in northeast Minnesota, Giant's Ridge in Biwabik is set to open on Nov. 23, Spirit Mountain in Duluth on Nov. 30.
• Follow Dan Kraker on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dankraker