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Meadows ‘would open tomorrow’ if road clear

By BEN MCCARTY

News staff writer

December 2, 2006

They have the snow, now they just need a road.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is hoping for a Dec. 15 opening of Highway 35, and for Mt. Hood Meadows President and General Manager Dave Riley, that day cannot come soon enough.

“We would open tomorrow if we could,” Riley said.

Plenty of snow has accumulated on the slopes of Mount Hood while repairs on Highway 35 are underway, and Riley said that skiers can expect lots of terrain when the ski area opens.

“Typically we ramp up over a week or two as we build terrain,” he said. “Since we have never been closed for over a month before we are trying to open with as much as we can.”

Riley anticipates a strong turnout once Mt. Hood Meadows opens and wants to do everything in his power to meet it.

“There is a pent-up demand and people are going to want full run of Mt. Hood Meadows when we open and that is what we are trying for,” he said.

Even with the delay Mt. Hood Meadows is constantly looking for new help.

The next hiring fair for Mt. Hood Meadows is today at the Hood River Inn from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During the job fair, season pass holders will also have the chance to get their picture taken and pick up their pass, probably the last chance to do so before the season opens.

When Mt. Hood Meadows does open, those who head up the mountain will have some new features and a new look to some old ones including:

A children’s learning center installed in what used to be the South Lodge rental shop; the North and South Lodge rental shops have been merged into the North Lodge rental shop which has been upgraded with new Salomon equipment and new rails and replacement fun box.

With opening day in sight, Riley is excited about seeing skiers on the slopes again.

“We’re looking forward to a great season,” he said.

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