After weeks of warm weather and more temperatures in the 60s and 70s over the past few days, you might imagine this winter has been a total disaster for New Jersey ski resorts — but they insist that is not the case.

“Things are better than last year. Last year was the winter that never was, even though it has been warm. This year we had a really good solid winter,” said Gina Perrelli, a marketing coordinator for Mountain Creek ski resort in Vernon.

She noted the entire winter hasn’t been really cold, but “starting in December temperatures dropped and we were able to get open by Christmas, which is always great — and then we had a really solid December, January.”

Tammie Horsfield, the president of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, wants everyone to know the slopes are still open.

“Even with the warm weather this season has been better than last year. You know we were snow challenged last year as well, but it has been a better year,” she said. “People can still snow board, ski or snowcoast or snow tube, 'cause we’ve got a little bit of all of that.”

After a really warm Wednesday, Perrelli said, the plan is to blow snow through the weekend at Mountain Creek.

“Usually it has to be 28 degrees to make snow. It has to do with humidity. The drier the air, the warmer you can go. You can’t make snow obviously above 32 degrees,” she said.

But “28 is the magic number."

She said they’re planning on staying open for the next few weeks at least, even if it gets warm again.

“When it’s warmer you don’t have to be super bundled up. It makes for some great conditions. The snow is nice and soft and forgiving, especially for those just learning or for those that want to try something new," Perrelli said.

She added when the temperature starts rising “a lot of people don’t think skiing and they think we’re closing down, but luckily we were able to build a big enough base in the winter when it was really cold, back in December.”

“Just because you want to wear a T-shirt it doesn’t mean you can’t come out, put on some suntan lotion and get some turns in,” Perrelli said.

Horsfield noted besides Mountain Creek and Campgaw for downhill skiing, there’s a fair amount of cross country skiing in Sussex County as well — “everything from Highpoint State Park to Kittatinny Valley and a lot of other places.”

“The nice thing is when it’s not too cold you can really enjoy the weather and the skiing at the same time," she said.

Contact reporter David Matthau at

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