No Business Like Snow Business
Saturday, January 05, 2013 4:00 AM
Recent snowfalls might encourage some area residents to build snowmen and make snow angels in the backyard, while others dig out the skis and snowboards for a day on the slopes.
Perfect North Slopes owner Chip Perfect and management team member Denise Keller both agree a snowfall might be their best advertisement every year, even though natural snowfall isn't needed at the resort in Lawrenceburg to operate. Overall, last winter's lack of snow didn't really hurt the resort that much.
"We weren't as hard hit as people thought we were," Keller said. "We have one of the largest snow-making capacities in the country."
Dozens of snow guns can turn the resort into a winter wonderland even though the rest of the area is without a snowfall. Ideal snow-making conditions take place below 28 degrees and with about 50 percent humidity, Keller said, but snow can be created in temperatures up to 36 degrees. Most areas at the resort have to maintain a nearly 60-inch snow base this year, she said, with a thinner snow base toward the edge of the trails. The tubing area needs at least three feet of snow just to carve the lanes.
This marks the 33rd season of operation for Perfect North Slopes after what used to be the Perfect family farm opened for its first season of skiing in 1981. With just one main area open for skiing in the 1980s, the resort has grown considerably over its 33 seasons of operation. Perfect North Slopes currently offers 23 trails for skiing and snowboarding - from the easiest courses to the most difficult and two trails for "experts only" - and nearly 20 tubing lanes.
"It's grown and grown," Keller said.
The 100-acre resort employs nearly 40 full-time staff members who work year-round to make sure the resort is prepared for the upcoming season and over 1,000 seasonal workers, from ticket booth operators to ski instructors and maintenance team members. And Keller believes it's the returning staffers and ski instructors that make a difference for attracting return customers regionally.
"We just make it easy (to visit)," she said.
Perfect North Slopes also draws a significant crowd of skiers and snowboarders from the Dearborn County area. Annual visitors come from as far away as Alabama and Tennessee during the season.
"We get groups from all over," she said.
Keller attributes the resort's snow-making capabilities and all-encompassing ticketing prices for drawing crowds from the distant locations.
General admission passes to Perfect North Slopes allow visitors to do everything from skiing to snowboarding and tubing. An eight-hour adult admission ticket costs $45, with children's passes available for $33. Closing and late night tickets are also available at the resort. Each pass includes access to the trails, chairlifts and tubing lanes.
Rentals also are available to visitors without skiing or snowboarding equipment for an additional $25. Snow tubes, which are included with the general admission passes, are available near the tubing lanes.
"Tubing is the more family friendly," Keller said of the activities at Perfect North. "We have some people who want to do it all."
Each general admission pass also includes 50-minute introductory skiing and snowboarding lessons to help beginners new to the sport understand safety tips and how to maneuver skis or boards on the trails. The skiing and snowboarding lessons are available for children ages 4 and up.
Quite a few people take advantage of the free lessons, Keller said, with some days more crowded with first-time skiers and snowboarders in the snow school area than others.
"This is where (visitors) like to begin to learn to ski," Keller said.
Directions to the resort in Lawrenceburg, snow reports and other information are available at www.perfectnorth.com.