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Ski resort business picking up in CNY after slow start

Subzero temperatures are creating some challenging conditions on the local slopes this year.

The chair lift was hard at work at theFour Seasons Golf and Ski Center in Fayetteville on a chilly Friday night. But the low temperatures didn’t stop Kaiden Cannistra from heading out on his snowboard. He said he likes to hit the slopes about once a week.

"You see people out here that are six years old, and you got people, their parents, and (see) how family friendly it is,” said Cannistra. “It's smooth, easy going, no stress."

Four Seasons Operations Manager Bill Hane said tricky weather conditions have led to a slower start to the season.

"It's not too bad,” said Hane. “We got going just after Christmas with the skiing side of it. We didn't have tubing as quick as we would have liked, but so far it's been pretty good."

Last season, business was strong, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused closures of many activities indoors.

"The weather was ideal for the whole winter, and because people didn't have many other choices of what to do, we were quite busy all season,” said Hane.

Hane said this year, the closure of Toggenburg Mountain in Fabius is bringing some business to Four Seasons. He said the COVID-19 pandemic also seems to be encouraging people to look for more outdoor activities that they can do year-round.

That’s the case for Jingshu Luo. She grew up in a city in China without snowy winters and decided skiing was a great way to get involved in the Syracuse area.

"When I came to Syracuse last year, I thought, 'Wow this is a fantastic place to ski,' so I started to learn how to ski,” said Luo.

Hane said he expects business to pick up this month, especially during February break, and he hopes the resort will be able to stay open a few weekends into March.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.