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Early chill opens Mt. Holly



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November 13, 2013 - Groveland Twp.- Many of the fall leaves still need raking, pumpkins still adorn front porches and Thanksgiving is about two weeks away.

Now add skiing to that list of autumn activities.

Winter sports enthusiasts hit the slopes on Wednesday afternoon as Mt. Holly officially opened with four runs after frigid temperatures dipped down in the low 20s. On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, about 80 snow guns coated the township resort with artificial snow, adding to the inch or two that fell on Monday.

"I've been here 37 years and this is our earliest start ever," said Mark Tibbetts, Mt. Holly general manager. "With the cold weather during the first of the week, we started out just testing the snow guns. But when we had two consecutive cold nights —I thought, 'Let's open.' As of Wednesday there's not much natural snow, but we have eight to 16 inches of manmade—no problem, we were able to put a lot of snow out there."

Mid-Michigan temperatures were expected to be in the mid 50s by the weekend.

"If it warms up, we'll close just to preserve the base," he said. "But we've survived warmer temperatures in the past."

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