Local ski areas wrapping up season as warm temperatures arrive

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — The 2018-2019 ski season faced several obstacles in the Anchorage region — a late November snowfall, lack of heavy snow, several warm-ups and the early arrival of spring — all of which have played a factor in creating a less than ideal situation for skiing and snowboarding. Despite all that, local ski areas have done well.

At the recent Merry Marmot Festival, Anchorage Ski Club Board Member Mark Heysell told KTUU that it had been a good year for Arctic Valley.

"It's been tough on snow, a lot of warm ups through the year, and not a great snow fall up here, but it's been a fun year," he said.

Arctic Valley is already closed for the year. In Girdwood, Alyeska has celebrated the annual Slush Cup to signify the arrival of spring, but Alyeska's season won't officially end until April 21. Nearby, the popular Powder Hound Ski Shop is already getting ready to switch gears to bike sales and rentals.

"Percentage wise we would be 70/30 — 70% ski, 30% bike — because 70% of the year it's winter and 30% it's summer" said Powder Hound Ski Shop Marketing Director Lindsey Helmbrecht . "We will close for a week to transition but that's every year, and again we're really excited about the bike park opening early."

The Alyeska Resort will also see changes in the coming seasons, as new owner Pomeroy Lodging LP is set to take over daily operations beginning on May 1.

Back in Anchorage, Hilltop Ski Area is also looking at potential changes, as CEO Steve Remme will retire after 36 years. He told KTUU that this season was easily a success despite the limited opportunities for locals to hit the slopes.

"We had a record month in December and that helped. We went over $500,000," he said, "There's no question our numbers for the year were good but it was just all in the middle."