ANDALUSIA, Ill. — Editor's note: The above video aired on Dec. 16. prior to Snowstar's opening day announcement.
Snowstar Winter Sports Park held its first snowfall the night of Dec. 23 in preparation for the 2023 season, which begins near the end of December. This came after they purchased four additional snow guns
"They're portable ground guns. So they have a lot of flexibility. We can put them anywhere on the hill," Snowstar Outdoor Manager, Rod Leatherman said.
The price of each individual gun ranges from $25,000-$30,000 depending on if they are new or refurbished. The four additional guns brought the winter sports park total to 36.
According to Leatherman, there is a science behind creating the perfect snow The warmest the temperature can be is 27 degrees — which was Friday night's exact temperature there.
"You've got to weigh in where the winds are tonight. It's a southwest wind, so that's a little harder to work with. We prefer a northwest wind because it's a little colder, a little drier; you have to take into consideration the humidity and that kind of thing. So yeah, there is a little science and a lot of work behind it."
A minimum of two feet of snow is required to open the lanes.
"You start doing damage to equipment, you know, if someone's got their own skis, their own equipment, they're gonna do damage. On the tube hill, if I don't have enough snow I can't build the walls up. We use snow to actually form lanes. And if I don't have enough snow, then I can't form the lanes."
Snowstar later announced in a Facebook post that it will open for the 2023 season on Tuesday, December 27 at 9 a.m.
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