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Snowstar winter park prepares for Opening Day

Snowstar ski lodge and park is preparing for the season during unexpected warm weather. It expects to open shortly after Dec. 25.

ANDALUSIA, Ill. — Snowstar Winter Sports Park is preparing for its opening day and anticipating consistent cold weather this season.

Park manager Rod Leatherman said the park has tried to make snow throughout the season, but it wouldn't stick because of the warm weather.

"We made some snow last week. And of course, with that 70-degree weather, we lost most of it," Leatherman said.

The snow needs consistent cold weather throughout the night in order to stay on the ground, Leatherman said.

"To make snow, it has to be 27 degrees or colder with the right humidity," Leatherman said. "So we're looking for those cold nights, but (if) you look at our forecast now, and the days are warm."

For the upcoming season, the park has added warming centers, snowmakers, a new bar and an extended tube hill.

"We've added the fire pits out here. We have an outdoor beach area where people can enjoy a warm fire and sit outside and not have to worry about being inside," Leatherman said.

The goal is to open the park soon after Christmas Day, Leatherman said. 

"People like to come out, and they're tired of being cooped up inside. It's a long winter here in the Midwest, so this gives you a chance to come out and maybe enjoy it a little more," Leatherman said.

The park will still offer skiing lessons and notify the public of its opening on its website.