MENTONE, AL (WAFF) - Icy conditions prompted business and school closures in much of northeast Alabama Monday. However, a small area in Mentone hopes the weather will help jump start an economic comeback for the state's only ski resort.
Last year, Cloudmont had one of its worst years ever but this year officials say they have reason for optimism.
Icy road conditions forced Cloudmont Ski Resort to close Monday. This year, there's plenty of white man-made snow on the ground. Last year, a warmer than usual winter only allowed for a handful of skiing days.
Cloudmont mountain manager Gary Jones said they were able to start making snow and open on New Year's Eve.
He said last week's deep freeze allowed them to make snow for five days. That added to the slopes' base, which is now anywhere from 24 inches to 72 inches thick.
Jones said they also started adding to the second slope, which is being used for training.
The thick base now allows them to move snow around in case of warmer temperatures to keep the slopes open.
Cold weather returns this weekend, which will allow for more snow making.
Cloudmont officials say they hope to be open until March.
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