MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — March is having a weather identity crisis.
The unseasonably warm temperatures are forcing ski areas to close early. Unfortunately this weekend will be the finale for Buck Hill’s ski season, but for golfers, the warm weather has allowed many courses to open early.
This month, many Minnesotans are having the best of winter and spring this today.
At Buck Hill, it’s the final hurrah for the ski season and the last chance for Tara and and Jeff Blatt to hit the slopes before it all melts.
“I was devastated when I found out that it’s melting so fast and that there’s no snow in March,” Tara said.
The last time the ski resort made snow was mid-January. All runs are open, but the snow is melting fast.
“I would much rather go out with a bang in any case, but this is spring in Minnesota,” Buck Hill general manager Don McClure said. “You know what they say: ‘If you don’t like the weather today, wait until tomorrow.'”
The slopes haven’t had to close this early since the last strong El Niño in 1998. While it’s disappointing, McClure says he’s just glad about the forecast for the last weekend of the season.
“We’ve got temperatures in the mid to upper 60’s for the forecast throughout the weekend, so it makes for great t-shirt skiing,” he said.
And while skiers at Buck Hill are getting in their last runs of the season, golfers are thrilled to hit the course early at Creeks Bend in New Prague. They opened Feb. 27 — earlier than they ever have. General Manager Bryan Connelly says he’s thrilled.
“Minnesota has the most die-hard golfers, so we want people to get out here and play because we know how much they love it and we love having them here,” he said.
And with temperatures forecast to climb well into the 60s by Friday and Saturday, business just keeps getting better here in New Prague.
“The numbers have been great, the phones have been ringing and there are so many people who just want to get out and play,” Connelly said. “They’ve been sitting inside the past few months and they haven’t been able to play and we’re excited to have them and it looks like it’s going to be a really busy weekend again.”
To see a full list of open golf courses in Minnesota, click here.