SANDPOINT, Idaho — Editor's note: The above video is from a previous story on Schweitzer Mountain from 2019.
Schweitzer Mountain is pulling out the big (snow) guns.
The resort fired up the snow guns for the first time this season amid unseasonably cold temperatures. Low temperatures in Sandpoint were down in the teens - which is perfect weather for snowmaking magic.
"Normally our snowmaking temperatures are somewhere between 25 and 17 degrees, and these temperatures we're seeing now are much more favorable for making snow," said Schweitzer Mountain's Snow Surface Manager David Rowe. "Normally it takes longer with the higher temperatures to get the amount of snow we need on the ground to get open."
Rowe said Schweitzer is now seven days ahead of schedule with the amount of snow they were able to produce this weekend.
Schweitzer has a system of eleven snow guns that they can layout on the mountain to produce enough snow to ski on.
Schweitzer plans to open the slops on Friday, Nov. 27 this year. The resort has already made some changes to comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
Schweitzer Mountain released a statement earlier in September outlining some of the changes the resort anticipated making when the season did officially start. The biggest among them: limiting day ticket sales.
The resort says season pass sales are currently at record highs, which will "certainly require daily limits on available lift tickets in order to maintain social distancing expectations," reads a statement from the Schweitzer's CEO Tom Chasse.
The resort will use historical data broken down by day/pass type to determine how many lift tickets can be sold on any particular day. The number of lift tickets available will be dependent on how many pass holders the resort expects to ski that day. The lift tickets available to sell will be presold through the resort's e-commerce platform.
The resort doesn't plan on selling any open-ended/flex tickets, or tickets that aren't date specific.