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Frigid temps bringing boosts to local businesses in Connecticut

MIDDLEFIELD – While the cold may be an uninvited guest for some, some business owners are welcoming it and the boost it brings.

Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort began making snow, Friday, to prepare for the winter season.

Since temperatures dipped well below zero Friday, the outdoor adventure park plans to pump out snow through Saturday morning.

CEO Sean Hayes said this is probably the earliest, in years, that they began making snow for two consistent days.

“We’re the southernmost ski area,” Hayes said. “Huge advantage is it's very convenient to get to but being that, we don’t get as many chances as others (to make snow) so every time it does come around we’re ready for it.”

Hayes said his business depends on the weather. Last year, he said it was a difficult year for all ski areas with up and down temperatures and snow coming on busy days, the weekends.

“It cost us a lot of money to make our snow last year, and it went away very quickly,” he said.

Friday’s weather was a glimpse at what he believes will be a season of much more suitable weather for skiing.

“This is gorgeous weather out here,” he said. “Already we’re up to a much better start.”

For those who have the itch to ski, Powder Ridge has synthetic trails open which Hayes said started in September.

The Middlefield slopes also have synthetic tubing trails.

Hayes anticipates the real snow slopes will be ready for mid-December but said if we continue to get weather like Friday, it could be ready sooner, explaining how the process to make snow works.

“We’ll make snow over the next two nights and we'll leave them in piles,” he said. “If you leave that pile, the top shell will harden and protect it from warmer weather, rain and other things and well just keep adding to it and eventually all the wetness of that snow will leap down out of the piles and when we think we have enough to push out that trail, we’ll push it out and open the trail.”

Ski slopes, are not the only businesses that cashes in on the cold.

Front Street Bistro & Spotlight Theatres bar manager Tyler Pulsifer said the Hartford venue sees an increase in foot traffic when temperatures drop.

“The theater industry in general seems to be very weather based,” he said. “ Rainy, snowy days, we actually seem to be a bit busier.”