Dry Hill Ski Area opens today in owner’s 40th year

Snowboarders take their boots out of their bindings after coming down the slope at Dry Hill Ski Area in Watertown last December. Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Owner Timothy L. McAtee finally got the Christmas gift he was hoping for — enough snow to open Dry Hill Ski Area today.

Just in time for Christmas.

With mild weather this week, Mr. McAtee has been grappling with when he could open the ski area, something that’s become more common in recent years.

He and his staff have been working hard at making snow.

“It’s in time for Christmas,” he said.

Anyone dressed as Santa Claus gets a free lift pass.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is an important time for Dry Hill. The kids are off from school, college kids are home for the holidays and it’s just a good time to go skiing with the family.

It’s the 40th year that he’s owned Dry Hill. But the 40th year of skiing almost didn’t happen.

He considered not opening for the season, Mr. McAtee acknowledged.

In the end, he knew he had to open to celebrate the milestone.

“I would have hated not to open for the 40th year,” he said.

With the ongoing pandemic, going downhill on skis or a snowboard at Dry Hill Ski Area might be the safest place to be.

Despite the recent warmer weather, skiers, he said, can expect enough snow at Dry Hill to make it a good outing.

The snow-making has resulted in a 6- to 20-inch base. The main trail, Wagon Trail, and one ski lift will be open.

Weather permitting, Dry Hill will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. next week.

There won’t be tubing this weekend.

Visitors must wear face masks at all times, except when skiing or snowboarding down the slopes or when drinking and eating in the lodge.

Other state COVID rules apply.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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