GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - At Buck Hill in Burnsville, General Manager Don McClure knows white means green in his world.
"To put a good season together we need natural snow in people's back yards," he said. "We're looking for a little more pop than last year."
It doesn't matter how well Buck Hill or any ski hill can make snow, without old man winter pitching in Santa's magic may not be enough to bring people to the slopes.
"It gets what I call the casual skier interested again," he said of the snow. "He or she remembers it's winter in Minnesota and we've got to get out and enjoy it."
Casual is how you would describe Majdi Dameh and his two sons from Rosemount.
"We try to come to the slopes, but we like some real fresh snow, not the artificial stuff. Now our wish came true," said Dameh.
Buck Hill reports only a modest upslope in sales this year compared to last year's brown winter wonderland, but McClure is expecting better business for the holiday break thanks to Mother Nature.
"New skis under the tree, you got to get out and use them," he said with smile.
But it's not just ski hills that are in the black because of all the white.
At Hoigaard's in St. Louis Park, President Todd Brewer knows what real snow can do for his bottom line.
"It will be busy for the next couple weeks here," Brewer said.
The outdoor apparel shop is seeing a difference in sales from last year's lackluster snow totals.
"Even last year there was great snow on the ski hills. It's just hard to believe when you're driving past brown to get there," he said.
But the past is exactly that with last year's brown replaced with this year's white, much to the appreciation of Dave Jacobson and his family from Eagan.
"We'll take what we have and be thankful for it," said Jacobson.
For the past few years, he, his wife Amy, and their two young sons have made it a tradition to ski on Christmas Eve at Buck Hill, which they say is more memorable when the white stuff under them is produced by nature not machine.
"It makes you feel much more festive. It's winter. Its Minnesota. We should have snow," said Amy Jacobson.
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