Girdwood businesses feeling the crunch from late ski season start

Published: Nov. 27, 2017 at 7:42 PM AKST
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A late start to the ski season at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood has some businesses feeling the financial impact.

"We also do a lot of rentals which I think is definitely going to be an area in which we are missing out on revenue," Eric Helmbrecht, the owner of Powder Hound said.

Helmbrecht said sales so far have remained steady with skiers getting ready and gearing up in anticipation for skiing and snowboarding.

For the first time in years, the Alyeska Resort has pushed back its traditional Thanksgiving opening of the mountain to December 15 because of the shifting weather patterns the past few years, and the need to balance expenses.

Frans Weits, owner of Jack Sprat says he's been in business for 17 years and a late start was something new to him.

"I was a little nervous. We usually have a slow fall, kids go back to school, people are working. The tourists have pretty much gone away and so we are kinda waiting for the ski season to kick off to help all the local businesses," Weits said.

New businesses to the community like Girdwood Brewing Company say that so far, so good. With Thanksgiving crowds, and Small Business Saturday sales, owner Josh Hegna says he's been steady.

Hegna says he is still hoping for a lot of snow and an early ski opening.

"I am counting on the skiing community, Hegna said, "I think we could survive, but I don't think we could thrive."