Muskegon (Wood), Mich. – Warm January weather hampered outdoor winter sports in West Michigan. Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park has been open for three days so far this season.
Dan Bonner, Outdoor Adventure Specialist muskegon sled, said the warm weather kept nonprofit parks closed. Bare grass and dirt on the park’s 2-acre skating rink on Tuesday.
“We don’t have any refrigeration. We have very little snowmaking equipment, but even now, it’s too warm for us to make snow,” Bonner said.
Parks are used to dealing with occasional warm-ups, but they usually don’t last long.
“Last year we opened on January 11th, we were able to stay open until the first of March, and there was a thaw in February. But it was just — it was weird,” Bonner said. “The January thaw is one thing. We’ve had winter and suddenly it’s been warmer for a few days, but what’s unusual about this winter is that it’s not getting colder again.”
Despite the challenges, crews remain upbeat and have equipment ready to be ready when temperatures drop. Even a few inches of snow can have an impact on resuming and running some activities, they said.
“It looks like it’s going to get colder this weekend, but we probably don’t have enough snow. We’ll need about 4 to 6 inches of snow to actually start building our luge track, rink, and skating track, as well as refinishing our ski runs ,” Bonner said.
Crews worked around the clock to get the park reopened after the pre-Christmas snowstorm and said they were committed to getting the job done again.
“Once we get into winter, we’re going to go all out and get everything ready so our season ticket holders can come and enjoy the winter, and visitors can come and buy day passes and rentals,” Bonner said.