The ski season is officially underway. Mountains in Idaho, Oregon and Washington are now open for business. Ski slopes are hoping for a better season than last year.
The long Thanksgiving weekend is the time when many slopes open. Besides the northwest, mountains in Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming are welcoming skiers over the long holiday weekend.
Many ski operations are coming off a bad year, when warmer temperatures and less snowfall meant fewer opportunities for skiers. Bogus Basin, for instance, just outside of Boise, opened later than ever before, and had one of its worst seasons ever.
Across the US, slopes saw 51 million visits last year, down by about 10 million from the year before. Overall, it was the worst ski season in two decades.
But those in the industry are optimistic a shortage of skiing last year means there's pent-up demand this year.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio