Warm weather delays Swiss Valley's 50th anniversary season

JONES, Mich. (WNDU) - Some of us may dread the thought of colder temperatures and wintry weather, but it couldn't come soon enough for one Michiana business.

Come December, Swiss Valley is usually fully packed with skiers and snowboarders warming up on the frozen slopes. But December has come and gone. Almost mid-January, the lifts are a bit of a letdown.

"This is the latest start that we've ever had in 50 years, and we're celebrating our 50th season this year," Swiss Valley's Jamie Stafne said.

A big celebration was being given a cold shoulder, since they've missed winter break, one of Swiss Valley's most popular times.

"Is this the way that we've wanted to start?" Stafne asked. "No, but we'll take it and we'll be here and we'll do the best we can with it and we'll be an atmosphere of fun and activity."

Now, that's some positivity, because I figured there could be benefits to starting late, but ...

"No," Stafne said with a laugh. "I've got nothing!"

With that positivity, Swiss Valley hasn't given up, the engines are fired up and spitting snow as fast as they can to make sure nothing stops their 50th year celebration.

"That means we're doing what Mother Nature hasn't done for us," Stafne said. "We are basically making the snow that we will hopefully ski on all year."

All Swiss Valley needs is Mother Nature to turn down the heat so it can transform into it's normal winter wonderland.

"We love having the people around, it makes a huge difference in the atmosphere," Stafne said. "And we live in the Midwest. So, winter needs to be winter, the seasons need to be the seasons."

And Swiss Valley needs to be Swiss Valley. But for that, Mother Nature needs to be ready for one frosty 50th anniversary.

Swiss Valley doesn't have a set opening date yet, but they say it should be very soon.

Once it's open, it should stay that way through March.