Opening day at White Pass Ski Area

Opening day at White Pass Ski Area
WHITE PASS, Wash. --About a thousand people came out to buy lift tickets for opening day at White Pass. It's the latest start here in three years.

"It definitely isn't good to miss Thanksgiving weekend cause we would have done a ton of business so financially that hurts. On the bright side, snow conditions are great now so people are hungry for it," said White Pass Ski Area spokesperson Kathleen

And, the snow keeps coming. So far, opening late doesn't seem to be too much of a concern.

"Since our expansion we draw more people from further away the bigger we are. We're one of the biggest areas in the state now. It’s made a big difference."

While off to a late start this season, people here say they can't wait to hit the slopes.

"Extremely excited because the conditions couldn't be better on opening day: 95% coverage, a foot of powder at the top. It's great," said snowboarding Aaron Cornett.

It's not just snow that brings them back. Mike Little has been coming here for 11 years.

"I've since brought six or seven other people and taught them to snowboard here. And, everybody agrees that White Pass has a great vibe to it so you can't beat the atmosphere," said snowboarder Mike Little.

"It was worth the wait. Look at this. Sixteen inches of fresh powder and still dumping out there so I don't even know if exciting is strong enough of a word," said Goyette

It seems the kids are just as eager to start the new season.

"We're just gonna go out and shred it hard and make sure we have the best time of our lives,” said ten year old Tyler Wenschhof.

Now, it's a matter of making up for lost time. White Pass managers say they've seen a 15-percent increase in visitors each year since expanding in 2010.