Area ski slopes open for business - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Area ski slopes open for business

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Hundreds of people burned off their Thanksgiving feast on Friday by hitting the slopes at Tyrol Basin in Dane County. Hundreds of people burned off their Thanksgiving feast on Friday by hitting the slopes at Tyrol Basin in Dane County.

TOWN OF VERMONT (WKOW) -- While some people hit the malls on the day after Thankgiving, others prefer to hit the slopes.

At least three ski resorts in south central Wisconsin, Cascade Mountain, Devil's Head, and Tyrol Basin, were open Friday. With so much attention on the economy, the managers hope business doesn't go downhill.

"It's the perfect thing to do the day after Thanksgiving instead of shopping," said skier Jodi Sherman from the town of Middleton after she finished a run at Tyrol Basin.

There's already enough man-made snow to attract the skiers and snowboarders at the western Dane County operation.

The question is whether they'll pay to hit the slopes for something that's more fun than necessity.

"We're hoping people will choose to ski locally rather than take that western trip," said Tyrol Basin owner Don McKay.

Among those who intend to spend as much on winter recreation as last year is Kelle Anderson or Cross Plains. "We're here tons," she said.

Anderson's family visits often, about 100 times last winter she estimated. "When your kids are passionate about something, you keep them involved in positive activities, it keeps them out of trouble."

Meanwhile, Madison resident Dave Kurolpmak believed seasonal spending shouldn't stop. "Everything falls down, but if you fall down too, it's really bad," he said. "So you have to get back on top and do something."

"I think it just takes your money and makes it go a much longer way," said Sherman. "It's a great way for the family to spend an entire day out here."

Although so far, McKay said the largest crowd of the early season came on a day when the rates were drastically discounted. "People are looking for bargains, no doubt about that," he said. "So the days we have specials or deal, people are shopping for that."

The ski operators just hope the economy won't take too much of a tumble, and that what hits the bottom will go back up.

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