Winter sports season ends at Snowstar

People get set for some winter fun during a recent trip to Snowstar. Winter sports activities have ended for the season because of warm weather. CREDIT SNOWSTAR

ANDALUSIA, Illinois –  “We can’t make winter last.”

That’s the word from the owner of the Snowstar recreation and sports facility in rural Andalusia as he announced that Sunday, Feb. 25, was the final day for winter sports activities such as skiing and snowboarding. The season came to an early end because of ongoing warmer-than-usual temperatures, Doug Harper said.

“This season, like last, we leaned heavily on our recent investments in cutting-edge snowmaking equipment. It is truly a marvel and can reliably provide shred-ready snow when temperatures stay at or below freezing,” Mr. Harper wrote in a statement on Snowstar’s Facebook page on Monday.

“We make lasting winter memories, but we can’t make winter last. … It wasn’t easy for us to decide to end this season so early, but as I type this at my desk, on Feb. 26, it’s a balmy 70 degrees outside. Here’s hoping for colder temps, more snow, and a real winter for the 2024-2025 season.”

Even though the winter sports season is over, activities will not end at Snowstar. Mr. Harper said he plans to bring music concerts and other off-season activities to Snowstar in the coming weeks.

The weather has hampered Snowstar this entire winter sports season, which lasted less than two months. Snowstar did not get to open for the season until mid January. The ski slopes opened briefly on Saturday, Jan. 13, but closed again a few days later because of the bitter cold weather. They reopened on Jan. 17.

In the past couple of years, Snowstar workers have been making upgrades to the facility. Here are some of the other improvements made to Snowstar: 

  • Online booking system with 80% of all tickets now purchased online for clients’ convenience.
  • All lifts are operational and have passed third-party and State of Illinois inspection.
  • Improvements to the lodge include new lighting, bathrooms, paint, new south entrance, new front entry deck and a new water well.
  • Tube hill improvements include disco lights, private party deck, six firepits and more.
  • Security improvements include a new camera system with a seven-day backup and more lighting.
  • New equipment includes: new utility tractor, tub hill shaper, five ATVs and many other items.
  • Retail space updates include a renovated and expanded shop.
  • Rental equipment upgrades include 200 new ski boots, 200 aluminum ski poles and a new barcode scanning system.
  • Other improvements include: new light pole banners, new signage and more fire pits throughout the park.

Snowstar offers 15 skiing and snowboarding lanes, a 28-acre terrain park with more than 40 features, 11 snow tubing lanes, a state-of-the-art tune shop, gear rental and more. During the warm-weather months, the park also offers disc golf, paintball and other activities.

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