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Teton Pass Ski Resort closes for the season due to lack of snow

Snowpack at Teton Pass Ski Resort on February 1, 2024.
Charles Hlavac
Snowpack at Teton Pass Ski Resort on February 1, 2024.

The owner of a Montana ski area that has closed for the remainder of the season said it was a heartbreaking, but necessary decision. There’s just not enough snow.

Choteau’s Charles Hlavac looked out his window Thursday morning and saw something that’s a rarity in north central Montana this El Niño winter.

“Yeah, currently we actually do have some snow in town and there’s a little bit of snow up at the mountain as well,” Hlavac said.

But it’s far too little, too late for Teton Pass Ski Resort this season. The one-chairlift ski hill about 35 miles outside Choteau closed for the season last week after only four days of operations.

Hlavac said he was out of options. The area has the lowest moisture in over five decades of recorded data.

In an open-letter posted on the ski area’s website last week, he said all season pass holders and pre-purchased lift ticket vouchers will be honored next season, no questions asked. He said people in this region understand the challenge and support each other.

“It’s us this season, but going into the spring and summer it’s going to be the farmers and ranchers and other people that run these businesses too. You kind of appreciate the challenge that everyone has, and you support them when you can,” Hlavac said.

Hlavac encourages Montana skiers to get out and support the state’s remaining operating ski hills whenever possible this winter.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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