▶️ Hoodoo targets opening date next week, if weather cooperates

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All Pacific Northwest ski resorts have dealt with low snowpack this season, but Hoodoo stands out without a single day of operation. That leaves many of the workers, who were expecting to start around Thanksgiving, left to find other opportunities.

Jay Heyn would rather be at Hoodoo operating a lift, but the conditions have kept him in town so far this year.

“Every day you go to work, when I wake up in the morning, I’m stoked to go,” he said of Hoodoo. “I like this too, but it’s different.”

Instead, he’s landscaping in Bend.

“It’s a drag. We’re all kind of going through it,” he said. “We’re praying to the snow gods for snow. My snowboards look at me every morning like ‘bro!’”

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The last time Hoodoo didn’t open by New Years Day was the 2013-2014 season. They only ran 10 days that year.

“The season definitely has been a lack thereof,” Hoodoo General Manager Matthew McFarland said. “Currently, our snow stake reads 10.6 inches.”

McFarland says they’ll need at least 18 inches to begin operations.

“Everybody was hired expecting to start working at Thanksgiving. So, when they don’t have work for six or eight weeks after that, a lot of them do have to go find other things to do,” he said.

Jay is thankful for the opportunity to do something else in the meantime, but still misses the powder.

“I’m so thankful that they’re like, ‘We have some other work for you guys if you want,'” he said. “Otherwise, maybe there’s no work, I’m on standby. So, this is nice.”

But things are beginning to look up with storms in the forecast.

“We’re hoping to open up Wednesday, but things really have to line up for that to happen,” McFarland said. “Another big storm system supposed to hit Wednesday, Thursday, Friday next week. So, we should be up in next weekend for sure.”

Hoodoo says it’s retained 95% of its staff despite the delayed opening. McFarland says the operations team is ready. They just need that snow to finally hit the ground.

“Everybody’s excited, beyond excited,” Heyn said. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but you can’t wait to go to work the next day, because it’s not work, you’re doing something you enjoy.”

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