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Mount Kato planning to open amid warm temperatures, staffing shortage

Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 4:23 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2021 at 10:35 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Winter is almost here, and as temperatures slide downhill, Mount Kato is getting ready to open.

Each year, the resort welcomes thousands of visitors looking to ski, snowboard or snow tube.

It features four terrain parks, a tubing area and 19 trails for skiers and snowboarders to choose from.

General Manager John Nelson said Mount Kato will open in just a few weeks, but that may change depending on the weather.

Nelson stated, “We try and open Thanksgiving weekend, usually that Friday right after Thanksgiving, and usually, we’re pretty successful with that.”

For years, the resort has produced its own snow to supplement the amount needed to coat its parks.

“It’s just a matter of adjusting valves and flow to get the type of snow we want, whether it’s wetter or dryer,” Nelson explained.

But mother nature still plays an important role in keeping the snow in place.

Nelson added, “It also depends on the humidity, temperature and the wind.”

The weather isn’t the only obstacle ahead of Mount Kato’s debut.

More visitors are expected this season than years previous, and the resort is facing a staffing shortage that could pose major difficulties.

Nelson said more employees are needed to fill several important roles.

“Lift operators operating the lifts, people that make the snow, food service, rental, instructors for skiing and snowboarding,” Nelson listed.

In light of the rising demand, Nelson encourages people to purchase season passes early.

“People are calling. They’re buying season passes. They’re excited,” mentioned Nelson.

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