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Montana ski hill prepping for season

Posted at 9:26 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 23:26:22-04

GREAT FALLS- Not many people realize how much work it actually takes to get a ski hill snow-season ready.

“They just get their tickets, ride to the top, and have their fun. That’s what it is all about,” says Showdown Mountain Manager Jim Hoxter.

At Showdown, preseason preparations have long been underway.

“We got a lift here put in 1970 with the old technology, and the new technology is so much better you know. So this is just going to make it a lot easier for us,” Hoxter says.

The brand new technology means a smoother and safer ride for visitors this upcoming season.

Over 100 hours of offseason labor is spent on each lift before the opening day.

They “did this whole installation mostly in house with an engineering oversite,” said Chris Quinn, Showdown operations manager.

While new technology is the behind-the-scenes highlight this season, trail maintenance is another crucial part of pre-season preparations.

New areas of tree thinning will allow visitors better access to tree skiing without the hassle of maneuvering around thick underbrush.

Even with the newest technology and access to more skiable land this year, Showdown Marketing Director Avery Gold says the mountain will still offer the local feel.

“We are also very affordable ski area compared to some of the other big ones. So families can come up here weekend after weekend and enjoy the time with their family,” Gold said.

Showdown is set to open Dec.15.

There are also a few employment opportunities still available for the 2018-2019 ski season.

You can find more information on these positions here:

Story by Elizabeth Copeland, MTN News