Snow-making machines will likely be working overtime Christmas Day in New Jersey -- not to make a White Christmas, but to churn out enough snow for skiers and snowboarders during the most important week of the year on the slopes.
Warm weather this fall has created little opportunity for the state's only ski resort to make much artificial snow.
"We need snow really bad," said snowboarder Scott Hopper, 18, who grew up in the surrounding community of Vernon, N.J.
But Mother Nature may finally be ready to cooperate, according to Mountain Creek's Bill Benneyan.
He said predictions of cold weather this weekend mean their snow machines will be working Christmas Eve and possibly into Christmas Day to open some slopes by Monday.
"Right after Christmas Day is when the crowds really come out," Benneyan said.
While that will save the beginning of the snow season, one nearby businessman said it will be a close call.
"It's kind of scaring us a little bit," said Stephan Wanczowski, 33, and owner of Outkast Sports, a snowboard shop just up the road from Mountain Creek.
At Mountain Creek, a multi-million dollar expansion, including a brand new lodge, is not totally dependent on snow.
Several rides are also under construction that will make the resort a year-round destination.
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