Kewaunee County’s Winter Park hopes to open during Christmas week, but ice rink on hold
KEWAUNEE – The county's ski, snowboard and snow tube hill is on track to open as scheduled, but with the usual "weather permitting" caveat. And, that weather may end up postponing the opening of its new ice rink.
That's the word from David Myers, director of the Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation Department, on Winter Park and the planned skating rink at Dana Farm. Myers discussed progress on those efforts at a Dec. 11 meeting of the county's Promotions & Recreation Committee.
In an interview this week with the Star-News, Myers said he hopes to have Winter Park, known not just for downhill winter recreation but also its Magic Carpet stand-up lift, open during the coming week, in time for the Christmas holiday. The park broke its attendance record for a second straight winter in 2018-19, with 13,674 visitors from 20 states.
As in past years, snow was made to prepare the hills; Myers said snow making operations started Dec. 8 and ran through Wednesday, the last planned day.
But, Mother Nature may interfere. Temperatures have mostly been below the 32-degree freezing mark since Dec. 10, but weather forecasts call for those temperatures to rise above starting Friday and be in the mid to high 30s or low 40s, except for a couple of nights, for eight straight days, through Dec. 28.
"We've been making snow since Sunday night, but it's been very hampered by warmer temps," Myers said.
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A bigger issue with the weather has put the Dana Farm ice skating rink, next to Winter Park, on hold. That project, approved by the County Board in September, called for creating an ice rink and building a warming shelter at the historic farm, as well as restoring a cabin that was the childhood home of Ransom Asa Moore, who became the father of 4-H in Wisconsin and founder of the agronomy department at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The shelter — or, more specifically, its foundation — is the weather-related sticking point, with conditions making it difficult if not impossible to pour the foundation. Myers said he'll talk to representatives from Kewaunee County – Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, which contributed about $40,000 toward the $70,000 project and is overseeing construction of the shelter, to learn about progress on the foundation.
"There's a lot of water on the site. All that fall rain really held us up," Myers said. "It's been rain, freeze, rain, freeze."
For more information on Winter Park, including fees, hours and snow conditions, call 920-388-7199, or visit co.kewaunee.wi.gov (click on the "Winter Park" tab at left) or the "Winter Park – Kewaunee County" Facebook page.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee County's Winter Park hopes to open during Christmas week, but ice rink on hold