Dec 1 open planned for Juneau ski area

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- Juneau's city-owned ski area is scheduled to open Dec. 1.

Last year, Eaglecrest opened the day after Thanksgiving. But Eaglecrest's Jeffra Clough said Thanksgiving comes earlier this year, and officials don't expect to open for the holiday weekend.

However, she said the ski area is staffed and employees are trained and ready for an early opening, if Mother Nature cooperates.

She said Thursday afternoon that there were about 24 inches on top of the mountain and 6 inches at the day lodge. As a rule of thumb, she said officials like about 80 inches up top, packed, and 20 inches at the lodge.

The ski area has opened with less than that. The type of snow -- heavy and wet versus light and dry -- plays a role, too.