Paoli, Indiana- Paoli Peaks is throwing in the towel after a little over a month of operating this ski season.

This past weekend, Paoli Peaks announced that they would close for the season on Sunday, February 25th. While the reason wasn’t specified by the Vail-owned property, a minimal snowpack, along with warm weather on the horizon, were the nails in the coffin. Temperatures are expected to rise into the low 70s today and the 60s tomorrow. After a brief cool down, temperatures are expected to rise into the 60s and 70s during this upcoming weekend.

The early closure, which also happened last season, has made some guests pretty frustrated with Vail Resorts. Here are some of the more liked comments from their Facebook post:

“The Paoli Peaks we all knew and grew up with is dead.”

“This place has become painful to watch. There is no way this place is making money, and also at nearly $80 a ticket no way it’s providing value to customers (let alone season pass holders). Sad seeing a place you grew up going to turn into what it is. Yes, climate is playing a role but there is way more at play than that (they never could get to 100% open with a week of sub freezing temps). At this point Vail should sell it or close it. RIP bully bar.”

Stuart Winchester from the Storm Skiing Journal & Podcast was among those who are annoyed by the way Vail Resorts is running the place, saying that they should sell Paoli Peaks

Meanwhile, the other Indiana ski area, Perfect North, made snow this past weekend and is planning on remaining open through this warm week. According to skiers in Indiana, the key difference between the two is that Perfect North has one of the best snowmaking teams in the country.

However, it should be noted that the weather and locations give Perfect North a competitive advantage over Paoli Peaks. I recall a Storm Skiing Journal & Podcast episode with Greg Gavrilets, who was once the General Manager of Paoli Peaks. He noted the snowmaking challenges at Paoli, as he said that they can’t maximize snowmaking capacity at times due to their fluctuating water source, and Perfect North is typically colder than Paoli, resulting in more ample snowmaking opportunities. Still, Vail Resorts hasn’t figured out how to make this operational for a prolonged timeframe, even if the climate is changing.

Ultimately, I think the truth here is somewhere in the middle, as the operations are not as bad as skeptics make it out to be due to the challenging environment, but Vail Resorts still needs to figure out how to run this place better. The status quo isn’t working, so they need to upgrade their snowmaking network.

Image Credits: Paoli Peaks, Perfect North Slopes, Amazon MGM Studios

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