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Warm un-winter temps put chill on resorts


Aside from a few small patches of snow slowly melting in the sun and some pieces of ice on the lake, it looks a lot like summer at Elk Lake, southwest of Bend.

“Normally (at this time of year), the lake would obviously be frozen over and we’d have about three feet of snow on the lake,” Elk Lake Resort owner Pat Prieve said Monday. “There would be snow all the way across the lake.”

But instead of snow and ice, visitors find temperatures in the upper 60s and sunshine. The spring, if not summer-like temperatures have Central Oregonians packing their standup paddle boards instead of their snowboards.

“I absolutely love it. It’s the perfect day,” said Jaime Butler-Dawson, who was out taking a walk in her T-shirt near the Old Mill District.

It’s perfect for some, but for business owners who rely on winter tourism, it’s downright scary.

“It gives me significant anxiety,” Prieve said.

The season started strong with plenty of snowfall in December and January.

“It was the best the resort ever had in wintertime,” Prieve said.

It was a strong start, with just as weak of an ending. The road leading up to the resort is closed during the winter month,s but usually snowmobilers are still making their way up.

“Normally, we’re open every day of the week,” Prieve said. “Now we’re closed Monday through Thursday and we’re only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

The owners are hoping the road can open soon.

“We’re going to switch over here and start getting ready for summer right now,” Prieve said. ” Right now, we hope to open fully operational May 1st vs. the end of the month.”

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