December hasn't offered many gifts to winter hotspots.

With temperatures hovering more than 6 degrees above normal, local ski slopes and snowtubing lanes have yet to open.

Ski Roundtop at Roundtop Mountain Resort and AvalancheXpress at Heritage Hills haven't been able to change their hills from brown to white, causing workers to plan late openings for the second year in a row.

"We'd love to be open right now, but the weather hasn't cooperated," said Chris Dudding, spokesman for Roundtop, a Lewisberry-based ski hub.

So far this month, the area's average temperature for December is 41 degrees, which is 6.3 degrees above normal, according to Elyse Colbert, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The average temperature in December 2011 was 39 degrees - a little less than this year, but still above average, she said.

"There's cooler weather moving in later this week, but we'll still finish this month above average," Colbert said.

The weekend?: As most of the week is expected to be in the 30s, Dudding said he's optimistic Ski Roundtop will open this weekend.

The resort started to make snow Saturday night, but a warmer Sunday kept the work from being completed.

Ski Roundtop faced similar challenges last year due to warmer temperatures and opened later than expected, he said.

During the resort's 50-year history, it has typically opened during the second week of December.


This year, Dudding is hoping it will open before the end of the year.

"We've had some unlucky quirks with the weather," he said.

And when resorts open late, they don't necessarily get to make up for it by extending the season.

Ski Roundtop usually closes during the third weekend in March, but last year the slopes barely made it into March .

"It got warm very quickly last year," he said. "If we can stretch the season this year, we will do so," Dudding said.

At Heritage Hill: AvalancheXpress is also opening later than usual.

The York Township snowtubing attraction might open one or two lanes late this week, but it might not be fully open for two more weeks, said Nick Smith, an employee in the Heritage Hills Pro Shop.

Last year, the snowtubing lanes opened during the first week in January, he said.

However, the outdoor ice skating rink at AvalancheXpress is already open, Smith said.

To check on the status on both the slopes at Ski Roundtop and the lanes at AvalancheXpress, visit their websites at and

- Candy Woodall can also be reached at