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Snowcat Ridge in Pasco County closes early in the season for upgrades

The closure was not related to weather or permitting issues, a spokesperson said
Cameron Simmons, left, and his twin daughters, Jillian Simmons, 9, and Jasmine Simmons, 9, exit the 60 foot tall, 400 feet long snow-covered tubing hill at Snowcat Ridge alpine snow park on Nov. 20. The park is closing early to focus on making upgrades, a spokesperson said.
Cameron Simmons, left, and his twin daughters, Jillian Simmons, 9, and Jasmine Simmons, 9, exit the 60 foot tall, 400 feet long snow-covered tubing hill at Snowcat Ridge alpine snow park on Nov. 20. The park is closing early to focus on making upgrades, a spokesperson said. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jan. 19

DADE CITY — With hopes of upgrades before its next season, alpine snow and sledding park Snowcat Ridge closed Monday, about two months before its original planned closure around spring break in March.

“We have a ton of plans to do upgrades and add new additions to the park,” spokesperson Vanessa Evans said.

Evans said Snowcat Ridge’s early closure this season was not related to weather issues or permitting challenges.

After opening Nov. 20, the park faced snow production challenges in its early days, limiting its hours, and a few weeks later, temporarily shut down after Pasco County officials found code violations and outstanding permits. Park inspections showed improperly stacked shipping containers and a pile of extension cords and power taps in wet ground. After fixing safety issues, the park’s permit was extended.

Snowcat Ridge features a 60-foot tall, 400-foot long snow tubing hill, an alpine village with picnic tables and vendors as well as an Arctic Igloo, filled with artificial snow and a bunny hill for kids. It has plans to reopen next November, Evans said, though its official schedule has not yet been determined.