By Alex DeMetrick

MCHENRY, Md. (WJZ) — While much of Maryland is enjoying a bit of a winter thaw, others are still praying for more snow.

Alex DeMetrick reports it’s the one place in the state where snow is paying off.

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Clouds may have just been passing by Wednesday at the Wisp ski resort in Garrett County, but they’ve dumped plenty of snow earlier this winter.

“The coverage here at Wisp, it’s unmatched. It’s beautiful. I mean you can ski on trails that aren’t really trails right now,” said Bryan Olszewski, Wisp ski instructor.

And a lot of it’s being done without snow-making–an expensive procedure that’s eaten into the bottom line during past mild winters.

More natural snow this year makes a big difference.

“It has been great. We come here every year. It’s our church youth trip. And this has been the best year by far for the past five years,” said Jeff Jacobs, skier.

The miserable weather in the flatter parts of Maryland has increased business up here.

“Yeah, yeah.  It’s definitely a lot better when you have a ski slope around,” one skier said.

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“We are on track to hit numbers above the record-breaking snowfall of 2009-2010.  Everything’s looking on track.  We’re hoping to finish off winter strong even through the end of March,” said Lori Epp, Wisp ski resort spokesperson.

The great weather is bringing employment up–from lift operators to short order cooks.

“We have over 700 employees on the mountain in the winter season,” Epp said.

Cold and snow worked out especially well for the season’s big holiday weekends, when business peaks.

“President’s Day, we were completely packed. We had both lifts running. They were packed,” said Logan Hyson, Wisp employee.

“Not only does it generate jobs here at the resort, but you also have the overflow for the restaurants, the bars, the hotels,” Olszewski said. “It’s a great catalyst for this county.”

Especially when the sun doesn’t shine and snow falls.

Strong business is especially welcome this year, following Wisp’s emergence from bankruptcy last winter.

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