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Snowcat Ridge closes early for the season

The park, open for about two months, earlier had to suspend operations for health and safety violations.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

DADE CITY, Fla. — Florida snow seekers will have to head northward to actually experience some wintery weather. 

The state's first snow park, Snowcat Ridge, is ending operations early after almost two months of being in business. Its website still says tickets would be available from November to March.

"Yes, we are closing for the season on January 19th as we are a seasonal event and we are going to be making some upgrades to our machinery," the park wrote on its Facebook page. 

It opened Nov. 20 and will end operations after Monday, Jan. 18. The park wasn't open throughout the entirety, however. Operators cut back operating hours just days after opening when they "misestimated the amount of snow production" needed for guests to enjoy the Arctic Igloo area.

Other areas of Snowcat Ridge, such as the popular slopes, remained open during the igloo's temporary closure.

Pasco County officials in December pulled the park's permit, citing "life-safety issues," causing it to temporarily close. The county said during several visits, Fire Rescue and Building Construction Services discovered fire, building, electrical and plumbing violations that posed a threat to both public health and safety. 

Many of those violations, including exposed electrical boxes and unpermitted plumbing, were shown in photos provided by the county.

The county later allowed the park to reopen after it addressed those issues.

The park said on Facebook that it plans to reopen in November 2021 but did not provide an exact date. 

"Today is our last day of our snow season! Today was the best day to close because it’ll give us ample time to make the exciting new improvements to the park," it said in a statement to 10 Tampa Bay

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