ZANESFIELD, Ohio (WCMH) – It’s been just more than a month since Mad River Mountain planned its reopening date for skiers.

This weekend, hundreds of snow enthusiasts hit the slopes for the first time at the resort this winter, and the goal is to now keep things open for the next few months.

Guests of the resort Sunday said they were grateful for the winter weather that kicked off the new year, with many using their seasonal passes for the first time.

Some said they didn’t know if that would be the case, given the mild weather so far this season.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for it,” said skier Heather Johnston Weliver.

“We missed, like, a whole month in the beginning of the season, but we’re happy they have any snow at all,” added skier Josie Henry.

Hundreds of skiers took to the Mad River slopes Sunday, an annual tradition they look forward to each year.

“We started skiing last year,” said Drew Rothschild. “It’s something we do together. We drove all the way from UA and I was kind of preparing her to come around the corner and see no snow. There’s a little bit–we’ll take it.”

Mad River Communications Manager Andy DeBrunner said he’s hopeful the resort can stay open for the remainder of the season, especially since Mad River has relaxed some of its COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.

“There is no mountain reservation system,” DeBrunner said. “Last season, you had to go and reserve your spot on the system. That doesn’t exist anymore. Also, when you’re on the mountain, there’s no face-covering either.”

For those who feel hesitant, DeBrunner said staff is taking extra safety precautions to keep everyone healthy.

“Our staff requirements are to have vaccines,” he said. “We’re keeping our guests and staff as safe as we possibly can.”

Mad River will keep its slopes open as long as the weather permits the making of artificial snow, DeBrunner said.

“The vibes are really good,” he said. “As we add more terrain people will be spread more across the mountain; that’s what we’re looking forward to.”

Although season passes are sold out, general tickets, as well as weather updates, can be found on the Mad River website.