Umatilla County Skiing Oregon ski area closes for season over sn - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Umatilla County Skiing Oregon ski area closes for season over snowmobile concerns

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PENDLETON, OR - The owner of an Oregon ski area says he won't open this season because of concerns about snowmobiles creating an unsafe environment in his parking lot.

Spout Springs Ski Area owner John Murray says the slopes are otherwise ready to open but that the machines have made the parking area too dangerous for customers.

Murray says there have already been some close calls and he doesn't want to be responsible for anyone getting hurt.

The ski area operates under a special use permit with the Umatilla National Forest. It is also a designated Sno-Park area, allowing it to be used as a launch point for snowmobiles to access trails.

Walla Walla District Ranger Mike Rassbach says the forest is trying to make sure everyone plays by the rules.
 

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