FRANKLIN -- The Rock Sports Complex, formerly the Crystal Ridge Ski Area reopened this winter for its first season with new owners. The new owners have invested a lot of money revamping the ski hill, so a weekend theft felt like a punch in the gut.
The Rock Snow Park has temporarily shut its doors to skiers as of Monday, January 14th -- partly because recent above-freezing temperatures melted whatever snow was on the slopes, and partly because of a weekend theft.
The Rock Snow Park's general manager says machine parts were stolen from snow making machines, likely by scrappers.
"It's deflating. It takes the wind out of your sales. We put in at least a half-million dollars into snow-making equipment," Thomas Johns said.
Johns says at least three of the hill's 15 snow guns were targeted.
"We fancy ourselves to be men of action so we'll come back harder with tighter security measures. We don't want to be trifled with that's all," Johns said.
The Rock Sports Complex is offering a reward for information on this theft, and spreading the word on its Facebook page.
"$3,000 for any information that leads to an arrest, indictment, prosecution of any individual or individuals that had anything to do with it at all," Johns said.
Johns says they plan to run the working snow guns all night Monday night, and welcome skiers back to the slopes on Tuesday.
The Rock Snow Park has contacted nearby scrap yards to let them know what to be on the lookout for.
Franklin police say they are investigating.