Tahoe economy suffering without snow

December 5, 2008 6:43:54 PM PST
With the sun shining and the paltry snow on the ground, it is hard to believe it is December.

The weather has been so nice, most Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts cannot say when they will open.

"Possibly next weekend; we can't commit because we just have to keep our eyes on both the thermometer and the skies," Sugar Bowl spokesperson John Monson said.

Of course when there is little snow, the surrounding areas hurt. This season is especially painful because of the recession.

Store owner Mike Preseau is taking matters into his own hands when it comes to making it snow.

"Every day, I get up in the morning and I do my snow dance," Preseau said.

Preseau and so many other businesses in Truckee are hurting because the skiers have not shown up yet.

It is so warm, kids can be seen eating ice cream and locals are still wearing short sleeves; not a good sign for a bottom line that is so dependent on snow.

"I think we're probably looking at 30 percent down," Preseau said. "That's what I'm expecting this year. Hopefully, it'll be better than that, but that's what we're preparing for. We're preparing for the worst."

Hotel reservations for Christmas week are doing okay, but that may just be tourists who are hopeful.

"People are booked, they're expecting snow," Hampton Inn and Suites spokesperson Rick Rucker said. "So we're expecting snow."

For now, where overnight temperatures dip to at least 25 degrees, ski resorts are making snow and offering great deals.

"Skiers can come up and get free lessons, get free rentals with the price of a lift ticket, because we know we have to do special deals to entice skiers to come out and help their dollar go a little further," Monson said.

The question is, once there is snow, will people be willing to let go of that dollar during this recession?


Load Comments