Sierra Mountains welcomes first snow storm

December 7, 2009 6:30:11 PM PST
Snow and cold is tough on plants, but the life's blood of Sierra ski resorts and they're getting dumped on up there.

Reno saw the biggest storm it's had in five years. Officials there asked businesses to shut down early for fear the streets could freeze over by the evening commute.

At last -- the first major snow storm finally came to the Sierras. It dumped up to three feet of snow overnight at higher elevations with more on the way.

And the timing couldn't have been better with the holiday season two weeks away, the snow is just what the ski resorts need because that's when they make the bulk of their money.

"The two weeks of Christmas is a very significant chunk," said Boreal Mountain Resort Manager Shaydar Edelmann. "If we don't, then we're behind the eight ball just fighting it for the rest of the season. Christmas is critical."

The last few seasons have been below average.

The California Ski Industry Association says last year it saw seven percent fewer skiers and Not because of the recession, but mostly because of sub-par snowfall.

The month of November is already better than last November. So this storm is a treat for skiers like Cody Clayton.

"The last few winters, I didn't do a lot of resort skiing. I spent a lot of time in the back country because we just weren't getting any," he said. "It's really nice when you get a day at the resort like this. This is sweet, Lots of fresh turns."

With more storms on the way, the resorts are now hoping for clear roads so that customers can get here and everyone can have a picture perfect get away.

But just in case, some resorts are still making snow and offering good deals to entice people up. It's just what Brian Sjogren wants to hear to keep coming back.

"Save money. Come on! Everybody wants to save money right?" he said.


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