Heavy snow expected in the Sierra


"This is what Christmas is all about," traveler Adam Bowlds said.

Bowlds and his family came up from Los Angeles just to get a taste of winter.

"I'm from Montana originally, so this is like growing up in this kind of winter and snow for Christmas; then, sometimes here, you don't always get that, so it's to come up here to get the snow," Bowlds said.

But getting to Tahoe can take a while; traffic is sluggish in some parts, as drivers try to maneuver the wintry conditions.

For skiers, the fresh snow was a nice present considering December began with balmy temperatures.

Before this storm hit, the Lake Tahoe Basin's snowpack was 57 percent of average for the date. Area businesses are hoping the weather will encourage people to come up and spend money.

"This is huge for all the merchants in the mountains, this two weeks during the Christmas holiday is what carries us through until the Spring time, so it's very big," gas station owner Grant Wells said.

But considering the recession, it is debatable how many people will make the trip to the Sierra. If they do, they may be cutting their spending.

Isaac Ingram decided there was no way he was forking over $30 to have his chains installed for him.

"$30 is kind of a lot to dish out when you can just get out of the car and do it yourself." Ingram said.

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