Resorts hope storms will draw skiers to Sierra

January 21, 2010 6:05:52 PM PST
This week's back-to-back storms have been a dream for skiers and snowboarders. As much as eight to 10 feet of new snow at higher elevations in the Tahoe-area will have fallen by the weekend.

Snowboarder Chris Battles couldn't wait until his day off Saturday to try the runs at Boreal Mountain Resort and came up Thursday instead. He says it was exhilarating to go down fresh powder.

"Oh, it's insane! It's so deep out there; got some nice longs turns going on. It's amazing," he said.

California ski resorts are hoping the much publicized weather will entice people to make plans for a weekend getaway.

"We're definitely hoping, wanting for a rush. The roads have been brutal this week with all the storms. Hopefully, that lifts tomorrow and into the weekend, and everyone can come up and enjoy six to eight feet of fresh powder," Boreal spokesperson Shaydar Edelmann said.

Many ski resort employees are counting on a weekend rush. Some saw their paychecks shrink when the storms kept people away and consequently, their hours were cut.

"People coming up means more hours for me and the rest of the ski school staff here. We're ready to teach," ski instructor Kurt Smart said.

And for businesses along the route to the ski resorts, they would like nothing more than a big boost. The storms meant fewer people buying gas or getting something to eat.

"We're part of that economy. If they came up, we're going to get a lot of them in here," store manager Tony Orozco said. "It seems like right after the holidays, everything went back to slow again, you know."