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Plenty of white stuff brings an infusion of green to resort coffers

By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Record-breaking snowfall in the Sierra captivated an influx of snow-sport enthusiasts this holiday season, while boosting profits for ski resorts. Locals traveled to North and South Lake Tahoe where pristine conditions awaited on the mountains. The generous 310 inches of snow that cloaked North Lake Tahoe is just one factor that contributed to a successful holiday season for the resorts and local businesses, according to Jennie Bartlett, media relations spokesman for Sugar Bowl. A quarter of the earnings for ski resorts during the winter season is generated during the week of Christmas through New Year’s, however this is dependent on favorable weather and traffic conditions. This year travelers and resorts found both to work to their advantage. A large winter storm typically occurs during Christmas, though this year proved to be different. The abundance of clear days allowed skiers and snowboarders more time on the mountain and led to an increase of attendance at resorts. “It snowed heavily and they were the highest levels in a long time,” Bartlett said. “There were also good breaks in the storm, which allowed people to make it up here.” South Lake Tahoe also experienced an increase in snowfall and travelers. Heavenly Ski Resort reported 112 inches of snow last year at the same time last year and nearly doubled that to 220 inches this holiday season. “It was a huge success for the resort and all our partners,” said Ross Pecoraro, director of communications for Heavenly Ski Resort Tahoe. “The early snow and the amount of snow got people really excited.” The epic snow conditions that left tourists and business owners so satisfied this holiday season leave much to look forward to for the rest of winter. Although this ski season started early, resorts are still amping up their efforts to offer more to attract guests. Seven alpine resorts in North Lake Tahoe have partnered together to offer an interchangeable lift ticket through the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. For the price of one package, which range between $222 and $518 guests get the flexibility of choosing between skiing at seven different resorts. Some of these include world-class locations such as Squaw Valley USA and Sugar Bowl. The lift tickets can also be used on different trips until the end of the ski season. On the South side of Lake Tahoe, resorts are partnering with casinos to offer more entertainment. Heavenly is holding Winter Snow Blast, featuring slopestyle contests on Jan 21, followed by live music by Dawes and M Ward at Harrah’s. Travelers who left Tahoe happy this holiday season will find a fresh bounty of snow and new options being offered by resorts waiting for them if they return to finish out the winter season. ----------------- Interchangeable Lift Ticket Good at: Alpine Meadows, Diamond Peak, Homewood Resort, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA, Sugar Bowl Prices: 3 Days - $222; 4 Days - $296; 5 Days - $370; 6 Days - $444; 7 Days - $518 For more information or to buy tickets: www.gotahoenorth.com/cool-deals/interchangeable-lift-ticket