comments

Sierra ski season off to a big start

Big snow draws skiers to Placer County resorts
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
-A +A

 

Road Report

For the latest chain-control information in the Northern Sierra, visit the Caltrans District 3 North Region winter operations Website located at :www.dot.ca.gov/dist3/departments/mtce/controlmp.htm 

 

AUBURN CA - Bolstered by some timely snowfalls, Placer County ski resorts are reporting they’re off to a good start this season.

At Boreal Mountain Ski Resort, spokesman Jon Slaughter said Friday that things look good so far. Boreal was the first resort in the area to open, back in late-October. There are a total of 18 ski resorts in the Tahoe Basin area.

“All the pins have lined up for us,” Slaughter said. “We have had storms just before most of the major holidays and then clear skies during the holidays.”

Before Christmas, things had been a little dry, Slaughter said.

“Then we had eight feet of snow,” Slaughter said. “And then it cleared for 10 days.  We couldn’t find a better-performing period on record. It made for a perfect storm for us.”

This week was another example of Mother Nature smiling on the Sierra.

“A little snow freshened things up this week and the roads should be clear again,” Slaughter said. “The Martin Luther King holiday is coming up and we’re looking for clear skies through that holiday.”

Better snow conditions have meant more skiers and more jobs.

“At this time last year, we had three lifts versus six this year and two moving carpets,” Slaughter said.

The North Lake Tahoe Chamber CVB Resort Association is also noticing the increase in snow and business from last year, said Andy Chapman, chief marketing officer.

“It’s been strong certainly compared to where we were last year at this time and going back a couple of years,” Chapman said. “Great snow set the early base. We got hammered in early December and it’s kept going since then. Conditions are fantastic. There’s a ton of snow out there.”

With an occupancy forecasting tool, the association found that reservations on resort books at end of November for the month of December were down  about 9 percent.

“We think it was  because of the hangover effect,” Chapman said. “If you have a lackluster season, consumers are a little hesitant.”

By the end of December, however, the interest in skiing was back and figures showed that room occupancy was up 15 percent in December from a year earlier.

Jenny Kendrick, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort spokeswoman, said that a new dusting of snow Thursday left seven new inches of powder for the weekend.

“We expect a weekend of clear roads,” Kendrick said. “We’re expecting people to be continuing to head up here.”

 

Road Report:

For the latest chain-control information in the Northern Sierra, visit the Caltrans District 3 North Region winter operations Website located at :www.dot.ca.gov/dist3/departments/mtce/controlmp.htm