Fresh snow propels sold-out weekend at Western ski resorts - SNEWS

Fresh snow propels sold-out weekend at Western ski resorts

It was a banner weekend at ski areas across the West and Pacific Northwest. Plenty of fresh snow resulted in sell outs from Utah to Washington state. SNEWS has the full report.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Plenty of fresh snow -- including nearly 9 feet of new powder in Tahoe -- led to a banner President’s Day weekend at many ski resorts across the West and Pacific Northwest.

Squaw Valley was reporting more than 7 feet of new snow heading into the weekend, while Alpine Meadows received more than 8 feet. With the storm clearing out just as the weekend started, there was plenty of time to get the roads cleared for the holiday guests.

“North Lake Tahoe is a snow-driven economy,” said Andy Chapman, director of tourism with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “Snow is what we do so we are able to handle such large amounts in a short period of time.”

The same storm system continues to push across the country, while more new snow is also expected to hit the Pacific Northwest this week. According to the Seattle Times, Crystal Mountain ski resort in Washington recorded a single-day season attendance high of 7,200 skiers on Saturday. The area will stay staffed for weekend levels throughout the week, with plans to run all 10 chairlifts instead of just 8.

The paper also reports that the staff at Alpental expects that the new snowfall will result in traffic tripling this week.

All of Colorado’s ski resorts received new snow over President’s Day weekend. Resorts in southwest Colorado received generous amounts of precipitation from the storm with Wolf Creek and Silverton both reporting 18 inches. Nearby Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort added 13 inches of fresh snow to their season total and Telluride stacked an additional 10 inches on their terrain.

Ski areas in the Central Rockies added new snow with Snowmass reporting 16 inches. Monarch saw 13 inches, and Crested Butte totaled a foot of fresh.

In Wyoming, Jackson Hole reported two feet of fresh snow. And Grand Targhee Resort received 32 inches of powder in just 24 hours. The storm arrived Sunday, February 20, bringing the two-day storm total to 41 inches. Shannon Brooks Hamby, communications director at Grand Targhee, said, “With more snow in the forecast this week, this could be one of the best President's holiday weeks in recent memory at Grand Targhee Resort.”

“Lodging was sold out,” Hamby told SNEWS. “We don't release skier visit numbers but we exceeded budgeted skier days for the weekend.”

Crowds in Utah forced the closure of Big and Little Cottonwood canyons because of safety concerns according to Salt Lake news station KSL. Late Monday morning, law enforcement officials shut down access at the mouths of each canyon after sending out alerts saying, “All ski resorts are at or near capacity. Uphill traffic will be limited to buses or shuttles.”

KSL also reports that at Deer Valley, “where they limit the number of skiers to 7,500 a day, they sold out for the third day in a row, and have a lot of reservations through the week.”

Park City Mountain Resort spokesperson Krista Parry told KSL that skier days for her resort are “right on par” with last year. “We are definitely looking at this being a strong week, which hopefully means a strong season,” Parry said.

And the surge in skier days isn’t just confined to the West. Vermont and New Hampshire are also seeing a significant increase in visitors. According to the New York Times, Jay Peak Resort had a 70 percent increase in visitors compared with the same weekend the previous year. Jay Peak spokesperson J. J. Toland, told the paper that January lodging revenue was up 18 percent over 2010, and resort properties are sold out until Feb. 27.

Toland told the New York Times that “Business has been robust, to say the least, and there’s been plenty of tired cheeks in ski country from grinning.”

New York state ski areas also welcomed a bumper crop of skiers and snowboarders throughout the holiday weekend according to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Whiteface had 5,000 skiers on the mountain Saturday, while the nearby Big Tupper Ski Area reported a 20 percent increase in visitors over the same period last year.

And Charlie Martin, manager of Mount Pisgah Ski Center in Saranac Lake, told the paper, “I would say if it's not our first, it's our second best weekend of the year.”

--Peter Kray

Send your WinterSports news to Peter Kray at pkray@snewsnet.com. Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at snewsbox@snewsnet.com to learn about posting your own news releases, getting your WinterSports headlines, or with any other questions or comments.

Related

Endless_winter_thumb_033011.jpg

Endless winter: ski resorts across the country extend season

A seemingly endless supply of snowfall and a late Easter have prompted ski areas from California to New York to extend their ski season--with a few even announcing tentative plans to keep the chairlifts running until July 4th. “With this much snow, Squaw Valley will have great ...read more

Crystal_Longstretch_thumb_053111.jpg

Still Skiing: Deep powder, big crowds rock Memorial Day weekend

OK, now this is getting ridiculous. So much snow kept falling through the Memorial Day Weekend at ski areas from California to Colorado, that some folks are joking next month should be renamed “June-uary” in light of the deep wintry conditions at their home resorts. “Almost 4,000 ...read more

Attitash_Summersnow_072611.jpg

Resort Report: Improvements, another resort record and summer snow

With all of the snow finally melting in the Rockies, the short window for on-mountain improvements has opened and lots of big name areas are stepping up their game on the slopes. Big Sky Resort is expanding its gladed tree runs by adding five new ski trials with 20-plus acres of ...read more

Whistler_Thumb_122910.jpg

Resort Report: chairlift accident, coast to coast powder & Whistler news

A ski lift accident at Sugarloaf ski area in Maine injured several guests, Dec. 28, 2010. According to a press release from Sugarloaf, “at approximately 10:30 am, the Spillway East Chairlift experienced a rope derailment. At this time, we have 6 injured guests who have been ...read more

snowresorts.jpg

Lack of snow hurting retailers, resorts

A healthy start for wintersports retail in late fall is fading as a lack of December snow in the United States is expected to put a dent in business. SnowSports Industries America reported its latest figures of the market — sales between August and November 2011 — up 5 percent ...read more

Snowbird_thumb.jpg

Resort Report: Squaw sold, smoke-free Pico, Snowbird hits 100 & more

Denver-based KSL Capital Partners said on Nov. 23 it has entered into an agreement to acquire all of the shares of The Squaw Valley Development Company, which includes the ski area, the Village at Squaw Valley and related real estate holdings. The transaction is expected to ...read more

Crystal_avy_thumb_040611.jpg

Resort Report: Avalanches, daylight savings & 50 years of instruction

The spring avalanche season has erupted in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest. A backcountry skier was killed in an avalanche Monday, April 4, 2011 outside the boundary of Aspen Highlands ski area, barely one week after a snowboarder was killed outside the boundary of ...read more

4th_resort_thumb_070611.jpg

Resort Report: 4th stoke, Tamarack repo, Tahoe stats and train war

In bikinis, draped in flags, and dressed up in all sorts of patriotic costumes, from Squaw Valley to Snowbird to Crystal Mountain, thousands of Fourth of July skiers celebrated the continuation of an incredible season in the U.S. Squaw, which was open on the 4th for the second ...read more

Fire_Pajarito_thumb_062811.jpg

Resort Report: Ski hill fires, July 4th ski-off, late legends and much more

New Mexico’s ski areas are 3-0 so far this summer in avoiding fiery catastrophe. As of June 28, 2011, the Las Conchas Fire, which consumed 60,000 acres of forest in just 48 hours, and resulted in the evacuation of the town of Los Alamos, had only resulted in spot fires at nearby ...read more