Business owners, residents, ski resorts rejoice after early-December Tahoe storm |

Business owners, residents, ski resorts rejoice after early-December Tahoe storm

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Ryan Slabaugh/Sierra SunMost people welcomed the site of covered vehicles when the awoke Monday morning.

TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; A thick frosting of white sparkling snow. The community a-buzz with excitement and energy. Cars lined up for miles at chain controls on the Interstate, sliding this way and that.

It’s a magical time of year.

and#8220;This is such a great way to start the season,and#8221; said Dave Wilderotter, owner of Tahoe Dave’s Skis and Boards in Truckee, Tahoe City and Kings Beach. and#8220;It’s why we all live here and#8212; it’s about enjoying the winter.and#8221;

The storm that rolled in Sunday and hung around much of Monday didn’t disappoint; with about 30 inches of uncharacteristically light, fluffy snow on Donner Summit and around different ski areas.

How light and fluffy? According to Randall Osterhuber of the Central Sierra Snow Lab on Donner Summit, the snow is only 6.5 percent water by volume.

And the early December timing of the storm is not just good for local spirits and#8212; it’s good for business too.

and#8220;It’s just what we needed,and#8221; said Paco Lindsay, of Paco’s Bike and Ski. and#8220;It’s got people thinking of snow. It’s the magic ingredient.and#8221;

Wilderotter said snow this time of year gives would-be tourists the confidence to book their vacations for the holidays and beyond, meaning more visitors and more visitor dollars.

Allan Wicks, owner of the Trio Wine Bar, agreed.

and#8220;It doesn’t matter if we have 100 feet of snow in the spring, when the days get longer and warmer elsewhere, people shift into other things and#8212; so if we can start the winter sooner, that’s huge for our sales,and#8221; Wicks said.

As long as the weather doesn’t take a turn for the warm or rainy, Lindsay said he also expects the snow to boost sales, in spite of the down economy.

and#8220;We could be up 20 to 25 percent this month compared to no snow, even with the bad economy,and#8221; Lindsay said. and#8220;It’s not going to be as good as when the economy was good, but snow makes people excited.and#8221;

They’re excited at the ski resorts too.

and#8220;It’s phenomenal,and#8221; said Jody Churich, general manager for Boreal Mountain Resort. and#8220;Last year the snow fell during Christmas and we struggled digging out, but this year it came a bit earlier, which is just huge.and#8221;

She said she thinks the snow could make a big difference in the local economy this year.

Jojo Toeppner, manager of the Tahoe Donner Cross Country ski area said the new snow means the resort can open Tuesday.

and#8220;It looks pretty good; I just went by and it looks like corduroy,and#8221; Toeppner said.

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