Diamond Peak sets record for visits | SierraSun.com

Diamond Peak sets record for visits

The news just keeps getting better and better for Incline Village’s lone mountain ski resort.

And more positive news is on the way.

Just days after Diamond Peak Ski Resort saw the highest number of skier visits in the history of the resort, mountain staff now are eagerly awaiting Mother Nature’s forecasted return this week.

The National Weather Service is predicting a series of storms, on top of Tuesday evening’s flirting storm, will hit the Sierra this week, with the most serious storm expected to bring “significant snow accumulations” to the mountain ridges and at lake level.

“What this set of storms will do is rejuvenate some skiers’ interest to ski again,” said Ed Youmans, general manager at Diamond Peak. “When you come into March, and there’s no new snow and it stays warm, people start thinking about doing other activities.”

After a ferocious January, the Lake Tahoe Basin has been mild since early this month, with temperatures approaching 60 degrees on a few occasions.

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The warm weather has caused more than a foot of snow to melt at Diamond Peak. As of Tuesday morning, Diamond Peak’s snow measurements sat at 70 inches at the base (6,700 feet) and 120 inches at the peak (8,500 feet). Two weeks ago, on the Tuesday after Super Bowl Sunday, those measurements were at 85 and 135 inches, respectively.

Kayla Anderson, Diamond Peak spokeswoman and Incline Village General Improvement District marketing coordinator, said this week’s forecasted snow will be a welcome change.

“Although Diamond Peak has 100 percent of its terrain open and is able to offer a full operating mountain to its customers, we always welcome new snow,” Anderson said. “This next storm will help replenish the amount of snow that melted throughout the week, and we should have beautiful spring conditions for the weekend.”

While officials hope the expected snow leads to better skiing this weekend, it would be hard to top what the mountain experienced this past President’s Day weekend.

On Sunday, the mountain saw 4,336 skier/rider visits, the largest amount of visits for the Sunday preceding President’s Day.

But that’s just the surface.

“It actually was the biggest day ever in Diamond Peak history,” Youmans said. “We beat the previous record by about 300 visits. We destroyed the record.”

Prior to Sunday, Youmans said the largest skier population was 4,037 visits, a turnout that occurred near the end of 2002.

On Saturday, the mountain saw 3,773 visits, another number Youmans said easily was the best Saturday turnout in more than 10 years.

“I don’t remember the last time we did 3,700 visits on a Saturday,” he said.

As most numbers have shown this ski year for Diamond Peak, the total number of visits from the four-day holiday weekend to last year’s totals.

The resort saw 12,322 visits over the weekend, with 1,457 coming Friday and 2,423 on Monday, President’s Day. In 2007, known as one of the worst snow years for Diamond Peak, the resort saw 7,937 skier visits over the four-day weekend, an increase of 36 percent.

Furthermore, the mountain saw 2,561 skier visits the Sunday before President’s Day in 2007 ” 41 percent more came this year.