Snow gives Truckee-Tahoe businesses reason to celebrate
Holiday revenue was up this year for Tahoe-area resorts and retail businesses, a turn of events that some attribute to a beneficial calendar and, of course, the recent snowfall that blanketed the Sierra Nevada. Because of the way the holiday fell, were busier than usual, said reservationist Gayle Hackbarth of the Hauserman Rental Group in Tahoe City.Reservations are nearly sold out for New Years, and fewer travelers have canceled their plans compared to last winter when snow was scarce, Hackbarth added. Owner John Chapman of Porters Sports in Truckee and Tahoe City also reported brisk business since last weeks snowstorm. With school classes not resuming for another week, he said he expects business to remain strong.Similarly, Daves Skis and Boards shop in Kings Beach reported an increase in traffic and sales this year thanks to the highly publicized snowstorm earlier this month.Sales are well up from last year and there are definitely more tourists shopping, store manager Vic Hutchison said by phone. It doesnt matter what the conditions are now because people booked their vacations a few weeks ago when it snowed.The overall business climate for North Lake Tahoe resorts was also stronger this year than in recent holiday vacation periods.There are strong indications that this is going to be a good holiday season, said Director of Tourism Andy Chapman of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. The snow product we have is much better than last year.Chapman said he also credits news coverage of the storm for the influx of tourists. Area ski resort representatives agreed that the snow conditions brought more people to the slopes this season. Spokesperson Kirstin Cattell of Northstar at Tahoe, said the resort heavily promoted the recent snowfall to lure more skiers and snowboarders to the mountain.Business is going very well, she said. The weather definitely brought out a lot of skiers from Sacramento and San Francisco.Other ski resort officials said they are looking forward to continued traffic through the rest of the winter holiday season. But in an industry that relies on the right kind of weather, the wrong kind of weather can undermine the winter economy just as quickly.Until the mid-December precipitation, Porters Chapman said he had give additional discounts to coax more local shoppers into the shop.It definitely helped before we got the snow, he said.