‘Snow trumps the economy’: Weeklong snowstorm brings in a flurry of visitors
Nevada Appeal News Service
TAHOE/TRUCKEE – She’s said it once, and she’ll say it again: “Snow trumps the economy.”
That is the mantra these days for Squaw Valley USA spokeswoman Savannah Cowley each time she’s describes this year’s snowfall.
Laughing, Cowley, said she doesn’t know how many times she’s said the phrase this year, but the fact is, it’s true. And the numbers do the talking.
As of Tuesday the resort has recorded 270-plus inches of yearly snowfall or about 60 percent of the resort’s 450-inch average snowfall per year. With four months until the resort closes in May, Cowley said the snowfall will break their annual average and perhaps the 600-inch mark if snow continues to fall at the current rate.
“It’s the timing of the snowfall that’s really important. This week we saw snow coming down at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour,” she said.
Financially speaking, Cowley said resorts and local businesses will be the direct benefactors, with crowds stimulating the Tahoe economy with additional consumers. Comparing this year to last, she reported Squaw to be up 110 percent in visits this week compared to last year during the same week.
“We were unsure what sales would look like with a lot of people being converted into season pass holders.” At Mount Rose Ski Resort Kayla Anderson, the public relations and web manager, was making observations of her own.
Just before 8:30 a.m., Anderson watched as a broken caravan of cars made its way into the parking lot. Emerging from the warm vehicles skiers pushed boots into bindings, prodded snow with poles, nestling eventually in a candy cane shaped cluster at the base of a lift. “I couldn’t believe how many diehard powder hounds were out for the 8:30 a.m. Blazing Zephyr lift,” Anderson said, describing last weekend’s crowds.
According to the National Weather Service in Reno, rain showers should convert to snow today.
The weekend will see chances of snow Saturday and then taper off into Sunday.