Too much snow. You don’t hear it said too often, but they are saying it now. Too much snow is apparently the reason that California ski resorts are reporting skier visits to be down 12% for the 2010/11 season. The real reason for the lower attendance turns out to be the timing of the storms. California snow storms seemed almost always be on weekends this year. Those weekend storms warded of customers that likely would have come on up had the weekend forecast been more favorable.
They were smart. Highway 80 in Northern California was closed 181 times for a total of 126 hours. That is actually less closures than last winter, but this year it was closed for more total hours. Obviously, road closures added to the amount of skiers that didn’t come up and ski Lake Tahoe this winter.
Alpine Meadows, for example, recorded 202 inches of snow in March alone, a new record for the resort. “But attendance was not what we expected,” spokeswoman Rachael Woods said. –latimes.com
Mammoth Mountain, one of the most popular resorts for Southern Californians, recorded the snowiest December ever, with 209 inches of accumulated snow. But visitor numbers for the season remain on par with last year, partly because heavy storms fell during key winter weekends that month, keeping skiers at home, resort spokesman Dan Hansen said. –latimes.com
Snowfall on Donner Summit was 165% of normal this winter. Right now, snow depth on Donner Summit is still 83 inches!
“It wasn’t a record, but it was definitely one of the top five snowiest years,” hydrologist Randall Osterhuber said. –latimes.com
California’s outdoor industry pulls in $44 billion/year. Of that $44 billion, $3 billion of it goes to the ski industry. California has 27 ski resorts and 2.3 million skiers/riders/snowshoers out of our 37.2 million humans.
You can learn more from the LA Times article that I stole all the quotes above from: –latimes.com