Industry News 11/11/2009

SNOW: Washington State Resorts to Open This Week

Washington State Resorts to Open This Week
Powerful Cold,Wet Early-Season Pacific Storm Systems Bring Fun, Work

More than 40 inches of fresh snowfall at Washington State ski and snowboard areas over the last week is enough for many resorts to open this week. Spokane to Seattle - skiers and snowboarders can expect and early start to the 2009/10 season.

“We’re pretty excited to get open by Thanksgiving each year,” said Crystal Mountain Marketing Director Tiana Enger, whose resort will be first to open tomorrow with $30 lift tickets.

“Last year we opened December 13. Tomorrow will be our 5th earliest opening in two decades,” added  Enger.

Crews at Crystal, White Pass, Mt. Baker and others are scrambling to get riders on the snow soon.

“We tell all our employees at job fair to be ready at November 1 and they are. So as of yesterday we started making all the calls to get all our employees up here! We’re all very excited and feeling good,” said Enger.

However, ski and snowboard enthusiasts aren’t the only ones to benefit from the early blast of snow. Thousands of seasonal employees are returning to work at Washington State ski and snowboard areas.

"The impact of an early ski season is felt far beyond each individual resort's bottom line,” said White Pass Marketing Director Kathleen Goyette. 

“The Washington Ski industry serves an average of 2 million visitors each year and employs thousands in the state. In fact, NSAA research shows that for each dollar spent on a lift ticket, another five dollars are spent on ancillary items like food, beverage, lodging, fuel and equipment. Obviously, an early opening is great for skiers and riders while being good for the economy at large," she added.
 
Forecasters are calling for snow to continue through the coming weekend into next week. Snowfall predictions are varying, however one thing is certain.

"While many people are raking leaves in comfortable 50-degree weather, we've been shoveling more than 2 feet of snow at White Pass!  The forecast calls for continued cold temperatures and increasing precipitation so plan on trading that rake for some ski poles and getting to the mountains this weekend," said Goyette.