Finally, snow in Vail’s forecast | VailDaily.com
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Finally, snow in Vail’s forecast

Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyVail Mountain delayed opening one run by two days because so little snow had fallen. Two storms are forecast to bring several inches of snow to the Rockies this week.
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VAIL ” Every hour or so, Mike Brumbaugh’s employees were going online to check the weather forecast.

Will the snow come? Will the storm strengthen? Will it peter out, or head elsewhere?

“It’s what pays all of our bills, so we’re all looking at it, for sure,” said Brumbaugh, an owner of Venture Sports in Avon.

And when it has snowed little over the last few weeks, you’re bound to get even more antsy.

A couple of snowstorms are headed this way, enough to get locals excited. Brumbaugh was more stoic.

“It’s easier to count it when it’s lying on the ground,” he said.

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service call for 2-4 inches of accumulation in the Vail area Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Another, seemingly bigger storm is headed to town Thursday night and could stick around till Saturday, said Mike Chamberlain of the National Weather Service.

The snowpack at Vail Mountain is lagging behind both the historical average and the dry winter of 2001-2002, according to readings from the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.

There are about 3.5 inches of water equivalent in the snowpack on Vail Mountain now, according to the district. The historical average for this time of year is about 4.7 inches.

Local ski mountains have struggled with warm, dry weather this early season. Both Vail and Beaver Creek delayed their openings because they could not make enough snow.

The Vail Nordic Center ” on the site of the Vail Golf Club ” needs another 4-5 inches before it can groom the track, said Mia Stockdale of the Nordic center.

In past seasons, the Nordic center has been open by this time of year. But last weekend, bikers were still riding the cart paths at the golf course, said John Monson of the Vail Recreation District.

Vail Mountain has opened 76 acres, or less than 2 percent of its terrain.

“We are definitely looking forward to the storm and are hoping the next few storms really provide the significant snowfall that we’ve all been looking forward to,” said spokeswoman Jen Brown. “We hope the next one is the big one.”

Vail expects to open more terrain in the next week, and snowmaking continues on the mountain, Brown said.

There’s not yet a ski connection to Vail Village, where many bars, restaurants and stores are. That includes Phil Long’s Red Lion restaurant and bar.

“It was a strange thing to do apres ski (last weekend) and not have one pair of skis sitting outside the door,” Long said.

Long said he’s closely watching the forecast.

“We are optimistic,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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