Sierra ski resorts shutting down for season
RENO, Nev. – Despite boasting an abundance of snow after a string of late-season storms, Sierra ski resorts are beginning to shut down for the season.
In the Lake Tahoe area, the Boreal, Diamond Peak and Homewood resorts plan to close on Sunday, while Alpine Meadows, Mt. Rose, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe will follow suit April 18.
Heavenly, Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl will cease operations April 25, while Squaw Valley USA plans a May 9 closing.
To the south, Mammoth Mountain plans to stay open the longest – through July 4. The resort has received more than 40 feet of snow this season, including more than 3 feet the first week of April. It will mark the 11th time that Mammoth has been open on July 4 in its 32-year history.
“We have the best April snow conditions I’ve seen in my 32 years on the mountain,” said Rusty Gregory, chairman and chief executive officer of Mammoth. “With as much snow as we have, our customers would riot if we closed down as early as the other ski resorts.”
Resort operators said skiers and snowboarders typically turn their attention to other outdoor activities once spring arrives.
“We close this time of year because our 46-year history says that skiers stop coming and there is a general lack of interest,” Mt. Rose spokeswoman Kayla Anderson told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “We have tried staying open late to no avail. It has never proven to be worthwhile.”
Sierra resorts are going out on a high note as they reported as much as 2 feet of snow from a storm early last week.
The National Weather Service also was calling for a chance of snow around Lake Tahoe each day through at least Wednesday.
As of April 1, the California Department of Water Resources reported the water content of the Sierra snowpack was 106 percent of the normal level for the time of year across the 400-mile mountain range. The same time last year, the reading was 81 percent of normal for the date.