Sierra business owners hope weather starts to cool

Many businesses in the Sierras would like to see the snow season start sooner rather than later.
November 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Many businesses in the Sierras would like to see the snow season start sooner rather than later.

Tim Cohee, owner of the China Peak Mountain Resort, said they hope to open the slopes by Thanksgiving Day.

"We wouldn't be worried about it if we were sitting here a month from now, but we'd like to get going," Cohee said.

As long as they open by Christmas Day their bottom line shouldn't take a hit, as Cohee says most people are too busy to go visit the snow before Christmas. But in the past few years, they've been open by Thanksgiving Day and it's helped give them early season momentum.

"From an excitement standpoint, from shops, from selling season passes, from booking lodging for Christmas it has an effect," Cohee said. "It's more about people's plans."

There was some snow on the mountain Monday, but there was more sunshine.

China Peak doesn't rely entirely on Mother Nature. Cohee says they're ready to turn on the machines that will start making snow once the conditions allow for it.

"It's getting close at night, but it's pretty warm at the day time," he said. "It's very expensive to make snow so you want to be effective and productive, you don't want to make snow and see it vanish four hours later."

Shops along Shaver Lake are looking forward to the snow season.

Tyler Powell at Shaver Lake Sports has started switching the store inventory in late October. They've put away most of the fishing and camping equipment, and replaced it with winter gear.

"Got all of our skies and gloves, snow boots and everything ready for people come play in the snow," Powell said.

He says the summer has been good, now they're ready for a strong snow season to bring in visitors.

"It's very important," Powell said. "Without snow, it's pretty tough. That's money definitely falling from the sky."

If the mountain doesn't have natural snow covering the mountains close to Thanksgiving, Cohee says their machines would need a week to 10 days to cover up the mountain with snow.

"So probably about the 18th or 17th of November, we'd like to see some cold air," he said.


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