Ski Season Starts Early at Sierra Summit

FRESNO, Calif. It's not where you'd expect to find Sierra Summit's general manager, but Brian Bressel spent Friday night behind the wheel of this snow cat, preparing for Saturday's opening day at the ski park.

"You know historically it's not that early, but we haven't been open this early for about four years, so from that point we're pretty excited. Not only are we open, but we have quite a bit of runnage."

Down the mountain in Shaver Lake, Norm Kato ... owner of Shaver Coffee and Deli says he and other local business owners are also gearing up for Saturday.

After a slow few months, Kato says winter is their busiest time of year.

"It's been a little bit on the slower side. I think everybody is kinda waiting and anticipating what the weather is going to be like. Snow is everything."

But not to everyone. Mike Kurpakus does construction in Shaver Lake. He says an early season snow storm will prevent him from working.

"Up until Christmas, there's just a lot to do outside. We can have some, but I don't want four or five feet of snow ... that's a lot of snow ... ah!"

Friday's storm won't bring that much snow ... but Sierra Summit employees say it will be just enough to kick off the winter season.

They expect to have both the learning hill and beginner hill open Saturday morning.

"You know basically this year we had improved some of the snow making system, we have plenty of water, and we've had some cold temperatures so we've been able to make snow for ten days here."

Friday's storm is expected to drop between four and six inches of snow. But officials here at Sierra Summit say they'll take whatever they can get.

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