Fresh snow means big business for California resorts

South Lake Tahoe

The recent wet storms that slammed the sierra ensured skiers and snowboarders this season will be one to remember. Here at Heavenly Mountain, seven feet of new snow fell in the last week, making conditions ideal.

"Fresh powder. Amazing! Fantastic! We had an amazing time," said Aria Benham. "Best snow of my life!"

California ski resorts are coming off their second best season last winter.

The California Ski Industry Association reported 8 million visits, and all these storms from Tahoe to Mammoth are paving the way to meet that, if not beat it this season, despite a lingering recession.

Heavenly Mountain Resort, Russ Pecoraro said, "We're breaking records in terms of snowfall. We've had 180 inches of snowfall already this season. At this time last year, we were at 90 inches."

While all that spells a white Christmas for visitors, it could also be a green one for area businesses because this is when they make a considerable portion of their revenue.

Peter Kim said, "We go to Mammoth also. But we get free rooms from Harvey's for casinos, you know!"

And there's plenty to do for people who don't ski or snowboard. There's snowmobiling too.

Dean Master said, "We just had a blast. The snow was great! It's exciting. We loved it!"

Of course, there's also good old-fashioned fun -- just start a snowball fight!

5-year-old Sophia Cacuyog from Vallejo adds, "The snow is very fun. We can make snow angels, snowmen and snowballs!"

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