Mountain businesses thrilled to see snow, increased tourism

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A look at the web cameras in Shaver Lake Tuesday afternoon shows several inches of snow now blanket the community -- with more on the way.

Leah Cordello at Shaver Lake Gas and Food Mart says it's fun to see tourists come through to play in the snow.

"We do get a lot of families that come in here, they pick up the sleds," Cordello said.

But she says the bulk of the business comes from people headed for the slopes.

Tim Cohee, the managing partner at China Peak, says this season has been the best the resort has ever had.

"That's what's been keeping the skiing and riding so fantastic," he said. "I mean, people come off the mountain and say, 'I don't understand why it's so good.'"

Despite the lack of significant rain in the Valley since December, Cohee says China Peak has been thriving. The major snowfall late last year provided a snowpack still holding strong today.

Freezing temperatures helped them fill the weeks-long gap with snowmaking.

"November was the hottest on record, December was the biggest snow on record, January was snowless but the coldest January on record," he said.

Looking ahead, Cohee believes the best is yet to come this snow season.

The forecast is also great news for owners of Shaver Lake's beloved Hungry Hut, where owners say they'll extend their hours and stay open as long as customers keep coming in.

"We were super excited and we are still excited," says Mila Sprzelczyk. "More snow, more business."

Officials ask that you report weather-related road hazards on the CalTrans website.
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