Weekend storm drops much-needed snow on Sierras

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- While much of the valley got its share of rain yesterday, some areas got their first snowfall of the year.

Up in the mountains, the air was crisp and the cars were coated with 15 inches of snow - making it look less like fall and more like winter at Shaver Lake.

"It just hit and out of nowhere," said Kyle Lee, who runs the Shaver Lake Village Hotel. "We had three inches on the ground in a matter of 30 to 45 minutes."

Lee says as soon as the snow started falling from the sky, reservations started coming in.

"We've got our phone going off, nonstop emails coming in," he said. "So, it's definitely good."

Jack Brackett traveled from Bakersfield with his family to see the lighting of the tree. He said the snowfall was an added bonus.

"It was awesome," he exclaimed. "It blew my mind because the snow coming down looked like someone exploded a giant bean bag, it was that perfect."

Restaurants like Shaver Lake Pub and Grub saw an increase in business. Samuel Norwood with the restaurant said in comparison to last week it went up significantly. He's crediting the snow and holiday weekend for that.

"We at least doubled our business," he said. "So, we definitely saw a good spike."

Norwood is confident when China Peak opens, even more people will come through and Cal Trans crews are getting ready for that reality. They're already plowing the roads.

Employees at China Peak Mountain Ski Resort are anticipating a big opening day. They say the overnight storm dumped almost two feet of snow at the top of the mountain.

"That is 18 inches right there," said Nick Cohee, who is the director of skiing at the resort. "We're anticipating a huge opening weekend. Like I said, we have some storms in the forecast this week."

They are planning to open the resort on December 3, but Cohee says they could open earlier if they get more snow this week.
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