China Peak officials hoping to open the slopes early

CHINA PEAK (KFSN) -- Excitement is building at china peak. Officials said, Monday's storms dropped over a foot of snow at the resort.

Just days after Halloween, China Peak looks like a winter wonderland. And officials said with a few more storms they could open by Thanksgiving. "It's exciting! It's got everyone excited. The phones are ringing, the emails are coming in," said Debbie Neely, China Peak Chief Financial Officer.

Less than 24 hours after the first snow of the season skiers and snowboarders are making plans to hit the slopes at China Peak Ski Resort in Fresno County. But officials said they are counting on a few possibilities to happen in order to open at the end of the month. "We always hope to open by Thanksgiving. So we look for a weather pattern where the temperatures are going to stay cold enough, and, between mother nature, and our own snowmaking, if we can get a couple feet on the ground we can open," said Neely

Just down the road from China Peak in Shaver Lake, a sporting goods store is rolling out the merchandise for the upcoming ski season. But one of the owners said snow in the winter season is good for business all year long. "It will help us mainly with the water supply because besides the ski and snowboard business we're in the marina business. And that water is really important to us both seasons," said Dave Powell, Shaver Lake Sports.

If China Peak opens on Thanksgiving weekend that would be an early start, last year they opened in mid-December. With the recent drought creating a lack of snow, officials at the resort know season pass holders have been patient. "So, that's a very good indication of the loyalty and the excitement, and the pent-up demand that people are just waiting to get back on slopes," said Neely.

China Peak has over 300 employees ready to go for the ski season. With a cold and wet weather pattern, they hope to stay open through the spring.
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