Economic Winter Outlook for Tahoe Remains Sunny

December 6, 2011

Despite the lack of white stuff on the ground and the weather forecast calling for blue skies ahead in the days to come, most Lake Tahoe, tourist-based business owners remain confident they’ll be in the black this winter.

“All of our indicators are pointing toward a very positive season,” Andy Chapman, director of tourism of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, told the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza newspaper. “We’re seeing a constant increase in growth.”

While a rain dance – or snow dance in this case – surely couldn’t hurt, the very cold temperatures have led to nearly round-the-clock snow making at several ski resorts. In fact, recent overnight lows have been in the single digits in the greater Tahoe-Truckee area and the highs only around 40 degrees.

Because of these frigid conditions, Boreal, Northstar-at-Tahoe, and Heavenly are already open even though there hasn’t been a non-mechanical storm to hit their respective resorts in weeks.

Northstar is reporting a base of 18 inches and Boreal, which opened in late October, is reporting roughly the same. Perhaps it’s because the options are limited at this stage, but skiers and snowboarders seem to be responding well.

“It’s been a strong start for us. If the storms are placed at the right time, we will remain really optimistic,” Jody Church, general manager of Boreal Ski Area, told an area reporter. “The momentum so far is very strong and we’re hopeful it’s going to be another great winter.”

The fact that last year was a near record-setter in terms of snow levels has also enticed many travelers to book their holiday getaway to the Sierra Nevada early. It is also early in the season and most outdoor enthusiasts realize there is no better place to spend the holidays – and other vacation time – than in beautiful Lake Tahoe.

Still, every ski resort and most area businesses rely upon tourism and getting into the black depends heavily on getting skiers and snowboarders into the fluffy white.

Thus, with nothing but blue skies expected for the next week or so, it probably couldn’t hurt to do a little ceremonial, precipitation-inducing  Tahoe two-step just in case.