Not enough snow for Snoqualmie Pass resort to open

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on December 21, 2013 at 7:54 PM

SNOQUALMIE PASS -- Lack of snow at Snoqualmie Pass has skiers staying home and thousands of employees unable to earn a paycheck.

On a busy Saturday, up to 16,000 people normally visit the Summit at Snoqualmie Pass. But this weekend, the resort can’t open.

“We’ve seen this before, it’s not super unusual. The thing we’re really hanging on to is the call for a normal winter forecast once we get through this cycle,” said Guy Lawrence, a spokesman.

According to Lawrence, at least two feet of snow is needed to start operations.

Meanwhile, area businesses are feeling the impact of the attraction’s closure.

“We’re so low, we’re only 3,000 feet up and you can either have it snowing or raining and this year it seems like it’s just been raining,” said Kerstin Diaz, a front desk clerk at The Summit Inn.

Without snow, Diaz says occupancy has gone downhill at less than 50%.  Some with reservations are calling up to reschedule. Some guests intended to work at the ski resort, but many are now thinking about going home.

“This is our worst December in nearly 14 years,” said Diaz.

At Pro Ski in North Bend, business is steady thanks to other resorts. Average customer spending is around $500.

“Stevens pass sounds like they’re pretty much in full operation, Crystal Mountain is pretty much full operation, and Baker is running,” said Mike Yost, manager.

The resort is keeping an eye on the forecast, hoping for a turnaround.

“Santa bring us a present, a really big white present, we really need it,” said Lawrence.

To make up for the closure, the Summit is offering any season pass holders access to Crystal Mountain and all sister properties.

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