Fine weather brings post-Christmas rush |

Fine weather brings post-Christmas rush

Michael Schneider

Unlike last year, when the Tahoe area saw torrential rains which washed out the end-of-December rush along with the main route to Tahoe, area ski resorts reported clear skies, warm temperatures and packed slopes all weekend.

“So far, this year is on par with some of our best years,” said John Wagnon, Heavenly Ski Resort vice president of marketing. Wagnon said business has been up anywhere from 10 to 20 percent over last year when a hyped and anticipated series of warm storms battered California and Nevada with snow levels as high as 10,000 feet at the end of 1996 and into 1997.

Brinn Talbot, public relations manager at Alpine Meadows, said she expected the weekend would be good when she tried to leave the Bay Area for Tahoe and decided to wait an extra day due to the packed roads leading to the Sierra Nevada.

“We had a great weekend and only anticipate it getting stronger,” said Talbot. “Typically the second week (of the holiday season) is stronger for us.”

Alpine is 100 percent open, including the half-pipe, with a 4- to 6-foot base and sunny weather.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is experiencing an influx of more skiers and snowboarders than they budgeted for this holiday season, Nancy Harrison, public relations manager said.

Sgt. Les Scott of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department said the increase in skiers and other tourists has lead to an increase in calls for service from the police department.

“When the tourist population goes up, we get more calls,” said Scott, pointing out that despite the increased workload, there have not been any serious incidents so far this holiday season. “We’re glad to see it.”

Scott said that while a small amount of the tourist population coming to town for the famous New Year’s Eve celebration may already be here, the the police department expects the bulk of partiers to show up Monday and Tuesday.

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