Groomers produce holiday spirit |

Groomers produce holiday spirit

Dreams of a white Christmas came for some people with a lot of help from groomers and artificial snow.

“We’ve got lots of ‘smiley,’ happy faces out there,” said Ben McLeod, communication director for Sierra-at-Tahoe.

“We’re pretty happy with our Christmas,” McLeod said, “We certainly are down a little, but everyone is down a little.”

Representative’s from Heavenly and Kirkwood Ski Resorts agreed that fewer people spent the holiday on the slopes than in years past. However, Kirkwood’s Tania Pilkinton said, “We haven’t had any complaints, I think the people who are coming up are having a really good time.”

With the lack of snow fall this winter the emphasis at each of the resorts is on snowmaking and grooming.

Heavenly Ski Resort was able to make snow the four nights proceeding Christmas and covered each of their open runs with a new layer of machine made snow to prepare for the holiday.

McLeod said it is the skill of the groomer that is keeping the areas operating.

“Our groomers are doing a great job,” McLeod said. “We are able to create a really nice winter experience for the people who are here.”

According to Pilkinton, Tahoe residents were staying away from the slopes but said she noticed a lot of first time skiers taking lessons.

“It’s a big family time,” Pilkinton said. “We see a lot of family activity around the holidays, and there were a lot of people trying to learn.”

Pilkinton said that despite firm snow, it is a good time to learn to ski, but the conditions were poor for beginning snowboarders or advanced skiers.

“It’s not a good time for extreme skiing,” Pilkinton said. “Well I guess it is, you could get really extreme at the moment.”

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