Editorial: Significant snowfall energizes Tahoe’s holiday spirit
South Shore residents woke up Thursday morning to the prospect of a white Christmas. Dropping hints of the dumping to come, pinpricks of ice began stinging the South Shore about 10 p.m. Wednesday.
The drizzle followed a lull in precipitation that had dropped several inches of snow a day earlier.
By 11 a.m. Thursday, skies had cleared, and the 8-inch-deep snow drifts reflected a brilliant winter sun and the deep blue Tahoe sky for which the area is famous. Residents and tourists alike must have marveled at the morning beauty.
Several teasing snowfalls in the past few weeks have whetted the appetites of outdoor winter enthusiasts, but with the South Shore’s first momentous snowfall, the holiday season is off to a roaring start.
That’s good news for skiers, snowboarders, sledders and all the rest, and if the storm portends more to come, the South Shore economy may greatly benefit as well.
After a debilitating 2006-07 winter season that experienced about 60 percent of normal snowfall, we’re hoping to rebound in a big way in 2007-08. With other chances for snow during the Christmas week, it looks like the area’s on the right track.
South Shore retailers also should breathe tempered sighs of relief if recent snowfalls lure tourists to vacation and Christmas shop.
But the snow also increases potential hazards: Perilous driving conditions and additional tourist traffic demand greater caution from everybody on our roads. And with the holiday season at its height, some motorists will be tempted to drink and drive, thus profoundly increasing the risks to other drivers.
Avoid the temptation: Drinking and driving, even in the best of weather conditions, is a recipe for disaster.
As we enter what many feel is the best time of year, please consider these recommendations:
— Drive safely and courteously.
— Ensure your vehicle is equipped with suitable winter-driving tires.
— Be polite and gracious to merchants and other shoppers as our stores get busy.
— Shop locally for Christmas presents.
— Welcome our area’s tourists and display your Tahoe Christmas spirit.
Happy holidays, everyone.