Local Businesses Thrive on Sierra Storms

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This latest Sierra storm has left a new blanket of white on the mountains... and that's bringing lots of green to local businesses. Tourists and locals alike are flocking to area resorts, to enjoy the fresh snow... and boosting our economy along the way.

Reps from the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority say starting now and on through the New Year's weekend, a lot of people are expected to come through our area. Many of them are heading to the high country...but businesses owners say they're leaving footprints on our local economy.

The Truckee Bagel Company sits alongside the Mount Rose highway, hard to miss when you're going up the mountain...and after a dumping in the Sierra, that's just the place a lot of people are headed.

"We get very busy with people going up the mountain who stop by. It's kind of a tradition," said Truckee Bagel Manager Nicole Johns.

Snow-bound spenders pack the business this time of year, bringing in money that ultimately stays local.

"We know our customers on a one-to-one basis so it's like 'yeah, fresh snow, alright!' We have to brace ourselves here because when they come, they hit and we get a lot of them. It's awesome," said Johns.

Up in the high country, Mount Rose resort staff says they too are bracing for a big weekend...and they hope, a big season ahead. After last year's winter proved to be a dud, a few feet of fresh powder at Mount Rose feels like heaven.

"Snow is really good. It's not your typical Sierra cement. Nice, dry light powder. Very good, turns are deep," said Schuyler Harrison of Incline Village.

About 800 people hit the slopes...not a record by any means, but a good start to what ski staff say could potentially be the busiest weekend of the season.

"Going into the Christmas holiday is always the first big boom for ski resorts and you want this weekend to have lots of snow and good conditions, not to mention the buzz out there that there is good snow in Tahoe," said Mike Pierce from the Mt. Rose resort.

It's not just good for locals...but also anyone coming through town to hit the slopes...and after a hard day of riding the fresh snow...hey, they gotta eat somewhere.

"Now we even have a sign on the freeway so we are catching even more people that way," added Johns.

A few local casinos and hotels who are reporting very high reservation numbers in their restaurants. They're expecting standing room only on Christmas day.

While hotel reservations are a little light this weekend, beds are expected to be selling out as we approach the first of the year.

Many hotels are expecting 90% occupancy by the time the ball drops on new year's eve.

Last winter, many resorts actually had to lay off staff members because they just weren't getting enough business, but they're optimistic that mother nature will bring them good luck this year.

Mount Rose is getting ready to bring on more staff, which also means more jobs for our local people. They say this last storm really saved the day and they're crossing their fingers that it'll just keep on dumping!