Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort Closes Because of Lack of Snow

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SODA SPRINGS, CA -- Royal Gorge, a cross country ski resort operated by Sugar Bowl, is closing, citing a lack of snow.

"The employees have been laid off right now until we can open up again most of them are going off skiing some place else," Royal Gorge director of operations Jojo Toeppner said.

The season's first snow survey revealed the lowest snow levels in the region since 2012.

"The last two years have been terrible also even last year wasn't this bad," Sebastopol, California resident James Malachowski said. He said the ski conditions are still pretty good at Sugar Bowl's Mount Judah, where man-made snow can be produced.

Toeppner said man-made snow isn't a very good option for Royal Gorge.

"They have to carry it too far we have like two-hundred-plus kilometers so that's a little too far to carry the snow," she said.

Ski resorts are contending with not only dry conditions, but sunshine and relatively warm afternoon temperatures.

The possibility of another dry year has prompted some at Lake Tahoe to urge water conservation. Many California communities rely on the mountain snow for their water supply.