Tahoe Businesses Adapting to Lack of Snow

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TAHOE CITY, CA -- Our continued dry weather has potential to create some serious problems for our region, especially for those who rely on a snow economy.

Right now, throughout the Sierra, many areas are lacking significant snow. Businesses that normally rely on that snow to stay afloat have been forced to adapt to the conditions.

However, at the Tahoe Winter Sports Park in Tahoe City, the conditions are bleak. The visitors once snowshoeing, sledding, and cross-country skiing on the slopes left with the snow.

"Now we're just looking forward to getting more snow here soon, hopefully," said Kevin Murnane

Murnane didn't have much choice on Friday but to close the park. He only needs an inch or two of snow to operate, but that finally melted away.

"We hope we can salvage the season and still have a great midwinter and spring," said Murnane.

Despite the conditions, the feel around Tahoe City is one of hope; they are not giving up easily.

"Were back to hiking and biking like it is an early spring, people are out boating on the lake and stand-up boarding and we are really having a really good time so far," said Steve Hoch with the Tahoe City Downtown Association.

Tahoe is quick to adapt because it has to do it every season; very few places rely on a single stream of income.

"I think if you are a business owner or business operator in Tahoe City, you are adapting all the time," said Andy Chapman with the North Lake Tahoe Visitor's Bureau.

Chapman adds we're still early in the season and we shouldn't call it over yet.

"Its only January 14th right now so we have a lot of season in front of us," said Chapman.

Shops and restaurants for the most part had a successful holiday -- still, this area's bread and butter is ski season.

"Like everybody else they are hoping for more snow and we are hoping for our guests to keep on coming and come in even larger number," said Steve Hoch.

The biggest problem facing the area right now is one of perception. People think there is no snow on the ski hills, but actually snowmaking is doing a fairly good job of fixing that on the big mountains. For small areas like Tahoe Winter Sports Park it's a different story. Mother Nature is running late.

"We're pretty optimistic that we are going to have a good remainder of the season," said Murnane.

If that snow does not come by the end of the season there are some serious concerns for summer. The level of Lake Tahoe right now is very low.

That means potential problems for boaters on Lake Tahoe and rafters on the Truckee River.