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Ski season just getting started at Tahoe (w/video)

  • Drake Evans of Reno, Calif., jumps a pill tap at the terrain park of Boreal Mountain Resort near Truckee, Calif., on February 13, 2014. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Last weekend's storm brought much-needed snow to Lake Tahoe ski resorts, just in time for the three-day President's Day weekend.

Many ski runs, kept closed because of a lack of snow coverage, will open for the first time this winter. And roads are clear as thousands wax their boards and skis, ready to hit the slopes.

Add a dash of hype from the ongoing winter Olympics, and ski resorts are anticipating big crowds of fans who finally will have more than just a limited number of runs available.

Winter Drought

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"The natural snow creates a lot of buzz. With the Olympics it gets people out there to start their own Olympic dreams," said Sally Gunter, spokeswoman for Heavenly Mountain Resort at South Shore.

It took until early February for a real winter storm to blanket the upper Sierra Nevada.

Thank goodness it finally did, said Santa Rosa Ski and Sports co-owner Mike Conway.

The difference between the bustling store this week and two weeks ago was "night and day," he said, probably four times as busy.

"People in this area were waiting for snow," he said. "They were getting antsy."

Bus trips leaving from the store were booking up fast, he said — but the store will keep booking as many buses as customers fill up.

December and January, the best months for ski stores, were about 40 percent slower than usual, Conway said.


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