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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Flagstaff ski season will be a little less dependent on Mother Nature this year.

The Arizona Snowbowl Resort began using its new snow-making machine on Tuesday.

Spokesman David Smith said the resort is expecting a packed ski season, in part because of the new equipment.

"It's going to be a boom to the Flagstaff economy," he said. "Everyone's going to know that we're going to have a reliable product year in and year out.

"It's going to be an exciting season with above-average snowfall predicted and it's very exciting because this is actually our 75th anniversary season."

Smith also said weather conditions have to be just right for snow-making.

"You have to look at what the outside air temperature is, what the relative humidity is, what the wet bulb temperature is, so there are alot of different variables you have to look at to see when you're able to produce snow."

The resort spent about $12 million on the equipment.

Jill Ryan, Reporter

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