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Snowmaking equipment saving season for Snowbowl

(Arizona Snowbowl Photo)

PHOENIX -- The winter snowpack in Arizona's high country is almost nonexistent this season. The numbers are so bad that Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff would not be open if it didn't have the gear to make powder.

Jason Stratton with the resort said December was the fourth-lowest natural snowfall month in the resort's 76-year history.

"About 90 percent of our base is all manmade snow. We are counting our blessings that we now have the snowmaking equipment." The resort has had the equipment since last year.

Snowbowl had a record month in December with 41,000 skiers. That's a good thing because Flagstaff depends on the skiers for their winter economy.

"It's a huge impact on gas stations, restaurants and hotels."

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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