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Blast of new snow should keep ski areas open through March

PHOENIX -- Arizona's high country ski resorts are celebrating a late winter blast of snow that dumped almost two dozen inches.

At Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff, 22 inches of new powder fell, and 19 inches of fresh snow fell on Sunrise Park Resort near Greer.

Mother Nature has been a no-show for most of the winter and both resorts depended almost exclusively on snowmaking equipment to reach this point. Bill London with Sunrise Park Resort said he hopes they can keep going until Easter.

"Unless it gets unseasonably warm, we'll get through March," London said. "Right now, it's really good. This last storm sets us up nicely; it helped us a ton."

London said the mountain had no snow in January or February and they were dealing with warm temperatures that made ski conditions dicey.

Ryan Hartl with Arizona Snowbowl said last weekend brought the first real snow since December and rekindled the interest for skiers, adding that Snowbowl "absolutely would not be open right now without the snowmaking equipment."

Hartl said they have actually had a pretty good season so far, adding they have been open since Thanksgiving and haven't had to shut down operations for even a single day.

Northern Arizona is expecting more snow this weekend. March is typically one of the heaviest months for snow in the high country.

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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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