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.
Jim Cross, Reporter