FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Winter white up north has Arizona Snowbowl seeing green. Like so many businesses, they had to weather the impact of the pandemic but a dry spell can be even more costly.
With the pandemic, Snowbowl had to limit capacity and fewer people were traveling overall. Angelina Grubb, who works at the snow resort, says it was tough on business and morale.
This year, she says more people are showing up, so they need the snow to be there as well. No natural snow means they must make snow and there's a financial cost, plus restrictions from the forest service and city over how much water can be used and where. The longer they must manufacture snow, the shorter the season can become.
The longest Snowbowl has been open is into May so Grubb says storms like this give hope maybe they get close to that again.
"It definitely is looking like it'll be a pretty long season for us. The storms really do help, with every storm we get to add to our base," said Grubb, "The natural snow does last longer. With snowmaking you have to focus on one area all night long but, with natural snow, it's more widespread and we wake up to this beautiful winter wonderland."
Snowpack also replenishes water levels in the Salt and Verde rivers, so the Valley doesn't have to tap into the groundwater supply as much.
In anticipation of over a foot of new snow, Arizona Snowbowl is hosting a big fundraiser Saturday with more than $12,000 from lift tickets being donated to Flagstaff Shelter Services.