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Lack Of Snow Affecting Resorts

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By Stephanie Mead

Sun Valley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) After a slow start to the winter season, some ski resorts still aren't open.

The lack of snow is impacting their annual revenue.

It's well into the winter season.

But, Mother Nature isn't cooperating.

This year, Idaho received well under the average amount of snow.

The largest computerized snow making system is helping keep the Sun Valley resorts open this dry winter season.

“The computer runs all of the equipment. It can start and stop any of the pumps, any of the compressors; it also talks to 110 weather stations all over the mountain and it talks to 556 snow guns and turn on those guns and turn them off," explains Dennis Harper, snow-making manager.

Filling 645 acres of hilly terrain, the Sun Valley Ski Resort uses the largest computerized snow-making system in North America.

The snow covers both Bald and Dollar Mountain, using more than 500 snow-making guns.

The snow keeps 14 lifts and 56 runs open for skiers and snowboarders alike.

The man-made snow not only helps the Sun Valley Ski Resort but also the local businesses within the area.

"Over Christmas, we had a better product with the snow-making, then we would have without the snow-making, we had packed crowds over the holidays, the restaurants were full, the retail stores did really well in the whole valley, and that's important for everybody here that lives in the Wood River Valley, so this snow-making has a bigger effect then just on the mountain for our economy here," says Jack Sibbach, director of marketing.

The man-made snow not only brings the skiers and snowboarders to the mountains... it always makes them come back next season.


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