It’s been a long winter for local businesses that rely on snowy conditions to make ends meet.
“(The weather) has been way too nice. People aren’t even thinking about the snow,” she said. “Up the hill businesses are really suffering.”
She said she has several customers who booked cabins for Christmas with the expectation of a winter wonderland. Instead they spent their time going hiking and horseback riding and sampling the many local restaurants.
“They were surprised how much fun they could have without any snow,” Weathers said.
“For the most part, everybody is surviving,” said Twain Harte Chamber of Commerce President Pamela Jones. “I haven’t heard of anybody being laid off.”
Jones, who also owns J.P. and Associates cleaning business, said hotels in the the high country have seen about 15 percent cancellations due to the lack of snow.
“People are doing alternative things to try and drum up more business,” she said.
Shawn Seale, owner of Sierra Nevada Adventure Co., said he has had to discount most of his inventory of snowboards, skis and snowshoes.
He has been in business locally for 17 years and owns three stores in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.
He said his stores in Sonora and Murphys — which specialize mostly in backpacking gear — have seen sales remain flat compared with last year.
His Arnold store, however, has suffered from the lack of snowfall, because it focuses almost exclusively on winter sports gear and rentals.
“It’s our Arnold store that has definitely taken the biggest hit,” Seale said.
He said that few people are patronizing that store despite the fact that there are several ski runs up and running at Bear Valley and Dodge Ridge.
“It’s a lack of awareness — people don’t know the ski resorts are open,” he said.
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