ASHLAND, Ore.- Today about half an inch of snow fell on top of Mt. Ashland, but it's not enough to get the ski lifts moving again.
Right now there are 2 feet of snow on the ground, but there should be 6. Less snow has a direct impact on our local ski areas. Diamond Lake, Mt. Shasta, and the Mt. Ashland Ski Areas are all closed.
The ski area is closed because it only has 10 inches of snow on the mountain. Our meteorologists say snow pack is one third of what it should be this time of year.
Hiram Towle, Mt. Ashland Ski Area General Manager says, "We call this Juneuary a lot of times we will get stretches in January that are not very friendly which is really kind of a bummer since we did lose all of December."
A bummer is an understatement, Towle estimates the ski area is pacing down $300,000 this December because it couldn't open.
Towle says, "It's definitely painful but like I said we've reacted to the business levels leave shaved our staff we shaved expenses and quite frankly everything is ready to go it's just a matter of keeping an eye on the bank account and keeping an eye on the skies."
The Mt. Ashland Ski Area hired 170 seasonal workers before the season, but most of those temps aren't getting any hours yet.
Towle says, "I've talked to a number of them who are getting by they're finding ways. They adapt just like we do. When you're in a seasonal weather dependent business, it does come with the territory and we train on that."
Until there's enough snow to open up, the staff says they're weathering this storm, or lack of a snow storm, together.
The Mt. Ashland Ski Area needs 2-3 feet to open up. NewsWatch12 will keep a close eye on those snow levels both in our forecast and on our website KDRV.com.
Nearly every river in our region has below average water levels. NewsWatch12 called the City of Ashland to see how lower snowpack could impact the spring growing season. City employees say they aren't declaring a drought yet, but will begin to create contingency plans for water rationing if the winter stays dry in the coming weeks.
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