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SoCal mountain businesses see decline with dry winter

A slight dusting of snow is seen on the mountains of Big Bear Lake on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.
February 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
It seemed more like spring than the middle of winter at Big Bear Lake Friday. People there say it only snowed for about an hour the day before.

"It's very sad. That's our economy," said resident Carol Reed.

With such a dry winter, business is down at places like Snow Summit.

"We're off about 15 percent from last year," said spokesperson Chris Riddle.

Riddle says lack of snow isn't the problem. It's been cold enough this winter for them to make snow. In fact, 80 percent of the mountain here is open.

Trouble is, when the rest of Southern California doesn't see snow-capped mountains, they tend to think that skiing and snowboarding conditions are bad.

"All the news is talking about is the drought in California, the drought in California, so we kind of get lumped in with that, and people don't realize how good it is up here, even though it has been very dry in California this year," said Riddle.

Snow Valley is also open. Although there are places where there's not a lot of snow, there's still enough for some winter fun.

"We got a nice dusting last night, so there's some good coverage coming down, couple of bare spots, but all in all, it's a great day considering the winter," said Tyler French of Claremont.

Many are hoping for a so-called March Miracle, which last happened in 1991. At the time, ski resorts were taking a big hit and had practically no snow through the end of February. But then, it snowed almost every day through the month of March.

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