Wednesday, December 12, 2001
When snow is good, business is good. And there has been very good news as of late for winter business in Hood River.
Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort has busted through the 100-inch mark in grand style, piling up 33 inches of snow in a 24-hour period this week.
As of Friday morning, the base stood at (check) inches. Most of the snow accumulated from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, when snowflakes fell at an average of two inches per hour.
"Tuesday was so amazingly good," said James Hinde, an employee at Obsidian Snow and Skate in downtown Hood River, and a rider who has been up every day since the mountain opened.
"It wasn't too deep, but just perfect for throwing a good powder spray."
Business, too, has been nearly perfect since Meadows opened, said Hinde, with many customers asking for things on a `need it now' basis.
"We've seen lots, and lots of business," laughed Hinde.
"We've had all kinds of people coming in needing rush waxes, rush rentals, goggles, underlayers or last minute coats. Everything has been going."
Meadows personnel were also excited, but not too eager when looking at this week's accumulation.
"We haven't seen this amount of snow in such a short period of time since 1998-99," Meadows Marketing Director Dave Tragethon said.
"As impressive as this snow is, `old timers' around here say this type of early-season storm on Mt. Hood is common, and recall several seasons when the snowpack had reached 100 inches before Christmas."
Common or not, it is an attraction that snow lovers and businesses alike are happy to have gracing Mt. Hood.
"We are receiving calls from every state," Tragethon said. We're telling them that we definitely have a superior product for the holidays -- probably the deepest snowpack in the country."
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Kiteboarders in action during the pro competition Friday at the 16th Annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest in Stevenson. All photos by Ben Mitchell. Enlarge