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Local resorts welcome snow, crowds

November 30, 2010 |  8:18 pm

Thanksgivingmountain highSouthern California ski resorts got inundated with snow and visitors over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Mountain High in Wrightwood drew more than 25,000 visitors from Nov. 22 to Nov. 28, about 10% more than the resort attracted by the end of the November season last year. What's more, the resort opened two weeks earlier last year.

“We’re off to a great start this season," said Karl Kapuscinski, president and chief executive of the resort.

At Bear Mountain and Snow Summit in the San Bernardino Mountains, the number of visitors in November was double the projection made by the resort operator, Big Bear Mountain Resorts.

Chris Riddle, a spokesman for the resorts, declined to divulge exact visitor numbers but said, "It's the strongest Thanksgiving we've had since 2004."

The higher visitor numbers are partly the result of two strong November storms that dropped several inches of snow on Southern California mountains and low temperatures that allowed the resorts to start up snow-making machines to supplement Mother Nature's offerings.

--Hugo Martin

(Photo: Snow swirls on Mountain High slopes. Credit: Mountain High ski resort)