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Abundant snowfall a big lift for California's ski resorts

May 15, 2010 |  2:25 pm

SnowpackThanks to abundant snowfall this winter and spring, California's ski resorts have drawn about 7.5 million visitors this season, up from 6.7 million last season, according to the California Ski Industry Assn.

There was so much snow that Mammoth Mountain in the eastern Sierra has extended the ski season until July 4. The resort typically closes by the Memorial Day weekend.

Resort operators credited the higher visitor count to snowfall that on May 1 was at its highest level for that date since 2006.

A snow survey performed earlier this month by the California Department of Water Resources found that the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada was 143% of normal to date.

"Winter storms and deep snow are critical for a great snow season," said Caroline Beteta, president of the California Travel & Tourism Commission.

Read the full story here.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Snow survey members record depth near Echo Summit in early March. Credit: Dale Kolke / California Department of Water Resources 

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