There is some snow still falling but not enough to amount to the March miracle that a lot of businesses were counting on, so the Rainbow Lodge is making a miracle of its own.
That kind of hospitality has been welcoming skiers and diners to this European-style lodge for more than a century.
“Last year was a hard winter. There wasn’t enough snow,” said operator Lynn Salmoria.
Three of 16 staff members were fired because there were no customers to clean up after.
This year, the timing of the snow that has fallen has been very helpful to business.
“This winter has been very fortunate where it did snow a good amount at the beginning of the winter and it’s held pretty well,” said Salmoria.
While some ski shops and Sierra restaurants have had to lay off workers, Rainbow has upped it’s staff by 25 percent with four new hires.
It’s 31 rooms – almost completely booked for this weekend.
“We decided to come to the snow, get one last chance in when we were all still free to do it,” said Steve Clausen of Fairfield.
The midweek snow brought Clausen and his family up the mountain for just one night, but nostalgia and consistency of good service brought them to Rainbow.
“It’s great to know that it was still here,” said Clausen.
Even though it’s no longer operated by the Royal Gorge Ski resort, trading on reputation has helped the lodge through the lean times and so has the closure of the nearby Ice Lakes Lodge.
And then there are the locals.
“We’ve got reservations for locals. There’s lots of locals that come to eat at Rainbow,” said Salmoria.
Every little bit helps when you count on a resource that can melt away overnight.