Donner Ski Ranch has had to temporarily shut down because of the lack of snow, in what would normally be the peak of skiing and snowboarding season.
Underneath the chairlifts at the base of Donner, you will only find dirt. What snow remains is more reminiscent of June than January. It’s not the biggest resort, but Donner still employs dozens of people.
“All those people unfortunately are out of a job,” Boreal staff member Ross Minno told FOX40 Monday.
Boreal is getting by with the help of man-made snow but if you ask any local on the slopes, they will tell you a story of how this dry winter is hurting them or someone they know.
“Most of us are just doing nothing,” ski instructor Will Cumming said. For most of the season, he’s been told to not come into work. “I had, like, about ten days of training. And I got paid for that. But like, actual work where I’ve gotten a lesson, about 8 or 6 days.”
Staff at the Summit Restaurant and Bar in Soda Springs are thankful that they stay open year-round, despite a dip in customers. They know full well that some of their friends aren’t as fortunate. Many have to move into bigger cities to find work.
But by nature, people who depend on nature seem to be optimistic. They remember other dry winters that delivered the goods late in the season.
“Two or three years ago, it was just as bare. Just like right after the high season was over it kinda started dumping with snow,” Cumming said.