Many ski areas say they are closing earlier than they normally do because the poor economy has fewer skiers showing up on the slopes. Alpine Meadows executives say there aren’t enough customers to cover operating costs so they closed on Sunday. Last year the resort stayed open until May. But resort spokesperson Rachel Woods says warmer weather has a lot to do with it.
"Well, I think a lot of people are excited to pull out their golf clubs and their tennis racquets and do some mountain biking and as far as the snow conditions, we couldn’t have asked for better conditions all the way up to the very end."
A few Tahoe ski resorts plan on staying open another few weeks. Squaw Valley USA will be the last to close on May 10. Industry officials say skier visits are down five percent over last year as are high-end retail purchases.