Businesses prosper over holidays
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
Though skier counts on Bald and Dollar mountains were down 25 percent
from last year, area businesses called this Christmas-New Years holiday period a
Williams Market posted its biggest day of sales ever and Smokey
Mountain Pizza and Pasta broke week-long and individual day records.
"Its a combination of things," Smokey Mountain general
manager Eric Rake said in an interview. "Obviously if there arent people in
town, youre not going to see those kind of numbers."
"There were a lot of people in town," agreed Backwoods owner
Andy Munter in a separate interview. His business also did "really well," he
According to Sun Valley Co. spokesman Jack Sibbach, Sun Valleys
lodging accommodations were nearly 100 percent full for the entire holiday period.
Sibbach said this holiday seasons skier numbers, from Dec. 25
through Jan. 1, totaled 31,886. Last year, for the same days, 42,196 skiers and
snowboarders hit Bald and Dollar mountains.
"We were very happy with the Christmas week," Sibbach said.
"But we dont always measure the success of our business with skier days. We
measure it with our guests smiles.
"We had great weather, and I think the economy of the whole
valley, from what Im hearing, was pretty good over the holidays."
Sibbach said he wonders where Sun Valley Co. would have been this
holiday if it werent for snowmaking.
The poor snow coverage on Baldy didnt harm Warm Springs business,
either, according to John Arnold, Paul Kennys Ski and Sports rental shop manager.
"We really did pretty good," he said. "It was only
slightly less crowded than in past years."
With snow falling steadily yesterday afternoon, and more snow predicted
through the weekend, perhaps Sun Valleys winter is turning an about face, which is
important, Sibbach said.
"Reservations are still looking good for the winter," he
said. "Right now we need snow or it will affect our reservations for the entire year,
but right now were holding strong."