DONNER SUMMIT, CA - Sierra resorts are basking in a surplus of snow, bringing a much-needed economic bonanza and skiers and boarders from across the country are taking notice.
"There are people coming from Colorado and other places that normally don't. Because we have great snow," Boreal Mountain Resort employee John Shaffer said.
Standing in line just behind Shaffer, snowboarder Codi Monroy of Boca Raton, Florida, stood in a line for a run down the mountain at night.
"Last year, I came out here and I wasn't having fun, but now I'm having a blast," Monroy said.
She said that she plans on staying longer this year.
Boarder Ryland West of Susanville drove two hours with several buddies to sample the runs at night.
"Last year was awful, like so bad," Ryland said. "We never went snowboarding and now there's a ton of snow and we're out here every day."
The good snowpack is floating many boats. The Soda Springs Store had customers still waiting in line to buy groceries at closing time at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
"We're gonna be here nine days," said Jennifer Jigarjian of Marin County. "The kids are skiing every day at Sugar Bowl and this is our local market, so we come here and spend our money."
Across the street at Tinker Station, a local bar, a party for a young man turning 21 had the place packed, with condensation on the windows and a very busy cash register.
Owner Ron Richstad could only marvel at the difference a year can make.
"Any year would have been better than last year," Richstad said. "But this year we had the snow at the opportune time and everybody's up here . . . and the snow couldn't be better for skiing and snowboarding."
Back at Boreal Mountain, Kaity Montree of Grass Valley summed up the feeling of many enjoying the winter bonanza.
"We've had some crazy storms so far, so it's keeping us up here for longer. We just came from South Lake. It's good everywhere," Montree said, as she hopped on a lift for another ride up the mountain.