EUGENE — The forecast calls for a snowy December in the Oregon Cascades — and businesses that rely on winter weather couldn't be happier.
Ski resorts, ski shops and mountain tourist towns are gearing up for a white December by making extra hires and planning for crowds, The Register-Guard reported Monday.
The first major winter storm brought a foot or more of snow to the Cascades over the weekend, with more expected in the coming days.
Hoodoo, in the Santiam Pass northwest of Bend, hopes to open in mid-December, Williams said. The mountain reported about 18.2 inches at its lodge as of 9 p.m. Sunday, most of it having fallen during the past few days. Forecasts showed up to 10 more inches could fall by late Monday evening.
The mountain needs 30 inches of heavy, hard-packed snow for crews to groom the trails and prepare the mountain for skiers and snowboarders, Williams said.
The resort sent out a notice this week that it's hiring extra employees for the upcoming ski and snowboard season in addition to the 40 to 50 seasonal workers already hired. "We need more applicants for our ski school, and we need some more people to fill in the kitchen," Hoodoo spokesman Leif Williams said.
Record low snowfalls kept Hoodoo closed for nearly the entire 2014-15 season.
"The storm that's coming in is supposed to bring a lot of (snow) in the next six or seven days. That's very promising," Williams said. "Last year, it was more or less expect the worst and hope for best. This year it's a little more hopeful."
Oregonians who want to ski now already have some options.
Mount Bachelor near Bend opened its first lift Friday, and Mount Hood opened four lifts.
Timberline Lodge reported that more than 10 inches of snow fell Sunday and another foot was expected Monday — the same day the resort offered up one-day online deals for lift passes and holiday gift cards.
Berg's Ski Shop in Eugene is training several new employees to handle equipment sales and rentals, general manager Chris Stowell said.
"We're prepping up and getting ready to go," he said.