Early snow gets Oregon ski resorts' hopes up for banner year

Mt.

The forecast calls for a snowy December in the Oregon Cascades -- and businesses that rely on winter weather couldn't be happier.

The first major winter storm brought snow to the Cascades over the weekend, with more expected. Mt. Hood Meadows, Bachelor and Timberline all opened some of their lifts. 

Ski resorts are gearing up for a white December by making extra hires and planning for crowds.

At Mt. Hood Meadows, hiring is on. The mountain still has about 200 spots to fill. The resort hires about 1,000 more employees every winter season and contributes millions to the local economy.  

On average, 400,000 skiers and riders hit the slopes there every year and a spokesman for the resort is hoping this year brings even more. 

“Natural snow and this much of it sets the base and really builds the base for the season,” said Dave Tragethorn, Vice President of communications for Meadows. 

Hoodoo is hiring extra employees on top of the 40 to 50 seasonal workers already hired.

Hoodoo spokesman Leif Williams says the mountain needs 30 inches of hard-packed snow to prepare for skiers and snowboarders. It already had almost 20 inches as of Sunday night.

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