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Great snow helps all resorts and gas costs hurt some

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Mt. Hood Meadows.jpg

STATEWIDE Oregon ski resorts fared well this season by getting an unusual amount of quality snow, though gas prices may have determined which resorts did better.

Mt. Bachelor near Bend saw slightly fewer visitors than last year’s 524,920, possibly because rising gas prices deterred people from driving to central Oregon, says Frankie Labbe, spokeswoman for the resort.

Closer to the Portland metro area, both Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline say gas prices and proximity may have made them a more desirable destination this year.

Timberline surpassed last year’s attendance figures through April by 25,000 visitors and expects a high turnout this summer, says spokesman Jon Tullis. “We are not done yet,” he says. Skiing there is open through Labor Day, with the resort expecting more European tourists this summer, in part because of the strong euro, he says.

Mt. Hood Meadows has extended its skiing season by staying open weekends only and is poised to break last year’s record-setting season of 503,000 visitors, says Dave Tragethon, the resort’s spokesman.

The resort received more than 787 inches of snow, shattering its 1982-83 record of 625 inches, Tragethon says. The annual average is 440 inches.

Timberline also sold 80% more Fusion passes this season than last, Tullis says. The new season pass gives holders access to the Mt. Hood Ski Bowl.                            

JASON SHUFFLER


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