It’s no secret that California has been in the midsts of a serious drought over the last four years, but this years super El Nino is already making those dry days look like a thing of the past.
California’s record-breaking drought has done a number on the state’s economy and here in Lake Tahoe we have been hit hard. Tahoe’s economy is largely dependent on travel and tourism. Annually, visitors make up $500 million in North Lake Tahoe’s revenue alone, however, the recent drought has put a damper on the number of visitors who flock to our world famous ski slopes and alpine shores each year.
With the lack of snow in recent years, many resort owners were forced to forgo their operations earlier than expected, and the falling water line of the Lake restricted summer boaters to a select few boat ramps which still had deep enough water for launching water crafts. Despite many business owners valiant attempts to bring back the masses, tourists resolved to spend their hard earned dollars elsewhere.
Luckily, that does not appear to be the case this year. The Sierra Nevada was graced by the snow gods early this season, which allowed many ski resorts to open their doors earlier than expected, and there’s no sign of them letting up. Since early November, Tahoe has seen a series of cold, wet storms which have brought more than 6.4 billion gallons of water to the parched plains. The slopes and streets are once again buzzing with business which is a great sign for the local economy.
Spirits are high, businesses are booming and hope has once again been restored but we’re not out of the woods quite yet. It is going to take a lot more water to repair the damage that the drought has caused but the future looks good and wet. For now, the El Nino odds are in California’s favor with projections for a stormy, wet year so grab your skis and boards and head for the hills!