Pebble Creek looks to rebound after tough year

Nov 11th, 2015 | By | Category: Pack your bags
Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal It's beginning to look a lot like ski season. As of Tuesday, Pebble Creek Ski Area at Inkom has reported 6 to 8 inches of snow on top of the mountain.

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
It’s beginning to look a lot like ski season. As of Tuesday, Pebble Creek Ski Area at Inkom has reported 6 to 8 inches of snow on top of the mountain.

By Journal Staff

INKOM — Last winter was a tough one for Pebble Creek Ski Area.

Hammered by record-breaking warm temperatures, the Inkom ski resort fought an uphill battle against the weather to keep snow on the ground and skiers and snowboaders on the slopes.

In the end, Mother Nature won, forcing Pebble Creek to close for the season in mid-March, far earlier than usual.

“It was one of our worst years ever,” said Mary Reichman, general manager of Pebble Creek.

But this upcoming winter looks to be entirely different.

Though it’s still early in November, snow has already fallen on the mountain, which is a little earlier than usual. Currently, Pebble Creek said there is 6 to 8 inches of snow at the top of the mountain.

Pebble Creek’s annual attendance relies heavily on how early they can open for the season. Due to heavy snowfall in November 2010, the ski area was able to open the first weekend of December.

The 2010-2011 skiing and snowboarding season represented a banner year for Pebble Creek, with 55,486 visitors. On the flip side, there were only 33,600 visitors last year, when a lack of snow postponed opening day until after Christmas.

Pebble Creek usually has its best seasons every four to five years, and Reichman is hopeful the historical trends will continue and make the 2015-2016 season a year to remember.

“We’re excited,” she said. “It’s going to be a big year.”

But the employees and the ski patrollers at Pebble Creek aren’t the only ones excited about getting back on the slopes. After being shortchanged with unseasonably warm weather last year, skiers and snowboarders in the region seem to be anxious to make up for lost time.

For example, Reichman said a photo posted last week on Pebble Creek’s Facebook page showing the thick snow accumulation on the ski lodge’s patio and picnic tables was seen by over 18,000 people.

Pebble Creek workers even saw a couple of people testing the snow in the Aspen area a few days ago, even though brush was still clearly visible and the ski area has not officially opened yet.

“Excitement is high and enthusiasm is high,” Reichman said. “We’ve seen a lot of interest, which is obvious because we’re getting more Facebook views than usual.”

Pebble Creek isn’t the only ski area seeing early snowfall. Pomerelle Mountain in Albion reported 4 to 5 inches of snow on Nov. 3. Sun Valley is on schedule to open for the season on Nov. 26, while employees at Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming are already laying fresh tracks in the snow in preparation for its opening day on Nov. 20.

The opening day for Pebble Creek has not been announced yet. Reichman said the snowcat groomers and the ski rental shop still need some work, and seasonal employees will be interviewed next week. But if the snow continues to accumulate on the mountain, opening day could come as early as the first week of December.

“We’re really pleased that people see this as their resort and take personal ownership of it,” Reichman said.

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