Central Oregon

Hoodoo you turn to for lots more snow?

Ski resort by Santiam Pass ready, waiting for storms

Hoodoo you turn to, for lots more snow?

SANTIAM PASS, Ore. - Prayers for snow are coming from hundreds if not thousands of skiers and snowboarders in Oregon. The 2013-2014 season off to a not-so-stellar start.

Hoodoo Ski Area was reporting just eight inches of snow Monday, a far cry from the 77 inches they had a year ago at this time.

"The kids were all excited to come up here and go sledding, so we came up to Hoodoo and found a little patch of snow," Seattle resident Judson Miller said.

Miller and his family came to Central Oregon to visit, and were surprised to see how little snow was in the Cascades.

"We looked at the weather report, and it's actually colder in Seattle than it is here," Miller said. "There is some snow on the ground here, so that helped."

"This is the worst that I've ever seen it in the 13 years I've ever been here," said Hoodoo Mountain Manager Jim Follis.

He's been checking the weather forecast daily, hoping to see snow.

"There were times when it was colder in the Sisters and Bend area than it was up here on the mountain," Follis said. "So for me, it's very unusual."

Since Oct. 1, the mountain has received 49 inches of snow, but it has pretty much all melted away.

Follis says with the ski area closed, at least for now, the local economy will be affected. There will be fewer people headed to Central Oregon to enjoy the outdoors.

"That affects everybody, from the gas station attendant all the way to the big hotel owners and the restaurants. So it's definitely very frustrating for everybody," Follis said.

"Looks bad -- it looks dry," said visitor Toney Aerens of Everett, Wash.

He's visiting Central Oregon with some of his buddies. They were in Central Oregon last year. when Hoodoo had a foot of powder and not lift lines. That's why they decided to come back.

"Stark contrast, compared to last year," Aerens said. "It's kind of disappointing. But the season is still young, so you hope for the best."

With Hoodoo closed, the New Years Eve Party has been canceled, unfortunately. Mountain staff say they are ready to open -- they're just waiting for snow.

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