MCCALL - The city of McCall is breathing a collective sigh of relief thanks to a nearly foot of new snow over the past week.
“A week ago, we were a little nervous,” Blake Hanks with Home Town Sports said. “The impact the snow has on this place is a hundred percent.”
Snow helps to bring in millions of dollars to the local economy each year from snowmobiling, to cross country skiing, to alpine skiing.
“Having plenty of the white stuff is what drives our economy. It brings millions of dollars a year and thousands of people up each year and we're a recreation tourism economy any way you paint it.
So, it's really important for us,” Andrew Mentzer with the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council said.
Some local businesses, such as Brundage Mountain, rely on the early snowfall to help get them through the season.
“Ten of our 20 busiest days of the season are happening right now. So, it's really important that we have all of our main terrain open,” April Whitney with Brundage Mountain said.
The open terrain and fresh snow also helps to draw thousands of people up to the mountain each day during winter school break.
“If a ski resort is not open when the kids are out of school. We can't make up what we do this Wednesday and what we will do tomorrow on a random Wednesday and Thursday in the middle of March,” Whitney said.
Snow also serves as a driving force to the local towns in helping put people back to work.
“It's not just our employees that get to go to work now. It's all of the businesses in the town of McCall. The restaurants, the lodging partners, the guide services. All of the those snow-related businesses,” Whitney said.
Businesses, like Home Town Sports, where employees were busy on Wednesday fitting boots and waxing skis.
“This town evolves because of this little white flake we get up here,” Hanks said.
It's a harvest for this mountain community that comes right in the heart of winter.
“When we don't have snow up here. Your rent doesn't go down. Your hours go down and obviously your income comes down. So, it makes it tough,” Hanks said.