ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Ski Apache announced a delayed opening today, but Ski New Mexico says we really aren't that far behind where we usually are at this time of year.
George Brooks, director of Ski New Mexico, says only two of the five traditional Thanksgiving openings didn't happen, Ski Apache and Ski Santa Fe. But, he adds, if we don't get snow by Christmas, we will be in trouble.
Ski Apache on Sierra Blanca above Ruidoso announced it's not opening until Dec. 14.
The Ski New Mexico snow report shows a lot of goose eggs: zero snowfall, and zero runs open.
Online: KRQE.com Live Skicams & Snow Forecasts .
Red River does have midmountain snow, but at the top, it's bone dry. Closer to Albuquerque, the top of Sandia looks very much the same.
It's hard to believe just one year ago, New Mexico had the best snow in the world, according to Brooks.
So, what does it cost us? Brooks says the average in-state skier spends $75 a day, and out-of-state skiers spend $175 because of lodging.
Let's say 500 of each of those skiers hit one New Mexico ski area. That's about $125,000 for one day. But then multiply that by New Mexico's eight alpine areas, and that's about $1,000,000 a day.
Here's the good news: We haven't yet missed the hottest ski week in New Mexico. Brooks says the week between Christmas and New Year's accounts for 30-40 percent of annual ski revenues, but admits if we don't get snow by then, we could be in big trouble.
That could really impact the state as well. The State Tourism Department estimates the ski industry brought in more than $475 million to the state economy last year.
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