The pre-holiday snowstorm, which brought nearly four feet of snow, was a boon to the local economy, though some businesses were impacted by the inaccessibility that came with big berms. According to Dan McKernan, Manager of Marketing for the Big Bear Lake Resort Association, “Once the big snowstorm hit, we got an immediate spike in reservations.” Compared to the numbers from the 2007 holiday season, total lodging reservations within Big Bear were up 16%, actual dollars spent were up 6% and visitors who extended their stay on the mountain resulted in nights up 11% between Christmas and New Year’s. Big Bear Mountain Resorts had completely opened both mountains, Bear and Summit, by the Christmas holiday season this year, and had all 26 chairlifts in operation before the crowds arrived. And, as Big Bear Mountain Resorts’ Director of Marketing Chris Riddle tells KBHR, “We had a record week, from December 27 through Friday the 2nd—that was our record week ever! We also had much better crowds for night skiing, due to the demand. It’s unbelievable what the snowstorm did for us.” The increase in visitors was a benefit to the resorts, lodges and restaurants, though local retailers did not fare as well, perhaps due in part to prohibitive driving conditions. Sara Russ, CEO of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, tells us, “The Village did pretty well, especially with last-minute shoppers, though businesses in Moonridge and Fawnskin said they were hit hard by the snow. Jay Tait of the Bear Mountain Trading Company on Moonridge Road said that he saw far more locals than last year and, were it not for them, his business would have really been hurting this year.” Russ reports that visitor traffic was definitely up at the Visitor Center on Bartlett Road, as even the parking lot was full. Adds Russ, “We were up about 15% for visitor traffic. It was huge and non-stop. We had two full-time people at the Chamber who did nothing but take calls and answer questions for walk-in visitors over the holidays.” This holiday boon, however, will serve to benefit Big Bear beyond the Christmas-New Year’s season as, per the RA, lodging reservations through April are up 31.5% compared to this time last year.