Stevens Pass could open on Thanksgiving

Snow fell in the Cascades overnight and into Wednesday. At Stevens Pass they got about 9 inches at the base and 12-15 inches at the summit.

Workers at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort got out the ski racks and tested the chair lifts. They say if they get the snow that is expected early next week they could open on Thanksgiving.

Chris Danforth, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Stevens Pass Resort, said it was snowing when he left work on Tuesday evening. He watched the resort's web camera overnight and was excited to see the snow stacking up.

"It's like Christmas for us this time of year. When you're a little kid waiting for Santa to come and to open presents, that is what this is like for us," said Danforth.

Two years ago there was very little snow and Danforth said business was cut in half.  "We try to put two years ago out of our memory. It was the worst snowfall in history," said Danforth. He said last year they had record attendance, because people were so desperate for snow, even though snow conditions were average.

Danforth hopes La Nina conditions this year deliver a great ski season.

We're checking out the first big snowfall at Stevens Pass! Nearly 10 inches fell overnight. >> kiro.tv/2eHEMHp

Posted by KIRO 7 News on Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Word of snow falling in the mountains had some people eager to get their gear ready.  James and Wyatt Kemery of Monroe went to Stevens Pass Snowboard Shop in Gold Bar to rent their skis for the season. "We're getting excited and decided to do season rentals instead of standing in line to get rentals when the slopes open, to get a jump on it," said James Kemery while trying on ski boots.

Bo Price owns Stevens Pass Snowboard Shop. He said he was slammed with customers last year.  "Everyone was pretty stoked and pretty snow-starved from the years past," said Price. He expects to have a good season this year.

Some snow boarders didn't want to wait for the slopes to open. "It's dumping snow like crazy," said Nikola Kuzminac of Everett. "We're going to hike up there and check it out and ride some slopes."

Anton Primachik brought his board too. "Last night it snowed like 10 inches and the forecast says it is going to snow another week. It should be a good season," said Primachik.

Chris Cahill of Seattle brought his dog Sadie to go splitboarding.  The snow board comes apart and turns into short skis enabling him to climb up the mountain.

"It was really good for what it was today," said Cahill, "Everybody's just stoked to get the first runs of the season, get what they can."

Snow was still falling at Stevens Pass Wednesday evening.

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