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December Snow Means Increased Business For Local Ski Shops

Brian Grimmett
Rows of skis at Lifthouse Ski Shop

Several winter snow storms in December have been a welcome sight for Utah ski resorts and supporting businesses.

At Lifthouse Ski Shop at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon a steady flow of customers streams through the front doors. Luke Larsen is a co-owner of the family owned shop, and says this December has been quite a bit different than last year.

“Yeah, as far as activity," he says. "We have increased by roughly 15%, 16% in December.”

He says while having more snow in the mountains has been a big help, snow in Utah’s valleys has been an even greater blessing.

“It sounds silly, because that’s not where people are skiing," he says. "But having the snow in the city is a huge difference for us because it allows people to having skiing on their minds. They’re not going to be out riding their bikes. They’re thinking primarily about skiing, which for us is huge.”

Randy Shumway is an economic consultant for Zions Bank. He says it’s not just the ski industry that’s seen a boost this December. He says nationwide, consumer retail spending is projected to be up more than 7% compared to 2014, mostly due to falling oil prices.

“The indications are, people having excess money in their pocket, having not had to spend it on gasoline, created this confidence that they can spend a little bit more during this holiday season,” he says.

Shumway says he expects gas prices will begin to rise slowly again starting in the middle of January. 

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