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Big snowpacks mean longer ski season


Record snowfalls in California have allowed ski resorts to stay open longer this year.

Squaw Valley may stay open until July 4.

Big snows in February and March mean an extra-long ski season this year, and from California to Colorado, resorts are pushing back closing dates.

At Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in California, officials say the current snowpack should last until at least July 4, when Texans are typically floating rivers in bikinis and barbecuing on the back deck. The resorts get an annual average of 450 inches of snow, but by mid-February both had surpassed that, with season totals of nearly 500 inches.

Many of the Lake Tahoe area resorts in California are extending their seasons, too. Heavenly closes April 30, Northstar April 23 and Kirkwood April 16.

In Colorado, Arapahoe Basin expects to stay open until early June, and Loveland will operate until early May. Purgatory Resort, near Durango, Colo., will extend its season, too. The resort will operate daily until April 2, then every weekend through the end of April.

Other closing dates? April 2 for Wolf Creek, Buttermilk, Sunlight, Ski Granby Ranch and Telluride. Aspen Highlands, Crested Butte, Eldora and Silverton will close April 9. Steamboat, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Monarch, Snowmass and Beaver Creek will close April 16. Breckenridge, Vail and Winter Park will stay open until April 23.

In Utah, Park City will stay open until April 16, and Snowbird plans to extend its season, too.

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