Flagstaff has been dealing with a horrible winter season with very little snowfall. Luckily, this week they are getting much-needed snow to help with their tourism.
It was snowing and raining off and on throughout Monday with more expected during the week causing slick roads. However, this hasn't been the case for most of the winter season with a lack of snow but people around Flagstaff are pretty positive about the season.
Fort Tuthill Snow Park in Flagstaff said it was closed Monday but there was still at least one visitor spotted in shorts.
"It's better than nothing," said Amanda Cabral, who is visiting from Tucson and found just enough snow to have a snowball fight. "When you're from Tucson, you never get to see any of this."
A few miles away, at First Chair Rentals, employee Adam Skalleberg described his first winter season in Flagstaff as "unexpected."
"This year has been definitely slower for us but it's been really exciting," said Skallberg. "Everything is real close together here, the mountain is only 30 minutes away from the shop so it's really easy to get up there."
As of Tuesday morning, the Flagstaff National Weather Service reported 2.6 inches of snow at the Flagstaff Airport. Tourism has been slow with the little snowfall this season.
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"We are at about 800,000 visitors per season, we are a little down. We have added new inventory to our hotels, we have three new hotels this year," said Meg Roderer with Flagstaff Convention and Visitor Bureau. "Taking that into consideration, we are only down two percent."
Despite the snow drought, there is plenty to do in this mountain community over the winter season.
"We also have Arizona beer week going, so all of our breweries, all craft beer breweries have some fun activities planned as well as the Museum of Northern Arizona," said Roderer.
Less snow hurts tourism but it also means less water in Flagstaff's Lake Mary and less runoff in the Salt River system, which supports the Valley's water supply.
Flagstaff averages about 100 inches of snow for the season and right now, we have a long way to go to reach that total.
Prepare for icy roads if you are heading to Flagstaff this week.
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