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Feb 12, 2014 7:50 PM by John Patrick

Little snow leads to slow business for Summerhaven

SUMMERHAVEN - Warm and dry conditions make for slow business atop Mt. Lemmon.

During the winter months the streets of Summerhaven are normally lined with people playing in the snow but where the white stuff usually lies is dirt and grass.

With nothing but sunny skies and record heat in the forecast the small businesses in the small town are taking a hit.

Rachel Zimmerman's family owns the Cookie Cabin; she says the restaurant relies on this normally busy time of year.

"Since I've been working up here 11 years, it's definitely the worst we've had," says Zimmerman.

With the lack of snow comes the lack of business. Zimmerman says they have seen about 40% less customers than they would during a normal winter season.

A big drive for people to head up the mountain Ski Valley which has yet to open for a single day of skiing. An average year of snowfall brings 175 inches to Ski Valley but so far this year only a fraction of that has fallen.

Erik Estes who works at the Sawmill Restaurant says it's those skiers and snowboarders that help pay the bills.

"Last year at this time we would have the entire restaurant filled and on a wait list. It's definitely the lack of snow that is hurting business," says Estes.

And he is already worried about the upcoming summer season. With the lack of moisture on the mountain there are concerns about campgrounds being closed early again limiting traffic to the little town.

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