Well Into Winter, the Alps Finally Get a First Snow

A dearth of snow has struck in Europe and in the eastern United States, where ski resorts from New Hampshire to New Jersey have complained of not having enough snow to be fully open.

Noting sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60s, "It feels like we should be at the beach," says Mark Schrotel, general manager of Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, Penn., about an hour north of Philadelphia. The resort has made entreaties to Ullr, the Norse god of snow.

The ski business was looking pretty much the same in the Alps this winter. Fewer visitors have come because of warm weather and not much snow. But this week the area received some strong new snowfall.

That was good news for Georg Romang, communications director for tourism at the Swiss ski resort of Crans Montana. "The problem was all over Europe," Romang says. The resort arranged a variety of activities for visitors disappointed by the lack of several feet of packed powder. "We had less complaints than other years with normal snow," he says.

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