Reno and Tahoe businesses suffer from snow drought

Local snow equipment rental stores say they're being hit hard by the dry conditions.

It's no secret that this winter has been abnormally dry, but we aren't seeing a lot of environmental impacts thanks to our record-breaking year last year. Local businesses haven't been so lucky.

Some companies are already giving up on winter and looking ahead to spring, such as Sierra Adventures, which reports they have put away their snowmobiles and begun ATV rentals.

One local winter sports rental company, Galena Sports, says they're at about 50 percent of where they should be for this time of year, and that last year was really only average for them, so it didn't give them as much of a cushion as you might think.

"It did wonders for most of the areas, but for us here at Mt. Rose, it really didn't do much at all for the simple reason that the highway was closed 26 days last year. That's never happened in all 39 years I've been here," said Jimmy Ruthven, the owner of Galena Sports.

Ruthven says that at this point it's too late for the season to turn around entirely, but that the rental companies definitely wouldn't complain about a few more storms.

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