White Pass closes for the day - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

White Pass closes for the day

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WHITE PASS, Wash.-- White Pass Ski Area was forced to close today after high wind gusts of up to 87 miles an hour.

It couldn't be a worse time for the area to close. The week after Christmas is one of the busiest of the year for ski areas.

White Pass is already struggling. They were able to open early this year, but saw very little snowfall in recent weeks. A lack of snow means a lack of people.

White Pass says the number of visitors last week dropped by 35 percent compared to the same time last year, but they're still optimistic about the rest of the season.

"There's no better marketing than fresh snow in the mountains. So we do expect with the new snow coming to see a big bump in visitorship," says White Pass Spokesperson Kathleen Goyette.

Goyette says White Pass isn't the only ski area hurting. Other ski areas across the Northwest are also low on snow. She expects White Pass to get much more snow over the next few months and forecasts are encouraging.

So it might not be long before skiers have some new snow to play on.