WSDOT warning travelers to prepare for weekend snowfall in mountain areas

SEATTLE - Washington State Department of Transportation said crews were standing by in preparation of the snowfall forecast over the weekend in the mountain areas.

A WSDOT representative said they spent the last several days working with the National Weather Forecast monitoring snow zones. Those areas included spots along Mount Baker Highway, the Cascades, Central Washington, State Route 20 and Stevens Pass.

Renovations were underway at Stevens Pass ahead of the season-opening.

“It’s super exciting when that forecast comes,” said Tom Pettigrew, vice president and general manager of Stevens Pass. “I can smell it in the air—the huckleberries are all gone, the bears are out foraging around looking for that last thing and winter’s coming.”

The ski and snowboard summit was busy all summer upgrading three chairlifts. Crews worked to increase the amount of seating on the chairlifts and add space at a base terminal for more people to enjoy the winter.

“The changes are really a lot about enhancing the experience that’s already here,” said Pettigrew. “We’re making good progress. Everything will be totally done and ready, guaranteed without a question for our opening date which is scheduled for December 4th.”

December 4th was a date Lacey George kept in mind. She and her husband just bought the “Let’s Go Espresso” shop located on the same highway of Stevens Pass.

“Way more business. People come out here to play and have fun. It’s not very far out to get to it,” said George.

She started brainstorming renovation ideas so her shop could be a pit stop for tourists in the winter.

“It has a lot of potential to do really great things just with all the cars driving by. I just think we need to get our name out there a little more,” said George. “We could do a little outdoor seating area over there by the parking. We were kind of thinking of a fishing store maybe. All that’s up in the air. Just little ideas. I think that’d be pretty popular out here because the fishing is a pretty big deal.”

A WSDOT representative the gate and roads leading to Artist Point would likely close due to the snow. WSDOT said this was to ensure the safety of people traveling through that area. People visiting the mountains over the weekend were also encouraged to pack an emergency kit and use caution while on the slick roads.