BIG BEAR ( — Despite what has thus far been an abnormally dry winter, even for southern California, businesses in the mountains are still putting skiers and snowboarders on the slopes.

Reportedly, 85 percent of the mountain at Snow Summit is open, thanks to the use of snow-making machines.

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Without the use of such artificial snow, ski conditions all over the Southland would be barren, due to a drought of any moderate winter storms in the mountains. Businesses at Snow Summit, meanwhile, report that numbers are slightly down from those of this time in 2013, because people are simply unaware that there is plenty of snow.

“That’s one of the hardest things for us to battle sometimes, is when you’re in the Valley, or wherever, and you look up, and there’s no snow on the mountains, is fighting that mis-perception,” Snow Summit worker Wade Reeser said. “We actually do have very good skiing (with) 85 percent of our runs open.”

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However, independent shops and stores around Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead report that tourism has been abundant over recent weeks.

“(We had a) pretty good holiday season (with) great traffic,” Big On Bears shopkeeper Cindy Angone-Lalonde said. “So, in spite of no snow, I still think that we’re getting people up here.”

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While a certain amount of shop employees are showing concern for the lack of snow, they say that hiking and boating remain popular, and the lack of a necessity for chains makes Big Bear easy to get to.