Mountain High Resort launched a new program this winter to give perks to those who wear helmets. But interest in the snow waned in January, until the biggest snowstorm of 2011 set the resort up for spring.

The resort started Helmets for Hounds this year, a new program that draws attention to wearing helmets. "We want to encourage guests to wear helmets and focus on the benefits of wearing helmets for safety," spokesperson Kim Hermon told us.

To promote safety, Mountain High provides several incentives for those who wear helmets. A helmet-only lift line is available Mondays through Fridays. "It attracts people because the helmet line is definitely faster," said Hermon. Skiers and riders wearing helmets are also permitted to load up the lifts early if the resort is ready to open before its scheduled time.

The rental shop at the resort carries helmets to fit children and adults. Helmets cost $10 per day to rent except on Saturday and Sunday. A special incentive price of $3 on those days encourages more people to rent helmets.

Perks aside, Mountain High, along with the other SoCal resorts, saw lackluster attendance at the resort in January. Then the biggest storm of 2011 rolled in over the Presidents holiday weekend, dropping up to two feet of snow. The resort sold out over the holiday weekend.

"We were pretty dry through Jan with snowmaking only," said Hermon. "Then we got hit with this thankfully. It's good news because we've now seen more interest sparked in customers."

Mountain High typically stays open through Easter. "We're on a good base of about 48 inches of snowmaking and natural snow," said Hermon. "As long as temps continue to hold and things don't get super hot, we are good."

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Mt. High, CA entrance sign

A boon of new snow freshened up Mountain High over the President's holiday weekend.