With the ski area's snowmaking proposal tied up in litigation, the crucial Christmas Holiday season started without enough snow for the hill to open. Murray feels that with the region's cold temperatures, he would have been able to have 75% of the mountain open for the holidays if the resort had been permitted to install its snowmaking system. The crux of the issue? Using reclaimed water on the Coconino National Forest slopes has prompted Native American and other groups to file suit to stop the enhancement. "Opposition groups are determined to delay us as long as the process allows, or to run us out of business," said Murray, citing the fact that most resorts rely on holiday skiers for 30 percent of their income and nearby Sunrise which is owned by the Apache tribe uses reclaimed water for their snowmaking. "This year is especially bitter because we know we should be blowing snow and skiing."
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