The winter sports season is off to a good start in Arizona, despite predictions of dry conditions due to La Niña. All three of the state's ski resorts are open-–including Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, the southernmost ski destination in North America.

Alex Chambers, a student at the University of Arizona, says the conditions are great, and admits he's amazed the slopes are located less than 30 miles from Tucson city limits.

"I didn't realize it when I moved to Tucson that there was such a great slope right here," Chambers says. "I grew up snowboarding in Snowbowl and Sunrise, and Mount Lemmon is fantastic."

Graham Davies, area manager for Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, says that on a good year the facility will open around Christmas and close in early April.

“Capacity really depends on the parking facilities,” Davies says. “Once we’re full, we’re full.”

Davies says the economic impact of a good season is a welcome boost for the mountaintop community of Summerhaven, which is still rebuilding after the 2003 Aspen Fire.

“[It’s] definitely a boost for us, and just having this many people on the mountain I’m sure is an economic boost for the other businesses in Summerhaven,” he says.

Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, north of Tucson, in January 2012.