More rain and snow on Mount Lemmon is an overall positive. The community’s Domestic Water Improvement District is, however, still asking neighbors and stores to cut back their water use by 50 percent.

One of the bigger attractions up in Summerhaven is still sending their laundry down to the valley floor. KGUN9 went up to the Mount Lemmon Lodge to see how the hotel is making do.

General manager Jeremy Gassen showed how lodge staff start their process after a guest checks out. While this visit was during a slower week for the hotel, Gassen said workers can get busy, especially when every room is booked.

“When we have full houses, we sometimes have roughly 900 pounds of laundry,” he said. That includes bed sheets, pillow covers, towels and linens; “even our guest robes that we have here hanging,” Gassen said.

Lodge workers take all these washable items down into their laundry room. From there, they will stuff the sheets and linens in green bags, which another staff member will drive down on the Catalina Highway.

Gassen said normally, they would use the commercial washer and dryer in their laundry room. That, however, would require the lodge washing 12 loads each day. “Bigger picture,” Gassen said, “we’re talking thousands of gallons of savings by sending it down there.” And so far, Gassen said, it has been worth it to pay for the service without cutting deep into profits.

Once the sheets are in the bags, lodge workers will load them into the business’s sprinter van. KGUN9 followed this delivery as it left Summerhaven, went down the mountain, and parked outside a dry cleaner off Broadway and Pantano.

Checking on the Mount Lemmon Domestic Water Improvement District’s website, the community is currently in a Stage 2 water curtailment. That means the district wants businesses like Mount Lemmon Lodge to cut back on washing cars or clothes and linens.

Gassen said ever since the district set these guidelines months ago, the business is willing to do its part to save precious water. “It’s not so much an issue of money, as it is a limited resource,” he said.

“If we continue to use the same amounts of water that we’ve always used up here, we will run out and then we would have to close entirely. So, if we want to continue providing our services to guests, this is just a necessity.”

The logde also asks customers spending a night in the hotel to consider using less water during their stay.

“With every overnight guest,” Gassen said, “we actually have them sign an acknowledgment form, just stating that we’re under water restrictions — please conserve as much as possible, and we’ve had a great response…”

Mount Lemmon Domestic Water Improvement District moved from Stage 3 water cuts, which were mandatory, to Stage 2 on February 15.

When it comes to the snowfall this winter that can help fill tanks and supplies, the National Weather Service said snow totals for Summerhaven reached 39 inches for the month of February. So far this winter, the community has tracked 63 inches of snow.