Hello Everyone –
So what do you need to have fun on the slopes when you are skiing or snowboarding or even snowtubing? Easy answer right, snow of course. My point starting off this week’s column is I am sending out a huge “Fist Bump” to the resorts which made snow last week so that visitors would have the best product available to them for the (for the most part) final turns of the season. There were probably more but I know that Snowshoe and Winterplace turned the guns on for one last man-made blizzard this season and I know that every skier, snowboarder or snowtuber appreciated the effort and the expenditure of making the snow. I have seen seasons where the snowmaking plug was pulled the first week of February, but as we all know, NOT this year.
This has been the most challenging season a lot of the resort veterans throughout the region have ever seen. It was the biggest perception and reality season I have ever seen in the 35 years I have been connected to the industry. The perception all season in the lowlands has been that the resorts didn’t have enough or any snow at all during most the season. That is what I heard over and over from north to south and east to west. Now if you have read any of these columns this year or any of Mike or Kenny’s First Trax posts on this website, you know the snow has been there.
Not so much from Mother Nature, but I tell you what, there was snow being made in the southeast from Maryland to Tennessee whenever the temperature dropped below freezing and sometimes just above freezing.
It now looks like the season has come to an end for a number of resorts because either the crowds are not there or the upcoming weather forecast basically is not the best for holding slope conditions for skiers and snowboarders. You can follow who is open and spring skiing schedules right here on skisoutheast.com. This season has brought out a number of gray hairs or caused those hairs to fall out on a number of veterans of southeast skiing and riding. But at the end of the day, every resort in this region gave it their best shot to put a product out there for everyone to enjoy.
So if the product has been out there, where have the people been? Well folks, let’s get back to that perception and reality issue. You see there has been a couple of weekends this winter, at least my calendar indicated winter, that I have seen motorcycles on the road in my home town of Charleston, West Virginia. It’s just been darn near impossible to convince folks experiencing 60-degree temperatures in January, February and now March that there was enough snow on the slopes. With that said, the resorts that remain open still have plenty of snow to have fun until the final rope is pulled across the slopes.
Next week we will reveal the 2011/2012 Joe’s SNOWIES! Go ahead and make a couple more runs this season, I dare you.
That’s it for this week, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.
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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for skisoutheast.com and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.