It’s been snowing all morning and some accumulating snows are forecasted across the region on this Monday, March 28th, 2011.
…and all of the region’s ski areas are now closed for the season. That huge wind that you just heard was the unified exhalation of all of the area’s management teams as they are now chilling for a day or two of well-deserved time off. Today there are no concerns over the weather or whether or not the temperatures will be borderline or cold enough to make snow. There are no concerns over the ginormous power bills that make the power meters spin like one of those wind turbines on top of Beech Mountain or like those just outside of Lewisburg, West Virginia!
Today, despite the snow that is falling as of this report, there are no slopes available to ski or ride unless you’re going to attempt to do so illegally. Unlike some national services, we don’t recommend skiing closed ski areas because that little trick could get you banned from the resort for the future, and the ski area does have the right to hold your equipment until you go before a judge. While you’ll probably not get much more than a wrist slap and have to pay a fine (on top of paying restitution to the resort) – it really isn’t worth it.
Just let it go. Either head west or wait til next season.
So officially, the 2010-2011 season ended on March 27th after day sessions at Appalachian Ski Mountain, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Timberline Resort and Wisp Resort.
IT WAS A GOOD ONE…
This past week I posted a few comments about how the 2010-2011 Ski and Snowboarding season was a good one. I did so again on Sunday’s closing day news and within a couple of hours I received a few emails challenging my comments. Two were from newspapers in the region and they were basically asking the typical questions for some closing comments of their own. More than a few were from enthusiastic diehards who shared their disbelief that this could have been a good or successful season.
I won’t rehash my comments of Sunday (you’re more than welcome to read the report for yourself (click here for that story).
The bottom line is that we judge whether a ski season is successful or not by the number of lift tickets that were sold. There’s no question that rooms booked is another barometer that some of our larger ski areas have to figure in…but even so – the 2010-2011 season was indeed a good one. Not a GREAT one. Not as good or GREAT as last season; but nevertheless a successful one in terms of being able to pay bills, pay their staff and put some money in the bank.
After a few, short days of "R & R" the management teams will assemble and begin implementing upgrades over the summer.
We’ll share some numbers when and if they become available but the word on the slopes is that it was a challenging, but nevertheless successful campaign.
ACCORDING TO SOME SERVICES…the season is still going!?!?!
There are some agencies and reporting services that get their data from association reporting services (or lack of reporting services ;-)) that are still reporting 136 trails as being available as of this morning.
Nope…they’re all closed.
WELL ALL EXCEPT THOSE AT LIBERTY SNOWFLEX CENTER in Lewisburg, Virginia…
I was speaking with Liberty Snowflex’s General Manager, Drew Sherwood the other day and they will be ramping up their online promotions with us over the next few weeks and into next season. Drew was telling us about some of the benefits of keeping your ski and snowboarding skills finely tuned by visiting the center during the off-season. If you’re wanting to learn some new skills and tricks – the Snowflex surface is a very forgiving venue to ramp up your game and then show off to all of your snow buddies when the real snow hits again late this Fall.
Drew shared some pretty cool programs for the upcoming summer season. We’ll be elaborating much more – soon. In the meantime, check these out:
2011 LMSC Summer Camps:
LMSC summer camp is a unique opportunity for all ages. Not only is it the only Snowflex centre in the US, but it is the only one that offers what we do. We have excellent certified Instructors that teach all levels weather beginner, intermediate, or advanced we can accommodate you. We guarantee a great experience while maintaining a good clean and safe atmosphere for all. Come join us this summer and learn to ski & ride, and do other activities such as paintball, swim, slip and slide, skateboard, rollerblade and much more! Sign up today and you won’t regret your decision.
LMSC Ski and Ride Summer Camp (Day Camp) July 18th-22nd:
The LMSC Ski and Ride Summer Camp offers you a chance to do what no one else can do this summer, learn to Ski or Snowboard! Whether you’re advanced, intermediate, or new to the slopes, you can take your ride to the next level when you attend LMSC Ski and Ride Summer Camp. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of central Virginia as you learn from skilled instructors in a safe, fun, and warm environment. Each group will have their own instructor that will walk step by step on how to properly ski and snowboard; as an added bonus, our camp provides a mid-morning snack to keep you energized as well as lunch later on in the afternoon. Each camper will receive a LMSC Summer Camp t- shirt for their participation. We also have other activities available if skiing and riding has worn campers out such as: a slip and slide to keep you cool, as well as a great lounge where there are games, TV’s, movies and an extra large chess set if that’s what you’re into. Come and hang with us this summer at LMSC summer camp, you won’t regret it.
Next Level (Over Night Camp) July 24th-28th:
Next level overnight camp is for the more advanced skiers and boarders. Our overnight camp offers you the opportunity to work on those tricks that you have always wanted to learn. Whether you are on the slope working on the spin you have wanted to master, or jibbing the urban rail you wanted to own, we offer a wide variety of features that are sufficient for each level. We will also have a gymnastic trampoline with certified instructors to help learn air awareness. And if that isn’t enough for the thrill master in you, we have an indoor skate park that will allow you to skate the half pipe, ride the street course, or even air into the foam pit. You are guaranteed to have a great time and experience loads of fun. As for accommodations, each camper will be assigned to a dorm on the Campus of Liberty University and will receive breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Campers will also receive LMSC Next Level camp T-shirt as well as a chance to win cool prizes at our end of the week competition. So come and join us at LMSC this summer and experience a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else in the USA!
Visit The Snowflex Center pages at: http://www.liberty.edu/snowflex/index.cfm?PID=23024
WE LOOK TO THE FUTURE AND CELEBRATE THE PAST
We want to say a hearty THANKS to each and every one of you who visited our network of SkiNC.com, SkiSoutheast.com, HighCountryWebCams.com and HighCountryWeather.com this season. We were on a record pace at the halfway point in the season that would have easily set records for us in visitation and page views. However along with the dramatic dropoff in natural snow, we saw a dramatic dropoff in webcam visits around the first of February. We still received more than FIVE MILLION unique visitors and delivered more than 55,000,000 pageviews during the 160 +/- days of ski season. That number DWARFS all of the other regional and associational reporting services and website put together.
During the previous twelve months we have seen more than EIGHT MILLION VISITORS (down slightly from the previous twelve month’s nine million uniques). Bear in mind that just because the ski areas are closed that doesn’t mean that we’re not here! In fact, the messageboard pulls daily traffic all summer long from outdoor enthusiasts posting comments and reports about kayaking, hiking, etc. Last summer the SKI websites saw an average of nearly 4500 visitors per day!
The HighCountryWebCams.com website averages 8000 +/- visitors per day and we’re adding new camera locations! If you’re a beach fan, we just added two new LIVE SURF cams over in Myrtle Beach and a new one is going LIVE in at the Morehead City Yacht Basin! Nobody delivers the region like we do and we are planning to grow that outreach with some pretty cool new websites and offerings over the summer! Visit those websites at www.HighCountryWebCams.com and www.GrandStrandCams.com
Stay tuned and periodically visit this website for some announcements and updates as we unveil some new "products". Also stay tuned to www.HighCountryWeather.com as we grow that website with more weather locations and features.
CLOSING THANK YOUS…
I want to take a moment and say a hearty thanks to Kenny Griffin for taking on the daily reporting around mid season. He did a very nice job don’t you think? I could tell there was nobody missing my take on things when I received ZERO comments or critiques of his input.
Thanks to Joe Stevens for his tireless promotion of this website. That support and promotion goes much deeper than his weekly "Joe Knows Snow" column. Thanks for being a friend personally and professionally.
Special thanks to Meteorologist Brad Panovich for his video forecasts all season long. Brad has his own fanbase here at SkiSoutheast.com and SkiNorthCarolina.com and his snow-loving take on things is a breath of fresh air. His forecasts have been among the most accurate – if not THE most accurate over the past two seasons. Brad you are appreciated dude!
Thanks to Connie Lawn, the skiing White House Reporter (and our Washington D.C. "bureau chief"). Connie and her husband Charles are wanting to be more involved in our little community and their input was appreciated. Thanks guys.
A Special THANKS to all of you who submitted photos, trip reports and input to the website this season. You guys help us show our visitors what to expect before they ever get to the mountains.
Thanks to Snowshoe Mountain for their very special support of this website. The former COO, Bill Rock was a huge fan of this website and of course Laura Parquette is a "sister from another mister". She, Ed Scheider and Ed Galford are very appreciated around these parts. We’re looking forward to working with Snowshoe’s new President and COO, Frank Deberry and Tyson Misleh (Snowshoe’s Marketing Director) in years to come.
Thanks also to Appalachian’s Brad Moretz, Cataloochee’s Tammy Brown and Chris Bates, Ryan Costin, Rhyne Garris and Talia Freeman of Beech Mountain Resort, Lisa Ratliff and Lenora Testerman of Canaan Valley, and the Anders Family and Kathy Doyle of Ober Gatlinburg. You guys know what you do for us and you guys are VERY MUCH appreciated!
We want to also thank the many cabin rental and lodging partners. We had several freebie vacations to give away this season that we simply just never took advantage of. You guys are nevertheless HUGELY appreciated! We’ll do some special things for the upcoming season!
Thanks to the dozens and dozens of advertisers. Without you guys and gals we would not be able to carry on the work that we do here. The visitors and potential visitors to our mountains owe you a special thanks. We do as well!
Thanks to each of the messageboard members who really help to spread the word about what this website is REALLY all about. There are too many to mention in one paragraph but you guys are VERY appreciated here. We’ll have to attempt to do more to show our gratitude in the future. Thanks for all you guys and gals do to keep the website "colorful" and growing. Thanks for attending the summits and spending your hard earned monies with us, the ski areas and with local lodging peeps.
Thanks to "the haters" out there. You know who you are! We had a record "pageview" day this season because of you.
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE…
With growth comes change. We’ve had a number of people make some great suggestions in how we could and should grow the website. We invite your suggestions and you can email them to [email protected] and I’ll definately consider any good input.
Some of your suggestions and some that we hope to implement for the coming seasons will dictate some changes in format and very possible the exclusion of some of the ski areas that choose not to be included. We’re going to reward those that are a strong part of the process and that’s as it should be. It is too early to tell the exact direction that the website might take for next season, however I DO know that the primary promotional push will be to those that feel that we’re worth supporting.
That said…keep watching!
Th-tha-that’s all folks! (For now!) See you sometime in late Summer or early Autumn.
Feel free to email me ar [email protected]