A Mild Day; A Mild Week Ahead; VERY NICE CONDITIONS for today!

We’re going to see some sixty degree days today through Wednesday here in the mountains. That will translate to 70°+ days off the mountain and a lot of you guys will start thinking about breaking out the golf clubs and tennis rackets. Go ahead and enjoy yourselves, but don’t get used to it – cold weather and plenty of snow is still left in the 2008-2009 ski and snowboarding season! These kind of February stretches do tend to crank up the dreaded "end of season" sales and get a lot of you guys thinking about mid summer beach trips. We are a fickle species!

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though! As forecasted last week, we’re going to play through a mild week and we’ll see some light shower chances around Wednesday evening. However behind that little system is colder air and by the weekend we’ll be looking at more normal/average temps for this time of year. Snowmaking temps should return Saturday evening and there’s a chance for some wintry precip a week from now that we’ll be keeping an eye on. Meteorologist Matthew East is still holding to his forecast for the second half of February being more normal with some cold outbreaks and snow.

These kind of mid February mild stretches also signal some shops to begin sending out some bad signals as well and Joe Stevens talks about those in his weekly column.

End of the Season SALES…

Be sure to check out Joe’s column today. End of Season Sales have been a annual pet peeve with Joe and I have to say that although I’ve heard him mention it over the last few years, I really haven’t given what he was saying much thought – til now.

In marketing you are either sending out positive signals or you’re sending out negative ones. There really is no in between. For decades all of the ski areas have been trying to sell the idea of how great the snow is in late March (and even into April) in an effort to PROLONG the season. We have mentioned for years that it is NOT usually a lack of snow that shuts down ski seasons; it is a lack of people laying down money for lift tickets. When the fiscal part of the equation stops making sense ski areas close up.

So WHY in the world would shops start promoting "end of season sales" as early as the beginning of February? Joe’s point is valid. In his column today he suggests, "Why not a “Get ready for the best spring skiing and riding in years” sale."

With nearly TWO MONTHS LEFT in this ski season I say boycott any "end of season" sales. If you see one and could use some discounted equipment – go take advantage of the pricing – but inform the sales manager that there’s plenty of this great ski and snowboarding season left.

There’s a few more BIG SNOWS, some sweet powder that hasn’t fallen yet and some great events to attend – all left in these next six to eight weeks! Let’s not hurry them to a close.

It’s been two days since we looked at reported base depths. Let’s have a look and see how much they deteriorated in 48 hours with the mild temps of the last two days.

48 Hour REPORTED Losses

Appalachian – Current base: 90"-115" – Lost 5" of base

Cataloochee – Current base: 45"-99" – Lost 3" of base

Sapphire Valley – Current base: 48" Average – Lost 5" of base

Ski Beech – Current base: 42"-75" – Reporting NO drop in two days* – (This is me clearing my throat)

Sugar Mountain – Current base: 50"-83" – Lost 10" of base**

Wolf Ridge Resort – Current base: 56-76" – Lost 2" of base***

* The slopes look GREAT at Ski Beech, but their base has dropped to begin showing a spot or two of thinning coverage especially late in the day.

** They are accurately reporting a 10" drop but things look GREAT today at Sugar.

*** Wolf will catch a glance at the other ski areas and drop a bit more tomorrow.

…We report – you decide! Sorry Fox News! (I needed to say that.) 

Conditions are really, really nice EVERYWHERE this morning. Check the SLOPE REPORT page and go enjoy your day!

For you fans of SkiNC.com – be sure to remember that we typically post a completely different report over on SkiSoutheast.com each morning – with more news, comparisons, photos of the day, videos and more. We get a lot of emails asking us about videos and we often find ourselves telling people that the information that they are looking for is over on the SkiSoutheast.com website. Be sure to check out that site as well – as we cover all of the news and information for the Virginias, Tennessee, Maryland AND North Carolina ski resort areas.

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