The calendar may say that it’s November 1st, 2006 – but tell that to Cataloochee Ski Area General Manager, Chris Bates; and Public Relations Director (and SkiNC babe) Tammy Brown! Last season Cataloochee set the skiing community on its ear when they opened on November 17th, 2006. They got a ton of mileage out of that savvy marketing move as news services, radio and television stations across the east reported on it.
They were the first ski resort to open in the east, and the last to close in North Carolina and as if that wasn’t good enough, they are going to "one-up" themselves by opening this Saturday.
"We’re going to make snow Thursday and Friday nights and then open at 8:30am Saturday morning, November 4, 2006 with two slopes operating for skiers and snowboarders", reported Tammy Brown. She added, "You guys are number one with us and we wanted you to be the first to know."
Thanks tons Tammy! I was actually suspecting that someboady might pull the trigger as I was posting weather data to www.HighCountryWeather.com and the ski sites. As I viewed the temps I noticed that the forecast is for 25°, 23° and 24° lows for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. I allowed myself to "what if" and then I glanced at the calendar and said "naw". I also knew that Cataloochee has an annual party for the season pass holders scheduled for NEXT weekend, November 11th, so I thought to myself – "okay M-A-Y-B-E next weekend."
Then I was talking with my buddy, Joe Stevens of Joe Knows Snow fame and he told me right out, "Tammy’s going to open this weekend." I responded, "I was wondering if they might but – NAW!" Joe and I quickly finished up our call and my fingers did the walking across my telephone keypad and directly to THE LADY at The Cat.
The moment she heard my voice she began giggling and I knew it WAS going to happen. She quickly asked me NOT to say anything until she got back to me. Then within an hour she called me back and cleared me to release the news.
Here’s the deal according to Tammy, "We have done a ton of construction around here so we had to make sure that everything works and that there were no leaks and we’re cleared on that. Chris (Bates) says that we WILL make snow Thursday and Friday nights since the temperatures are going to allow it, and we WILL open at 8:30am, Saturday, November 4th, 2006 with two slopes operating for skiers and snowboarders!"
Tammy informed us that they will have Rabbit Hill and Easy Way open and they will be offering skiing at Mid-Week Rates for Saturday. They will also honor their season pass holders – even those with mid-week passes. She said that they will only offer limited food services…but HEY it’s skiing!!!
We’re Not Ready for This!!!
Okay we’re always going to ready to play on the snow…but we don’t even have everything in place on the website to debut the season! You guys can check out www.SkiSoutheast.com to get a little sneak peak of some subtle changes already in place. We have Joe’s, Joe Knows Snow column highlighted now, and we’ve also debuted Dave McConnell’s, Dave’s Raves…and Rants. We’ve already edited about 1/3rd of the covered ski areas information, but there’s SO MUCH MORE TO DO!!! We have three times the vacation giveaways already setup and there’s more finalizing now.
With Cataloochee’s move I suppose we’ll have to gear up a little faster! We CAN tell you that we are working with Snowshoe Mountain to add their FIRST live webcam so we can show off Snowshoe. We’re adding a live cam at the TOP of Beech from the lift house, and we have much more in the works…so stay tuned.
We’ve also been fortunate to have input from many regional and national meteorologist, such as Jim Cantore and Paul Goodloe of the WEATHER CHANNEL, Eric Thomas of WBTV & Brad Panovich of WCNC in Charlotte as well as numerous others. Brad has been great in providing us with semi-regular updated weather information. We’re putting the final touches on a deal that will give us an official meteorologist that will provide DAILY weather forecasts and information for the entire Southeast’s ski areas! We’ll let you know we have that all worked out!
We’ll try to have all of that ready by the time the TRADITIONAL SKI SEASON debuts in mid-November…but until then THANKS CATALOOCHEE FOR RUSHING US UP A LITTLE :-)!!!
Until Next time…
Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com for more stories and skiing in the Southeast!
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