Hello Everyone –
First off and just in case you didn’t know, winter arrived on Sunday, December 21 at 6:03 pm, EST. I am one who favors an early present around this time of year and always appreciates when Santa delivers winter right on time every year. Other than the smile on my son’s face, as he hears his favorite Christmas tunes each year and as the pile of presents grow under the tree, know that winter is officially here, makes this old snowman smile.
It may be a tad bit behind schedule but I thought I should come up with a Santa “Wish List” for the ski resorts in southeast region. If you ever wonder why I stick to the southeast region (I have gotten that question), please check out the web address of this site that hosts my weekly thoughts.
- Subfreezing temperatures – Santa sometimes your close friend Mother Nature provides a large amount of the natural stuff, but most of the time it either comes in the form of a little here or a little there or in a great big dump. What the ski resorts need Santa, are some constant below freezing temperatures, like in the teens overnight and in the 20’s during the day, so snowmaking can occur around the clock providing excellent slope conditions for every skier, snowboarder or snowtuber. In fact, if you can repeat last year’s temperatures, that would be awesome.
- Supporting meteorologists – Santa please make sure that weather forecasters understand that folks that play outside during the winter months, listen carefully to every single word they say. Please have them understand, whatever the high number they say for snow accumulation is the number that sticks in their memory. So if there is only a SLIGHT chance of eight inches, just give the one to three inch span and leave the guessing for the snow gooses. Please provide us more weather folks like Brad Panovich, Herb Stevens, Spencer Adkins and Jacqui Jeras, as they get it.
- Understanding Parents – Santa as you know the Southeast region is perfect for learning to ski and snowboard. All of the resorts have excellent teaching staffs. So when that young person asks their mom and dad to allow them to learn to ski or snowboard, may they respond with a big smile and make the opportunity available for their children. They just need to realize that January is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and every resort is gearing up to teach young people how to have fun on the slopes the correct way.
- Safe travels for snowplow drivers – Santa you know how I feel about snowmakers and that they are the unsung heroes of the industry and you have already taken care of them with number one on this list. However coming in a close second are the folks who I think don’t get enough credit for what they do for the industry – the guys and gals that are behind the wheels of the snowplow trucks making sure the roads are clear for everyone visiting their favorite ski resort, while Mother Nature is providing her white blanket of fun. These guys and gals don’t have the opportunity like most of us and don’t travel when we don’t want to, they have to get behind the wheel and get the job done, no matter what the conditions are. Those clear roads help all of the visitors arrive safely to their destinations. So please sprinkle some of your magic dust on all of the Department of Highway stations that house the plow trucks during your travels this year so they remain safe throughout their travels.
- Santa, finally and probably the most important wish of all, please sprinkle some of that magic on all of the skier, snowboarders and snowtubers that visit all of the resorts everywhere, not only in the southeast but every ski resort in the world. I realize that is going to take a large amount of that dust but I really hope you can handle this request. Skiing and snowboarding is a fun outdoor sport but sometimes it can a little dangerous when someone pushes their limits. Also please provide those newbies with the correct instruction when they are starting out, because it’s so important to learn the correct way to ski and snowboard from the beginning so that the sport is not only fun but also safe for everyone. At the end of the day that’s the most important thing isn’t it?
I know you are very busy right now and have a lot of things on your plate or should I say sled, so please look over the list and do the best you can. But as you look over the list if put a special emphasis on number four and five would be great appreciated and of course may your travels be safe also and may your hot chocolate stay warm and your reindeer have clear landing areas.
That’s it for this column, more to come as the season continues, 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.