Joe Stevens Comments on End of Year Sales – The Super Bowl and More

Hello Everyone –

Before we get to this week’s topic, I surely hope that everyone got out on the slopes this past Friday or Saturday at any of the winter resorts in the Mid-Atlantic or Southeast regions.  Thanks to some timely snowmaking by Mother Nature and the various mountain operation staffs, the conditions were darn near perfect.  There were a couple of times though I felt like I was riding on the chair with the three bears.  One was saying the temperature was too hot, another saying it was still too cold and the other was saying everything was just right.  I tried to ride on the same chair with the last bear whenever possible.  I guess the saying is correct, that you can’t please everyone all of the time.  None the less, it was fun making some turns this past weekend.

Now onto this week’s topic, calling an end to the season and it isn’t even half over for most resorts.  I am referring to the “End of the Season” sales going on at various ski and snowboard shops in the region.  I was able to get my hands on a couple of papers from around the nation’s capital recently and saw four ads from shops promoting “End of the Season” specials.  Or, it’s time to sell the merchandise with a price tag that should’ve been on the products right from the start.  I know its called business, but sometimes I just feel all of us are just getting the business.

All these “End of the Season” sales do is make people think that the resorts in the region are getting ready to close.  Anyone in their right mind knows that is far from what is going to happen.  The majority of the resorts will be able to operate well into March and a few into April (weather and skier/rider visits permitting).  Shops should understand (and some do) that to grow the industry is to get new people into the sport.  Unfortunately these perspective skiers and riders don’t understand that there is plenty of snow still on the trails and think if the shop is getting ready for spring and summer, so are the resorts.  I contend that shops should conduct “Mid-season” or “Inventory Reduction” Sales and try to keep the season’s momentum going as long as possible.  Some of these shops don’t even post snow reports for guests, but that’s another topic for another column someday.  Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem. 

Enough said on that subject, now let’s venture to something I heard on a major news network this morning (Monday) while traveling to work.  After airing a news package about the upcoming Winter Olympics and the challenging weather they have been facing recently, the anchor made a comment that the organizers might have to use man made snow for the outdoor events and everyone knows that type of snow is of inferior quality.  The driver next to me probably heard my scream and wondered what the heck the problem was.  Inferior quality indeed.  Again this was a perfect case of a newsman (which I use to be in my former life) making a comment about a topic he knew absolutely nothing about.  If I had the news anchor’s number I would’ve had a couple of snowmakers give him a call and let him know just how good of a product they can put on the slopes.  Inferior quality indeed.  I could probably make a snowball and hit him with it and he wouldn’t have known the difference between man made and Mother Nature. 

Most resorts should be receiving some snow this week or at least be able to make some, and that’s good news for the Super Bowl weekend crowds  With that said, here are my Super Bowl predictions, the first touchdown pass will be an option toss from Antwaan Randle-El to Heath Miller (hey why make an easy one).  Now for the final score, Pittsburgh 23 Seattle 13.  Remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be.  Think about it!  I can’t wait to see you on the slopes!

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Joe Stevens
Joe is well known around the southeastern ski circles. Stevens was Director of Communications at Snowshoe Mountain Resort for 16 seasons with another 15 years prior to that in Richmond, Virginia newsrooms. Joe serves on numerous boards and committees and currently is a spokesperson for the West Virginia ski areas.Joe has been a featured columnist on SkiSoutheast since 2005 and has written numerous articles for us, as well as for others promoting all of the southeastern ski resorts. Joe resides in Charleston, West Virginia, with his wife, Angie, and son, Christian. He is an avid snowboarder and marathon runner.