Hello Everyone –
Take a look outside or better yet just go outside. If you haven’t noticed, winter is here and that means playing in snow is at its best. I just don’t think most people realize this has been a very common winter season for the Southeast and mid-Atlantic region. The resorts experienced nice snowmaking temperatures and natural snow in December getting the season off on the right boot. I have recently heard skiers and snowboarders talk about when the season will end instead talking about the awesome conditions that can be found everywhere in the region. By the looks of things weather-wise, these great conditions are going to be with the resorts into March.
Now I’m reading on chat rooms about how busy all of the resorts were this past weekend, hello, perfect conditions (Sunday was a little wet though) + holiday weekend = side-by-side skiing and riding. Anyone and I mean anyone that doesn’t realize that situation just isn’t paying attention. Comments are made that resorts should limit the number of lift tickets that are sold or allow the so-called expert skiers and riders on reserved slopes so that they won’t have to “deal” with the “lesser types”. Hogwash! What these so-called expert skiers and riders fail to realize is that it’s because of the “lesser types”, that there is skiing and riding in the southeast these days. Let’s just say in this case the majority rules and the greater numbers in this region are beginner and intermediate skiers and riders. You know something, there are times that I think the beginners know how to have more fun on snow then the so-called experts. They don’t mind falling and laughing about it. Think about that sometime.
At the end of the day, this all means there is still plenty of skiing and riding to be had in the region. All of the resorts have taken advantage of the winter conditions this month to prepare them for March. This columnist wouldn’t be surprised if a number of resorts extend their seasons, if the numbers hold up. Do you hear that, if the numbers hold up? I can see it now, the cry from those same so-called experts “why are the resorts shutting down for the season with so much snow”. The moral to this story is that the last time I checked this was a for profit business and if they come (they being skiers and riders) they (they being the resorts) will stay open. This is not a time to criticize the resorts, but to support them with attendance. So let’s try to hit those slopes just one more day this year than planned. As a matter of face, all of the resorts reduce their pricing schedule in March so let the skiing and riding continue.
That’s it for this week; more to come as the season moves on. Just be patient as whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it!
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.