Hello Everyone –

Let’s get something straight right away, if you were not on the slopes in the southeast or mid-Atlantic regions this past weekend to missed out on a chance to enjoy incredible conditions. I have been involved in this region’s winter industry in one form or another since the mid-80’s and I can’t remember when it was this good. Check out the snow reports, we are very, very close to having every trail at every resort from Maryland to Tennessee to being open. I challenge anyone to remember the last time that occurred. Thanks Mother Nature 

I am sorry but cell phones and blackberry’s need to be outlawed from being used on lifts and especially on the slopes. Those little walkie talkies are one thing but riding up a chair lift and having someone’s cell phone go off and a conversation starts just is wrong. You are out on the slopes to have fun and leave most of everything else in the room or back home. Then I witnessed someone talking on their cell while they were skiing, no kidding, while they were skiing. What in the H E, double hockey sticks are they thinking about. Again leave that thing in the room and use some common sense.

It looks like industry officials are recognizing what a lot of the region is facing right now and that is that the dollar isn’t going as far as it once did. If you don’t think there are deals out there to be had while playing on the snow, you haven’t been looking very hard. A quick trip around the region’s resort websites shows that there are discounts for now through the end of the season. Maybe that’s the reason why the region’s numbers are rather strong this season, while out west numbers are down 20 to 30 percent. Again I say thanks Mother Nature and some resort executives that have started to listen more today than yesterday.

Monday is Groundhog Day and that little rodent better understand that for much of the region the weather has been awesome for resort operators and if the underground fat rat messes it up, I am coming after him with plastic knife in hand.

That’s it for this week, more to come as winter is here. 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. 

10:30am update: P.S. – so Phil lives another year in the eyes of this columnist as the fat little hairball saw his shadow this (Monday) morning assuring us (like it really matters) another six weeks of winter. Well no groundhog stew this year. Enjoy the additional turns thanks to “Phil”.

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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.

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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.