NO EXCUSES NOW, says Joe Stevens

Hello Everyone –

Unless you have been under a rock so far this ski season, you know the weather has been up and down like the stock market recently. The good news for skiers and snowboarders is it looks the conditions are going to stay up and no one knows what the stock market is going to do these days. The excellent conditions at all of the region’s resorts means it’s time you get up off the couch and hit the slopes. Just close your eyes, point at a mountain and head that way, no questions asked.

Last week I questioned the ability of a resort to have an increase of 30 inches of base depth to occur overnight and by the number of emails I received, you tend to agree with me on that thought process. What that tells me is resorts who try to pull the snow over on skiers and snowboarders are not accomplishing anything other than putting doubt in the minds of paying customers. What I didn’t mention last week was that it was odd that the huge increase occurred right before the biggest weekend of the season. Go figure?

Now while we are on the subject of reporting on the slope statistics, what is up with the reporting of snowmaking inches? Maybe I am way off base here, but if I see three or four or even five inches of manmade snow reported, it makes one think that entire slope system received that coverage. If you are of the same thought process as me, I hope you realize that the 99.9 percent of the resorts in this neck of the woods can’t accomplish that feat when there are multiple trails of any length open. I truly believe that skiers and snowboarders just want to know if snow was made and if possible where that snow was made. I am starting to think it is an ego thing between resorts. At the end of the day, resorts should be happy that Mother Nature is providing snowmaking temperatures and that the snowmaking box can be checked on the snow report.

While we are on the subject of reporting inches of snow, for the most part this season it seems that most resorts are reporting their natural snow depths on the conservative side. Only a couple of times have red flags popped up. But to tell you the truth that is to be expected because it has always happened and always will. I digress because my point here is that on a couple of occasions this year I have seen three to six inch differences between totals reported by two resorts that are literally side by side or just a mountain ridge away from each other. This just can’t happen and I don’t understand why snow reporting services don’t question the numbers when they come into the services. I contend the difference in the two figures don’t do any of the resorts any good other than to confuse the possible visitors.

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! 

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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.