President’s Day Weekend Skiing Looks Great, Cold and Even Some Snow!

We had some light rain across the region last evening and that continues this morning. According to the weather gurus, this rain and relative mild temps that we are seeing in the mountains will quickly take a nose dive and turn colder around noon and change this light precip to SNOW! Not a ton of it – maybe an inch or two…but SNOW nonetheless!

The lows tonight in the state should range near 19° or so and that means snowmaking! Thursday, Friday and Saturday now looks QUITE NICE with Sunny Skies and highs on the 40s and lows in the 25-30° range so there should be some additional snowmaking particularly Thursday evening.

We told you guys yesterday that we’d keep you posted about the weather because as of Tuesday this weekend was looking a bit damp. Well NOW, the first half is looking sunny and Sunday and Monday are looking SNOWY! That’s right, there is snow in the forecast with Sunday beginning as a mixed bit of precip and changing over to snow. President’s Day will be cold, with highs in the low 30s and snow showers!

That is GREAT for the holiday weekend, getaway crowd, so make those reservations if you haven’t already and get your gear and your rears up here!

CHECK THE SLOPE CONDITIONS PAGE FOR TRAIL OPENING AND BASE DETAILS TODAY.

Quick notables:

Several ski areas made snow Tuesday morning, but none made snow overnight as temps rose after midnight. Therefore we are reporting "NO" on the snowmaking column of our slope conditions report.

Some of the West Virginia resorts picked up another inch or so of snow and Wisp in Maryland saw another 2" (4" in the last 48 hours, with more on the way).

Temps are already dropping as we are watching temps in Kentucky and Ohio that are already nearly 10° colder than what we are seeing here in the mountains, so the cold, arctic air IS on the way and that will produce some light snow across the mountains!

THANKS to Brad Moretz and the crew up at Appalachian. They did a very cool thing for the local boy scouts inviting them up for some skiing and riding Tuesday night. That was cool…and a special "thank you" to Brad on behalf of a couple of friends last night.

PEOPLE HATING ON LUXURY??? Naw…just some who aspire to luxury I think!

During the twelve seasons that we have operated this website I have always received emails that have seemingly trashed or put down the resort-style ski areas who offer more than just a ski hill to ride on. We only receive a few dozen emails (out of 30,000+ that we receive per season) of this nature per season, but they always have the same tone of putting down this or that resort and commenting on everything from exorbitant ticket prices to pricy shops to $30 steaks, etc. I have kind of chuckled thinking to myself that these characters are either cheap or just not financially where they need or want to be.

I noticed a couple of messageboard posts this past few days that relates to this subject and some of these were trashing Snowshoe’s Village restaurants and high prices for skiing, lodging…you name it.

I thought perhaps of simply replying with some one-liner like, "Guys…that’s called ‘Justification for Higher Education" but then I thought better of it because I’d probably get a couple hundred hate emails from those penny-pinchers who happened to be attorneys, engineers, accountants and the like.

Since Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia is the largest ski area in the region, they tend to get more heat from those who post these kinds of messages and emails. However I have some news for them. Skiing is NOT a cheap sport. In fact, according to the National Sporting Goods Association golf and SKIING tops the list as THE most expensive sport. For single player sports that don’t involve million dollar sailing vessels or boats or highly coddled horses, golf and SKIING ranks as the most expensive to learn and play on a regular basis.

Another thing that we get a lot of emails about regarding the high price of skiing are questioins about how the economy might hurt or bring priced down. Not so, say many industry experts and the REASON that the industry is pretty much recession proof, is that while resorts cater to families, etc…they also cater to those with a little extra money in the wallet.

According to the national Ski Areas Association in Lakewood, Colorado 55 million people hit the slopes in 2006-2007 and the spending power of skiers during the 2005-2006 season was $4.9 billion, which included lift tickets, lodging, lessons, food and beverage, equipment rental and retail shops.

For a week of skiing (seven nights, six days, and a five-day lift ticket), the price averages about $1,500 nationwide.

“When a skier elects to go to a mountain, they are either electing to go very cheap, or be very comfortable, and the way the industry is growing, most people are electing comfort,” says Mike Sanford, president of The National Ski Council Federation.

The cost of learning to ski averages $40 for an hour’s lesson nationwide, with some luxury resorts like Colorado’s Vail offering individual lessons for upwards of $500.

Of course, looking good is often part of a snow skier’s world, with people spending hundreds of dollars nearly every season for the latest in skiwear. Many ski shops hold tent sales in the Spring and that’s the time to buy your clothing and gear otherwise you’re talking about a $1000 in clothing alone.

When taking a ski trip, unless you have a mountain and some lifts in your backyard you’re going to have to do some travel. Unless you are lucky enough to live within ten minutes of a ski area travel won’t be cheap. Lodging isn’t cheap either.

I am not weathy by any stretch and yes going to ANY ski resort is a sizeable expense, but has any of you guys noticed that resorts that cater to the "comfort skier" STAY nearly booked solid every winter weekend.

Every one of those "expensive" restaurants, shoppes and bars are full to capacity. Each time I go to a ski area of that nature there is a wait to be seated to dine. As per the food, I have YET to find a meal that was not phenomenal at such as resort.

If you’re looking to camp in your car and eat out of a KFC bucket all weekend, you CAN still do that, but there are hundreds of thousands of us perfectly willing to lay down a few thousand for a ski trip or two or three every season.

Resorts such as Snowshoe are not building all of those high dollar homes along the side of Sawmill to cater to the sleep-in-your-car crowd.

A fellow from Charlotte owns that 9 bedroom, 7 bath home in Sawmill that is priced at $2.3 million which serves as a rare getaway for he and his family. I don’t think he gives a flip about paying $35 for a steak. THAT is who Snowshoe and luxury resorts are catering to and they are having no problems selling their real estate and filling it with renters.

Luxury sales and tickets is hitting every getaway venue…not just skiing. Heck I paid $120 a seat to go to the Coca Cola 600 two years ago and sat by a 300lb Bubba, who flipped Jeff Gordan the dirty bird on every lap. For my money, I will spend it on a "comfort getaway".

The resorts and the communities surrounding them don’t count the sleep-in-your-car crowd into the economic impact studies wherein they lay claim to how much financial impact the ski areas have on the local economy.

Almost gone are the days of the ski bum, or beach bum, or Nascar bum. Okay, I’ll give you that one…the Nascar bum is still alive and well!

Enjoy your day…I’m going to be beat my head against a wall. JUST KIDDING MOM!

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more news from the rest of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas!

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