The big news for this evening was SUPPOSED to be that several of our Summit Crew met up today and this evening, BUT NO… the news that steals the headlines for tonight at least is that Wolf Ridge AND Ski Beech have called it quits for the season! Earlier in the week Wolf Ridge announced that they were closing just for this rain-filled week and hoped to open for the weekend "weather permitting". It didn’t take expert cognitive powers to look at the forecast during this past week and reason that it was going to be hard to pull off a reopening. …and they didn’t.
Wolf announced earlier (evidently while I was traveling north) that they were closed for the season.
Somewhat more surprisingly Ski Beech has pulled the plug on the season as well and closed at 4:30pm Friday. Beech announced, "At 4:30 PM today, Friday, March 7, 2008, our ski season will end. Heavy rain is falling and will continue tonight. The weather on Saturday is expected to be windy with snow; however, we feel that the rain is going to deteriorate our conditions to the point that our best decision is to close today at 4:30."
That will no doubt add some fuel to the fires for some of Beech’s harshest critics who have given the resort’s management some hard times this season. While you can’t blame them for not wanting to fight the tough conditions any longer and blame it on the weather – just ten minutes down the mountain Sugar is still looking pretty good and going strong.
Beech has caught some grief from some of their fans this season and I’m not going to "kick a guy while he’s down" by sharing all of the emails that began pouring in, but one of the nicer ones kind of summed up the sentiments of many. One fan wrote, "This is why my family quit buying a season pass a couple of years ago. You can’t get a handle on when they will just simply close up with nothing more than a few hours warning."
Another wrote, "What happened?! We had a trip planned to come up there this weekend because I just received an email from them saying how great the snow was on TUESDAY. So one day of rain took things from great conditions to so bad they had to close?"
…and those were the nicest of the emails we received.
Ski Beech was the last ski area in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic to START making snow this season and there’s no way that they could have known that it would set the tone for the rest of their season wherein they would be fighting roller coaster conditions.
Anyway, they are closed. Tina Bryson of Jacksonville, FL made a good point when she wrote, "Beech has probably not received their last criticism this season by closing up this early. Watch, they will get a foot or more snow within the next week or two and more people will be on them all over again. Seems they have had a season of decisions or indecisions gone bad. Hopefully this one won’t bite them."
It’s been a tough season for Beech so we’ll leave it at that.
SUMMIT PEOPLE BEGIN THEIR "TAKEOVER" OF SNOWSHOE!
My guys arrived around 11am or so Friday morning and I began getting calls and visits from Mellow Yellow (Jasen Vioral), MedicSkiers (Austin Beeghly) and others. After a few calls and emails, we met up with those guys and TeleDave & JBC28 (Dave McConnell and Blake Couch) at The Junction for some eats, drinks and good conversation. Laura Parquette of Snowshoe (who together with Snowshoe’s top brass dreamed up the idea of the 1st Annual SkiSoutheast.com Summit) honored us by coming out and hanging with us for a couple of hours. Marketing Coordinator, Brad Larsen dropped by and we had four of my office staff join in for our first evening together as well.
Laura reported that she ran into a few of our attendees a day earlier and from the sound of things it should be a great gathering.
The weather looked to be heading for a bad weekend as HEAVY RAIN was forecasted for Friday and into Saturday. Thankfully they dodged the heavy rain as only wind-driven rain fell mid day. That stopped altogether this evening and now perhaps 2-4" of snow is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Woo-hoo!
We’ll be heading out to meet whatever portion of the 120+ attendees make it for out Saturday morning 8:30am meet up at the Ball Hooter lift area…so will get our report done early and head out to meet up. We have several photo bugs shooting pics and video (thanks especially to Black Couch (JBC28) for taking on the lion’s share of those duties) and we’ll share as much as we can as soon as we can during the day Saturday, and then as time allows we’ll post some of those Saturday evening. I promise in-depth trail reports on Sunday and Monday.
Until Next time…
Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news from the rest of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas!
Send your snow photos, videos, comments or emails to: [email protected]