Skiing in July!?!

I was relaxing for a few minutes before coming into the office this morning and grabbed the nearest reading material off our dining room table for a little "mental getaway" and I couldn’t believe my eyes! The newest LL Bean catalog had arrived — FOR AUTUMN! I panicked for a second – thinking about all of the preparations that are needed for the upcoming ski season. …and then I checked the calendar and was SOMEWHAT relieved to see that this is indeed July 13th. However, the moment did serve to jumpstart me into the preseason mode.

[HOLD ON, MY PHONE IS RINGING]

Okay I’m back. It was someone wanting to know when ski season starts around here. Anyway back to my "story".

On the way in to the office I drove the back way over to Hwy 105, through Mill Ridge and since I was so abruptly thrown into a preseason mode I guess my mind was susceptible to "snow thoughts" and it struck me how foggy it has been each of the last several mornings. Clouds and fog have been hanging on peaks and ridges so much so that I have been thinking of carrying my camera with me to capture some of the more beautiful shots. There’s an old wives tale that alludes to foggy days in August cooresponding to the number of unique snows that we’ll have the next winter. Just in case I get a bit lazy and allow myself to "backslide" back into my golf and tennis mode over the next couple of weeks…HOW ABOUT SOME OF YOU make it a point to document the number of foggy days/mornings just to see how things MIGHT play out.

[HOLD ON, IT’S THE PHONE AGAIN!]

Okay, I’m back again. It seems that other people are in the "ski mode" as well. That call was Gil Adams of Ski Beech fame. We spoke briefly about a gameplan for their new website. Okay, back to my "story".

Over the next few weeks we will be debuting some new offerings for SkiSoutheast and SkiNorthCarolina. We’ll provide stickers, decals, patches, sweatshirts and caps for the first time.

We already know that we are welcoming back Ski Beech to our web design and management fold. More about that a little later.

We have about 18 +/- weeks until ski season 2005-2006 and we’re going to add to our more than 700 pages of content for your perusal. We have already made one major decision that will help us be more prepared for the start of the season. There will be no NEW website for SkiNC or SkiSoutheast! Last year we began creating two new website designs in September and when the season began…we were caught with our ski bibs down around our ankles! We were scrambling just to provide any content. This year we’ll do a little tweaking, and add some more contests and fun…but we’re direct our creative juices towards more productive ventures.

[THERE’S THE DARN PHONE AGAIN, HOLD ON]

Back again. It’s none of your business who that was…but back to the story.

Over the last few weeks we have been growing an in-house marketing team and during that process I have been showing new staffers details of our visitation across many of our tourism websites such as www.HighCountryOutdoors.com, www.HighCountryWebCams.com, www.GolfNorthCarolina.com among others…and we’ve all been astonished about HOW MANY of you guys are looking at SkiNorthCarolina.com every day. 23,032 of you visited the site in JUNE ALONE and you looked at 119,856 pages of our website. IN JUNE! Here we are in mid July and almost 10,000 of you have visited the website THIS MONTH. Those figures are up substantially from last season so we have to believe that this winter will be something special!

Start getting in shape now – If you want to have one of the best ski seasons ever…start getting in shape today! My wife and I have been running two to three miles a day lately and between that and some Bowflex work on the legs and abs…that will go a long way to making on-snow time a lot more enjoyable. It’s hard to have a great time if you’re constantly having to stop and allow your leg muscles to catch up!

[HOLD ON, the *&%^ phone is ringing again!]

What’s going on here? It MUST be something in the air! That was Cliff Christian of CTI Group Adventures. SkiCTI is the top group travel planners in the region and they work with most all of the ski areas of the Southeast taking huge numbers of skiers and snowboarders to the slopes each season. SkiCTI and CTI Group Adventures are moving their web business to us and we will be working with them to provide more ski package offerings for the upcoming season.

Gotta go for now. I have some work to do and I plan to hit Hawksnest this afternoon for a great round of golf.

Until next time.

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.