THE SNOWIES – 2017/2018 SEASON by Joe Stevens

Hello Everyone –

This is my last column of the year and to put a candle on top of this season that has seen Mother Nature throw some batting practice early on and then an inside hard one in February.  Sometimes it feels like resort operators are always having to react, but this season there were a lot of proactive moves. With that said, I have once again, come up with Joe’s thirteenth annual “SNOWY” awards or “SNOWIES” whichever one you like the best.  Once again, the three-person committee (me, myself and I) picked out ten categories and spent way too much time tabulating the results.  So, drum roll please, here are the 2017/2018 season “SNOWIES”.

  1. Most Indecisive – Extended Forecasts – it seems that everyone wants to know what’s going to happen further and further out when it comes to weather.  Hint, if you don’t like what the extended forecast is saying, give it an hour, it will change.
  2. Most Valuable – This is an easy one, snowmakers and groomers. In a season when overnight subfreezing temps were a key, these guys got us through the “blow torch” of a February.
  3. Unsung Hero – Resort Parking Attendants. Hey, do you really want that job on a very cold holiday weekend.  Think about it.
  4. Most Overrated – Going here for the fourth year in a row, the naming of winter storms by The Weather Channel.  It’s all about the advertising dollar and click throughs for TWC these days. Do you ever notice that only storms in the large market areas get named?  Think about that one also.
  5. Go For It – Those Ski Patrollers and Ski School Instructors that are out there every day, no matter the weather, making sure things are safe and folks are having fun the correct way.
  6. Fighting To The Bitter End – The resorts that have tons upon tons of snow at the end of the season and have to call it quits, because the grass needs cutting in the flat lands.
  7. Most Patience – Second year in a row for this one. To the chaperones who handle the young people on school and group trips to the various resorts.  Every one of you have the patience of Job and then some, but who are happy to get that special thank you at the end of the night or day on the slopes.
  8. Going The Extra Mile – To the various resort managers that pick up that piece of trash on their way from meeting to meeting or stopping to see why that young person is crying.  It’s the little things that they do to make this sport fun.
  9. Cy Young (Best Pitch) – Those end of the season pass offers that you know are coming. The cool thing is, they were good for this season, also.
  10. Stepping Up To The Plate and Hitting It Out Of The Park – Back to Back years, for the folks with the Learn to Ski and Snowboard month promotion.  This sport will always need new, young participants and the promotion does an excellent job in creating a scenery for that growth.

nc ski resortsThat’s it folks for the 2017/2018 season – it’s been fun riding with you again this year and watching my son and his friends learning to have even more fun with the sport.

Just remember to always 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!

Time to get everything tuned up for the 2018/2019 season, my 34th in the industry.  Check the calendar, we are only eight months away from making snow.

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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.