Hello Everyone –
From one week to another and from one column to another I sometimes I ponder what my topic is going to be for the few paragraphs of opinion I get to share with all of you. As I was channel surfing on Saturday, I watched a news report describing the snowstorm in the Midwest and Northeast I realized that winter didn’t begin for another day. Where have I been as I have been doing my Christmas shopping recently bundled up in numerous layers?
If for some unknown reason you haven’t heard – over seven-feet of snow has fallen so far this season in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, you would think that the season’s first blizzard in the major metropolitan areas was right on time. Without websites like this one, I don’t think the rest of the world would’ve known that Mother Nature delivered winter a bit early for the ski resorts in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions. I believe you would have to agree with me that even though the calendar didn’t indicate it, winter arrived over a month ago for our region’s ski resorts.
Sometimes I have to wonder why the major market media outlets ignore true news events if it isn’t happening in their parking lots. Watching the blizzard coverage this weekend, you would think this was the first snowfall of the season. This despite the best efforts by some well versed communications people that serve the resorts in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions. I just wish this region would get more credit than it does, but I am beating an old horse with that issue, aren’t I?
Nevertheless this is a very important time for every resort in the region. The holiday season of now through the first week of January contributes about 30 percent of each resort’s yearly budget. The word on the street (or should I say mountain) is that most reservations are about the same as last year, maybe a little down but not by much. That’s in comparison to a reported 20 – 30 percent drop in reservations for most of the big boys out west. The moral to this story, if possible go out there and support your favorite local/regional resort in the next few weeks. Here’s wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season and hoping you are getting to share some time with those you love. For me, that’s my wife Angie and my four-year old son Christian who make every day fun and keep me going.
That’s it for this week, more to come as winter is here. Just remember, whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.
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.