The Next to the Last Weekend of Skiing for Most Southeast and Mid Atlantic Ski Resorts!

We’re now into the second day of Spring and while it IS a cold morning for the second morning in a row – and while it will be cold again Saturday night – it doesn’t appear that there is any SNOW or sustained cold temps in the long range forecast. In fact, we’re seeing some Spring-like showers in the forecast for late next week and into at least Friday so you could see a couple more resorts making alternative closing dates and opting to close after tomorrow. We spoke with one such resort operator on Friday who hinted at just that. They DID ask that we not report that news as they wanted to get today in and make a decision sometime between today and tomorrow.

Appalachian Ski Mountain will certainly continue skiing for yet another full week ahead and for the second night in a row App was the only ski area in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic to make snow. If you’ll have a look at their LIVE CAM, you’ll see that they look amazingly "winter-like" with snow up into the trees etc.

Cataloochee Ski Area saw a 25° low this morning but they did not make snow as they had already made the call to end their season tomorrow. Cat will have some nice snow on 6 trails for day skiing only for Saturday and Sunday before pulling the plug on the season.

I had dinner last evening with one of the industry insiders who told me that he’d been a part of a conversation that included the fact that Hawksnest’s people shared that they had one of the best revenue seasons ever, despite the fact that they went to a tubing only format this season. They spoke of seeing their best income with only 20% of their old work force.

Man, I don’t know about that. I’m sure they had a good season, and there were a lot of busy days up there – but I saw a lot of sporadic days and slow days up there as well. It sure seems that they were a LOT more crowded in years past. I can see the vastly reduced work force thing, but I just don’t know about the top year of revenue reference. When things wind down we’ll have to get with Lenny Cottom and see if he can confirm that. If that is so, we may never see Hawksnest ski again. Heck, if THAT IS correct, we may see all of the ski areas close up and go to tubing only!

Nah. I don’t think so, and that is one of the reasons that I doubt that information is correct. Regardless, Hawksnest is open for two more days and then we think they too will close for the season. There are some other rumors going on up there that Hawksnest may be going to an adventure sports area with some major zip lines zig zagging across their hills. Bryce Resort in Virginia does that but I wonder what the good townspeople of Seven Devils think about that. Lenny Cottom shared that they had discussed doing that a year ago with a mutual friend of mine, Monie McCoury who operates the ScreamTime Zip Lines over in Sugar Grove…but we’ve heard nothing more about it. However the rumor has resurfaced and has life again. We’ll see, I guess.

The phrase "thin areas" has now surfaced on Sugar Mountain’s slope conditions report today. It has been on ours for a few days now. However, Sugar Mountain REALLY looks quite good today. While there are a few areas of thin cover AND bare spots, there is quite a lot of good terrain and they even have tubing open.

Tomorrow, March 22nd Sugar hosts its third annual Easter Egg Hunt on the slopes! You can join Sugar Bear and Sweetie Bear on the slopes in search of a ton of prize-filled eggs and one egg contains a season pass and another egg contains a $100 SCOTT gift certificate!

It should be a great weekend to ski at Sugar with very nice weather and darn nice conditions for anytime of the season – much moreso being right here at the end of the season! A few people emailed me "in the know" that Sugar would pull the plug on Sunday and call it a season. Not so fast grasshoppers. There is no such thing as "in the know" at Sugar unless your last name is Jochl and right now he isn’t telling. Sugar has plenty of snow and they could easily ski on for another week. We’ve seen them ski on one heck of a lot less. We’ll inform you the moment we hear something.

Massanutten Resort is skiing for day and night skiing today on 10 trails and they have 5 lanes of tubing open as well. They will day ski on Sunday before closing for the season.

Wintergreen Resort is operating for DAY SESSIONS only today and Sunday and will close for the season tomorrow. They have 16 trails open this weekend.

Canaan Valley is operating with 13 trails open for DAY SESSIONS today and Sunday with Spring Conditions. One reporting service is inaccurately reporting 19 slopes available.

I enjoy reading Snowshoe Mountain’s daily posts and submissions. I know that Laura Parquette has written a lot of these and she’s had some help this season, allowing her to sleep in for another hour or so occasionally. Today Snowshoe is day skiing on 34 trails and they have tons going on within this closing weekend. They write, "Well folks, this is it, the final weekend of the 2008-2009 ski season. Snowshoe will say goodbye to its 35th winter season tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. But, there is tons of fun and entertainment to be enjoyed today, not to mention some good conditions on the slopes. With cold weather overnight, our grooming team did a fantastic job of pushing some snow around and creating a great corduroy surface for your enjoyment. With plenty of sun and temps in the 40 expected for today, the snow should soften up nicely by mid-morning and it should be a great day of spring skiing and riding. With over 30 trails to enjoy, including our two Western Territory slopes, Snowshoe continues to provide the most open terrain in the region.There are still some thin and bare spots, as well as variable conditions out there, so please use caution and ski within your limits. This afternoon, be sure to swing by Skidder Slope for our annual Last Hurrah! festivities, including music, games and our famous pond skimming contest. The fun begins around Noon, with Pond Skimming taking place at 2:30 p.m. After the lifts stop turning head over to the Big Top for our Grand Tasting Event, part of the Shades of Cream Champagne and Chocolate Weekend. Chocolate experts from around the region will be offering samples of their delicious treats. Kids will enjoy a chocolate ice cream eating contest, chocolate fountain and sparkling cider. If you’re still deciding whether to join us for those last turns of the season, get in your car and get up here! Snowshoe is ending the season in style and we want you to be a part of it!"

Winterplace Resort is one of only TWO ski areas that are still 100% open on this next to the last weekend of the ski season. They have all 28 trails operating and will close on Sunday…probably being 100% open which is a testament both to how great this season has been and how good their ability to make and maintain snow is.

Wisp Resort is looking at a low this morning of 17° but there is no snow making ongoing. They will ski and ride – and play – on 16 trails for day and night skiing and entertainment as they have a ton of events going down this weekend.

Wisp still maintains that they will ride on after this weekend, and next…with the idea of skiing the first couple of weekends in April. While we are not hinting that this could be a huge hoax or April Fools joke – AND while we know they have some big piles of snow to push around, I just wonder how few trails they’ll have, and how few people will be on them to make this all happen. It will be fun to watch though!

Some have asked us if we will continue to report on Wisp and Timberline’s potential season extending dates. We’ll have it on our SLOPE REPORT, but come March 29th, 2009, we too will be calling it quits for the season 😉

That’s it for today. Enjoy the great weather and snow!

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