TIME TO ENJOY! – by Joe Stevens

Hello Everyone –

To tell you the truth I have never been a real fan of web cams and believe me when I say it would take much longer than this column to explain the reasoning behind my thought process. However I am here to say, though my opinion hasn’t changed totally, the looks of things (curiosity of this site’s various web cams) there are some very nice, if not excellent conditions out there right now. It doesn’t matter what resort you pick at this current time, the conditions are going to allow everyone to have plenty of fun.

I took a tour by the way of web cams at various mid-Atlantic and southeast resorts the other day and those thin areas of early January are long and I mean long gone. I actually think the resorts in the region are being conservative when reporting their base averages. Usually I am the first to start picking on resorts for exaggerating their base depths to a point that they are totally unbelievable. Not this year my friend, at one resort I visited recently the base is at history making depths.

The situation has also been helped tremendously by the natural snowfall, over 50 inches since the middle of January in the mountains of West Virginia alone. But the most significant thing has been the temperatures, which as anyone in their right skiing or snowboard mind understands, have been perfect for skiers and snowboarders. Every snowmaker I know dreams of a cold weather period that we just went through and are still experiencing. I am now hearing that some mountain operations will be shutting their snowmaking off, for the season very soon because they have enough snow to carry them through spring skiing, riding and snow tubing. I hope they are right, because as I have said before, like in baseball when you can’t have enough pitching, you never can have too much snow. Some mountain operation folks need to remember that skiers and snowboarders in Florida just don’t understand that sunshine doesn’t necessarily mean melting.

More good news from the ticket windows, I am hearing from the resorts that there was a Pent Up Demand (PUD) factor when the conditions were at their best and those skiers and snowboarders who didn’t want to deal with bare spots and thin areas are headed to the slopes in record numbers for this time of the season. The word on the street is that just about every resort has recovered the lost numbers because of the late arriving winter thanks to the current cold snap. It will be great for the region if it continues, because record or even just budget numbers means expansion and more capitol improvements like trails and lifts. So go out and support your local resort as you might never find the conditions as good as they are at this time.

That’s it for this week, more to come as the season continues, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll whether the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.

You can write to Joe Stevens at [email protected]

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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.