TIME TO ENJOY!

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, from the looks of things (and my 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. As you well know, I am the first to start picking on resorts for exaggerating their base depths to a point that they are totally unbelievable.

The situation has also been helped tremendously by the natural snowfall, over four-feet since the first of January in the mountains of West Virginia alone. But the most significant thing has been the temperatures, which have been very good for snowmaking at the correct times this season. I am now hearing that some mountain operations will be shutting off their snowmaking 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 where 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 very strong numbers for this time of the season. It will be great for the region if it continues, because hitting budget numbers means expansion and more capitol improvements like trails and lifts. So go out and support your local resort, 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 weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.

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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.