TIME TO REFLECT!

Hello Everyone –

It is the time of year when everyone needs to step back and reflect on what the Christmas season is all about. I truly believe none of us take inventory of themselves during this time of year and give thanks for what they have and not worry about what was waiting for them under the Christmas tree.

• Let’s say thanks to all of the employees at the ski resorts in the region that worked on Christmas Day so that thousands of guests would enjoy a “White Christmas” in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia or Maryland.

• Let’s say thanks to the 24/7 folks known as snowmakers. These guys (and a few gals) are out there when you and I are usually asleep, with thoughts of fresh powder in our dreams.

• Let’s say thanks to the state highway workers who make sure the roadways to and from the resorts are open and safe when Mother Nature decides to sprinkle her winter delight on the region.

• Let’s give thanks to the meteorologists who actually tell viewers, listeners and readers to go out and play in the snow, while some act like the end of time is near. (I know I pick on the Snow Gooses for being too liberal, but you’ve got to love their enthusiasm).

• Let’s give thanks to the folks in Guest Services that have to handle those guests that flat out don’t think they should pay for a lift ticket for “underdeveloped snow.” Sometimes I think those folks really think the fault for the rain rests on those folks behind the counter.

• Let’s give thanks to the Ski Patrollers throughout the region. Every one thinks these guys and gals just get to ski and ride all day and the job is nothing but fun. What they don’t understand that seldom does a day go by without each and every one of them having to deal with a trauma situation. Sounds like fun, right?

• Let’s give thanks to those lift attendants that are out there in every kind of weather you can imagine, helping those that just don’t understand what it takes to ride a ski lift.
• Let’s give thanks to those Snow Reporters that tell it like it is so that skiers and riders can make the correct choice on when and where to play in the snow.

• Let’s give thanks to the resort operators that are willing to provide the very best product to skiers and snowboarders and improve their infrastructure (snowmaking for instance) every year.

• Finally let’s give thanks to you, the skiers, riders and tubers of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Without you thousands of folks would not be working five-months a year and there wouldn’t be winter fun in the Allegheny Mountains from November to April.

That’s it for this week; Merry Christmas everyone and don’t forget whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it!

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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.