WELCOME TO SPRING – Joe Stevens’ Ode to Spring

Hello Everyone –

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if Mother Nature wasn’t such a practical joker when it comes to the Southeast Ski Industry. Think about it for a second, the first lady of weather drops a bunch of snow in the mountains the first part of March and then turns the thermometer up and tosses in a little “underdeveloped snow”. Then just when you think slope conditions can not recover, she smiles and winks about a half a foot of snow on the mountains making everything ankle deep nice again. Our favorite weather lady is tough to figure out, especially with spring beginning this week, Tuesday, March 20.

I hate when a prediction comes true sometimes. Despite some very nice conditions throughout the region, skier and snowboarder numbers have dropped off drastically and that forces resorts to pull their closing ropes. There were a number of resorts hoping to stay open through the first week of April and maybe longer, but that is not going to happen. One of these days, skiers and snowboarders in this region will understand the economic challenges resorts incur during this time of the season and will make those extra turns, but don’t bet the mortgage on that happening any time in the near future. It now looks like there will be skiing and riding through April 1 (No Kidding) in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. A high-five to those resorts for staying open and for those who still are making snow to keep the product top-notch.

On the subject of resorts and spring skiing and riding for the most part the snow reports have delivered the correct message. Yea I know the bases probably didn’t drop as quick as one might think should happen with the increasing temperatures and “underdeveloped snow” (I refuse to use the “R” word). But there were tons and tons of snow on the trails and as soon as the groomers got back in action, the bases were able to get reinforced. I still say a lot of recognition needs to be given to the snowmakers and groomers in the region this season for surviving the challenges up another up and down winter.

March Madness continues and yours truly has already had his bracket busted into tiny little pieces. I said this year I would go out on the limb, play one and only one bracket and pick somewhat of a long shot and see what happens. Well after Texas A&M’s win over Louisville on Saturday, I can now just sit back and enjoy and know I donated to someone’s vacation fund. You see I picked the Cardinals to win it all. Oh well, I looked good for the opening round at least.

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. Next week the second annual “SNOWIES”.

You can write comments or suggestions 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.