Hello Everyone –.
This is my last column of the year and to cap off the season, I have come up with Joe’s fourth annual “SNOWY” awards or “SNOWIES” whichever suits you the best. The committee (again just me) picked out ten categories and spent hours upon hours tabulating the results (watching NASCAR). So without any further (thank goodness) fanfare, here are the 2008/2009 season “SNOWIES”.
1. Most Indecisive – For the fourth year in a row, the winner is our favorite weather person Mother Nature. She provided awesome weather conditions through the middle of February, then seemed to just turn the light switch off and send spring our way.
2. Most Valuable – The majority of the resorts which took advantage of excellent weather conditions and opened terrain quickly, providing the best Christmas holiday slope numbers in many, many years.
3. Unsung Hero – Every family out there who took advantage of the reduced gas prices and drove to their favorite southeast resort instead of flying west.
4. Most Overrated – Base depths, remember you can’t ski or ride on dirt.
5. Go For It – Timberline Resort in West Virginia and Wisp Resort in Maryland for staying open into April.
6. Fighting To The Bitter End – Appalachian Ski Mountain for making snow when other resorts had packed away the guns and hoses for another season. By continuing to make snow, the skiers and riders in late March had very good conditions.
7. Most Patience – The moms or the dads that take their children to the slopes to have fun in the snow. You have to have patience carrying five sets of skis and boots at the same time with the wind blowing and temperature in the teens.
8. Going The Extra Mile – Resorts with terrain parks this season. It takes a lot of snow and extra work to get a park ready and to maintain it through the season. .
9. Cy Young (Best Pitch) – Winterplace Ski Resort (2 miles off of I-77) –”Make Turns on the Mountain, Not Getting To It.”
10. Stepping Up To The Plate and Hitting It Out Of The Park – Southeast Resorts (Repeat Winner) – for putting in and maintaining the top snowmaking systems in the country. Just give them the cold temperatures and they will give skiers and snowboarders all of the snow they need to have fun.
That’s it folks for the 2008/2009 season – it’s been fun riding with you. Just remember to always be patient as whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! Time to get tuned for the 2009/2010 season.
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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.