A Huge “Thanks to All of You” for Hanging with us this Season!

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As I sit at this trusted keyboard for what will likely be my last SkiSoutheast post of the 2023-2024 Ski and Snowboarding season – I realize that I’m a bit rusty. I just looked and I have posted a TOTAL of (17) posts since December 1st and several of those were video posts. My last real post to the website was back on Groundhog Day when I posted a prediction that we would have six more weeks of winter. Boy was “SkiSoutheast Si” wrong…and Punxsutawney Phil was spot on. The fact that we’ve had snow to ride on since the first of February is a testament to the millions of dollars that each ski resort in the region has invested in snowmaking.

Before the season began – pretty much every weather guru in the land predicted significantly more natural snow than normal (including yours truly) and we were all wrong – again. Things started out pretty nicely until the aforementioned Groundhog Day when snow pretty much stopped with the exception of a dusting here and there.

Beech Mountain and Sugar picked up about 60%-68% of their normal snowfall for a season. Ditto that percentage for the West Virginia and Maryland resorts – although 65%-70% for them meant 76″ (for Wisp) and 130″ +/- for the West Virginia mountains.

The Virginia ski areas were just brutally teased all season and ended up with about 11″ of natural snowfall, and Ober Mountain, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee saw 9″ all season long.

Again, it was truly remarkable just how great the maintenance and mountain ops teams were (and are) at all of our ski mountains of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic in making manmade snow and farming it around the slopes to provide the best possible experience for all of us.

(I know that Joe Stevens is releasing his annual “Snowies” awards and attaboys and attagirls today and I have no doubt that one of those awards will ring loudly for snowmaking crews at every mountain resort in the region.)


I ended up skiing at 8 of the 16 ski resorts this season and clocked a fair amount of vertical. My goal was to hit up a few more, but alas that didn’t materialize. Wait til Next Year, right?

I know that some of our fans will bemoan this season as “sub par” but as every ski area closes down (except Snowshoe) at the end of the day today, March 24th, 2024 – most all of the bean counters at most every resort will tell you that this has been a very successful season financially and in terms of skier visits.

Again…we should ALL thank the decision makers (owners, GMs, Presidents etc.) for their time, risk assessments and financial investments that went into that.

My Heartfelt Appreciation and HUGE THANKS goes to…

1. Thank you to the top brass at 14 of our 16 ski resorts who feel prompted to support me, and our efforts here at SkiSoutheast.com. Without you, we’d still do this 150 days a year out of a real and honest passion for the sport; out of love for our mountains of the Southeast; and out of a dedication to our readers/viewers who have hung in with us for (28) full seasons now. We appreciate you very much. I appreciate the attention and participation that you provide us financially; with lift passes, accommodations and more. Thank you so very much.

2. Thank you to all of our advertisers this season. There were (39) mountain community businesses who spent a part of their hard-earned budgets with us. Your support is very much appreciated and it affords us to be able to pay small stipends to our reporters and content contributors. Thank you.

Staff Thank Yous

It is always hard to know where to start when it comes to thanking our crew. This year, I participated in less of the day to day than in any season of the past and our crew kept the content real, engaging, informative and passionate. It thought several posts this season were “fire” as Chance-the-Rapper is prone to say.

When it comes what ORDER I will thank you guys…THIS SEASON I will do so with longevity as my guide.

Thanks to Me…haha.

I’m going to kind of steal a page out of the Snoop Dog and Robert Downey Jr book on how and who to thank. First, I’d like to thank MYSELF for having the idea to start a website called SkiNC.com back in 1996. Well actually, I have my sister and brother-in-law for introducing me to the sport of sking back in 1985-1986 when we all decided to head over to Appalachian Ski Mountain for a day of fun. We loved it so much, my wife and I were at Ski Beech the next weekend and then every opportunity and weekend that we could afford to visit.

I’d like to Thank Bob & Colleen for planting the seed and God for planting the idea in my head as this new-fangled thing called “the World Wide Web” launched in force. As Snoop said, “I’d like to thank ME for all the long hours and days upon days of sharing everything snow – with no idea that others would join in and support the idea.

Joe Stevens

My brother – thank you for emailing and calling me back in 2004 or so – just to share your appreciation for what I was doing at that time. Thanks for joining me as a content contributor the very next season and for your consistent, dependable and entertaining contribution. It was good to see you at Massanutten this season. Shoulda, coulda done a few more meetups, but thank you again for being an industry insider and sharing the national, regional and West Virginia news as it applies to all things snow. Hard to believe that it has now been eighteen or nineteen full seasons together.

Brad Panovich

Thank you Brad for being our weather guy. He’s one of Charlotte North Carolina’s “Charlotteans of the Year” almost annually and the Chief Meteorologist for NBC’s WCNC Television and he’s so busy on social media and events around the region, I really don’t know HOW he finds time for us, but he does, and I am thankful for his (15) full seasons here at SkiSoutheast.com. He is such a snow loving guy (and skier) that he reached out to me a few years prior and we’ve been “snow-brothers” since. He keeps us all weather-aware and we appreciate all of the time and intel you provide for all of us Brad.

Kenny “theKenDog” Griffin

Kenny walked into my office in 2011, fresh out of college (School of Meteorology at UNC Charlotte) and volunteered – just dropping by to tell me how much he loved SkiSoutheast/SkiNC and sharing that he’d love to help anyway that he could. I hired him on the spot and he’s been a part of the SkiSoutheast.com team for (13) years now. Kenny gets uncomfortable when I share too much, but that young dog is the smartest guy I know. He’s ingrained himself into every aspect of what we do – not only at SkiSoutheast – but with our parent company (Appnet New Media Studio / Appnet.com), ResortCams.com and everything to do with our servers and IT. In his “spare time” he also designs websites or us.

So glad to call Kenny a part of our team, and these days he’s probably the VIP. Thank you Mr. Griffin and I am so proud of you and Betsy and your young son.

Matt Laws

Matt is just a “Swiss army knife” of a guy. I can’t thank Matt enough for simply being willing to be unplugged and plugged in wherever we need him. He’s done the FirsTrax reporting weekdays for years. He helps to market our message to all of our partners and readers AND he’s always an integral part of organizing events like the Summits, etc. Matt, and his son Trevor have hit the slopes at various resorts more this season than ever and I can’t wait to see them grow into super skiers in the years to come. Thanks again Matt for being an everyday guy for SkiSoutheast since joining us in 2013. (Matt is also a leader, mover and shaker with our Appnet team as well.)

Brian Dix and Rudy Ryback

Rudy, I think we only saw you a couple of times this season, but always glad to see contributions from you. Hope to get more input in years to come.

Brian joined us a couple of years back and is, unquestionably, our most prolific, contributing editor, visiting ski areas at least a couple of times a month and filing reports and photos from every visit. Brian, we appreciate your contributions and look forward to finding more ways to get you even more involved if possible. Thank you for being a part of the team again this season.

Josh Sullivan

Josh joined our team this season as I put the word out via the website that I was looking for someone to take on the day-to-day FirsTrax reporting. Josh has a full-time position with WUNC and yet he took on the role and performed flawlessly. Josh has been flexible enough to handle posting seven days a week at times and really anytime we’ve needed him. Thank YOU Josh for being a professional; for being dependable and for being “coachable” with those rare times we had to suggest anything. When I was considering who to hire – who could take on that important, daily task – I was praying for someone that I could simply count on to do things without supervision and Josh, you nailed it and thank you for that as well.

And….finally…thank YOU, our readers and visitors.

After the last flake of manmade snow is ridden sometime later this week at Snowshoe Mountain I will take some time to compile some data and share our impressive “virtual skier visit” totals. Until then, please know that every reader is appreciated. We were so blessed to see 300+/- people take part in the Massanutten Resort Summit this season. A special thanks to Kenny Hess for all that he did to make us so welcome.

We appreciate all of our readers and hope that you will use the first mention of winter later this year as your reminder to make us a daily stop to see all things snow as it applies to the Southeast and mid-Atlantic.

Until next time — I am so looking forward to hanging out all summer long at GDock at Watauga Lakeshore Resort & Marina. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, feel free to drop in and say hi. You can’t miss us – we’re the boat flying the Gamecock flags proudly on the front and back!

Feel free to email me anytime – [email protected]

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