Day 366 of the strangest year in our lifetimes is upon us. It looks to be a foggy, damp one as I checked the forecasts for the 16 ski resorts within our coverage area. However, for the most part, this is the kind of light “nuisance rain” that if you just have to hit the slopes – it won’t be too bad. Wear your rain gear if you have it, wear a helmet and enjoy some uncrowded slopes for New Year’s Eve.
The North Carolina resorts might even dodge the wet stuff altogether as skies look pretty decent in the WNC mountains.
Photo of the day is a group shot of my crew. We pulled OFF the slopes and had a snowball fight and then posed before resuming the fun ON the slopes.
What a Week It Has Been…
“Skier visits” is a term used to measure the number of people who purchase a lift pass to go skiing or snowboarding on a given day. If you purchase a five day pass, that’s five skier visits. I share this bit of news to answer a lot of the emails that have shown up in my SkiMail inbox over this Holiday period. Numerous of our readers have been asking “just how many skiers have shown up over this Christmas-to-New-Year week” and those numbers won’t be available for some months to come – and in some cases they are never shared publicly. However, they are important to the success of every ski resort.
Numerous of our readers have included a “qualifier” in their questions this week – that we’ve never seen before. The word “covid” keeps popping up. Questions like, “I see where ski resorts are limiting lift ticket sales because of covid and yet I’m reading all of these Facebook posts about massive crowds and lift lines. Can you provide any details?”
The short answer is “no” I can’t provide any real insight on the subject because we’re not asking those questions. What I can share is that all ski areas are doing their very best to balance:
A heavy demand of skier interest.
The needs that they each have in terms of skier visits to ensure financial success.
The safety of each and every visitor.
…and Public perception.
The first three of those apply to every ski season. The last one is new to this season alone.
I’ve reported this numerous times so far in this early season, but visitor traffic has been off the charts BUSY at every mountain community in the region all summer and autumn long. That traffic has not fallen off thus far this winter. All of the ski mountain towns of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic have been very heavily visited.
December was a very nice month in terms of cooperating weather patterns, and the great conditions at the ski resorts in our region are attracting lots of attention from skiers and snowboarders alike.
While we are seeing, hearing and reporting the fact that ski resorts are limiting lift pass sales – and they are – what I can still share is that the slopes are still VERY VERY crowded.
The good news is that visitors really do seem to be cooperating with all of the Ski Well, Be Well practices and keeping masks up. Just from my personal observation while in lines, I’d estimate 95% of people are keeping masks up and lift ops are doing a nice job of politely asking those who forget…to do so.
However, this has been a VERY, VERY, busy, successful skier visit week.
Be sure to check out Kenny’s great trip report at Canaan Valley Resort on Wednesday.
We’ll be posting more content throughout the day. So check back.
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