Guys and gals I have been meaning to get personally involved in more updates earlier than now, but things have been hectic to say the least. Thanks to Matt Laws, Brian Dix and Kenny Griffin for keeping you guys up to speed thus far.
We have SO MUCH information to share about the upcoming ski and snowboarding season and some early predictions of what that will look like. I will share detailed info very soon. However, here is one prediction that I will make today:
Unless politics get in the way, and unless there is a significant change in the dynamics of “all things covid-19”, almost all of our ski resorts will set skier-visit records this 2020-2021 ski and snowboarding season. I’ll go into more detail over the coming days as we approach colder weather, but here’s a quick hint.
All summer long and through today we have seen FAR more tourism traffic at all of our mountain communities of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. One of the most interesting things has been the fact that our mountain towns have been packed with visitors every day of the week. Those of us who live in the mountains are used to seeing heavy, visitor traffic late on Fridays and through weekends, but all summer long and now into late October we are seeing a HUGE increase in visitors every day of the week. I have experienced weekend-like traffic on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Blowing Rock, Boone, Banner Elk, Valle Crucis…you name it.
I am used to one-to-two-hour waits at restaurants on Saturdays, but it has been nuts all summer long. A lot of people are out of work, but still have money; many are still working, but doing so remotely; those with school-age children can travel because their children can attend classes remotely and more.
I was speaking with an industry insider who shared that many ski areas in the southern hemisphere are enjoying record skier visits. A close friend shared that Sugar Mountain Resort has sold a record number of season passes for the upcoming winter. All of these things and more bode well for a great winter!
Everything points to the fact that people have the means and interest to travel and they have been doing so in record fashion all summer and fall long.
I will share some photos later, but last weekend I was attempting to drive up Hwy 105 towards Banner Elk at 3pm and I sat at the end of my Sleepy Hollow Drive for 15 minutes because I could not turn left. I finally gave up, turned right, drove to the next left, turned around and then headed up a super-backed-up roadway. I have never witnessed traffic like that. It is unfortunate that the Woolly Worm Festival was cancelled, because it too would have seen record numbers.
Granted, people are taking precautions, wearing masks and being responsible – but more and more people are getting out and travelling and I think that bodes well for our ski resorts.
We will be ramping up the news from every partner resort shortly so keep checking back here on SkiSoutheast as well as via our Facebook and Instagram accounts for the latest.
Hope you enjoy the Fall color tour above. It is still quite gorgeous here in the mountains! Just be prepared to fight the crowds if you drive up.
In case you missed the link up top:
Stay well everyone!
Feel free to email me at [email protected]