WATCH THE SAPPHIRE VALLEY OUTHOUSE RACES TODAY ONLINE AT 2pm or so! See notes below!
Hiram Lewis of Alpine Ski Center dropped by my office on Friday morning. Hiram is one of those owners who keeps his ear to the ground regarding happenings around the industry. Joe Stevens was talking about independent ski and snowboard shop owners the other day and Hiram, with locations in Raleigh, Charlotte, Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, Greenville (S.C.), Knoxville and Johnson City, definately keeps up to date with the trends and also has the ear of several of the ski resort owners of the region – including Gunther and Kim Jochl of Sugar Mountain. As we head into the last of the long, holiday weekends for this season we can now share that resorts have had a really, really, amazingly good season this season regarding skier visits, etc.
There is no question that the resorts from Winterplace Resort north (Canaan Valley, Snowshoe, Timberline and Wisp) have had the greatest benefit from the well timed weather of this season, but really all of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic have done well.
Although all of the resorts got a very late start and even though there has been more rain than we'd all want to talk about, the crazy (and wonderful) news is that most every weekend and EVERY HOLIDAY weekend have been great in terms of weather, snow, slopes open and resulting bookings.
I was speaking with Timberline's Tom Blanzy earlier this week and he shared that there wasn't a room available on the mountain for this weekend. You could ditto that for Snowshoe and probably that or close to that for all of the ski areas.
As if on cue, SNOW began to fall again on Friday. We call it ambience snow because it wasn't the kind of snow that scares visitors away. Cold temps also filtered in late in the day prompting resorts to crank up the snowguns. The even better news is that most resorts, especially those in the High Country of North Carolina and West Virginia have so much snow that they are not going to be making snow during open sessions.
At 4pm Friday I was checking around the LIVE CAMS and it was puking snow at Snowshoe, Timberline and Canaan. (More about the Canaan Cam in a moment.) By late Friday evening it was dumping snow here in Boone, Blowing Rock and Beech Mountain as well.
As you guys know, we own www.ResortCams.com and we're always mentioning the many LIVE CAMS across the region because there really isn't a better way to show what's happpening at the resorts and across the highways of the area. We have a new cam at Canaan Valley, and it IS running, but unfortunately we are still a few days away from being able to coordinate the configuring of it. Right now it is showing some GREAT IMAGES, but it is upside down! We'll get that working this week.
Also for those who have emailed us about the "other two Snowshoe Cams" – yes we had a camera running for a couple of days at the BoatHouse down on Shavers Lake and at the bottom of Ballhooter and over at Silvercreek, however the internet connectivity up at Snowshoe just won't allow for those additional cams. So we're working with their IT department to implement additional locations on the mountain between now and Memorial Day this summer. We're excited about some new locations there after they get some new connectivity arranged. Thanks to Frank DeBerry, David Dekema and George Murphy up there to work with us and get those going.
LET'S GET TO SOME NEWS AND NOTABLES…
We're promoting Sapphire Valley first for an unusual event and some technology fun today. TODAY Sapphire will be hosting their Outhouse Races on the slopes and they are telecasting them LIVE at 2:15pm. You can watch it LIVE ONLINE right here:
SkiSoutheast.com can broadcast LIVE EVENTS these days, however this is NOT being broadcasted by us…so if the quality is great, Sapphire gets the credit. If not, you get the drift (don't email us)!
This is the 7th Annual Great Sapphire Outhouse Race – Saturday, February 16th at 2:00 pm! – so check it out!
PROMOTING RESORTS TODAY IN THE ORDER OF THEIR MARKETING PARTICIPATION WITH US. (Kind of a fair way to do it don't you think?!?!)
SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN: 56 of 60 Trails Open; Snow Tubing, Snowmobiling, SnowCat Tours and lots of Backcountry Fun. We were watching the LIVE Shavers Center cam around 4pm on Friday and good gracious was it snowing hard! Check out that LIVE cam at: http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-snowshoe-shavers-centre.php
3" of New Snow; 7" this week and 114" on the season. Snowshoe is still seeing heavy snow this AM and conditions simply could not be much better. We received this note from SS this morning:
"Mountaineer Parks has opened our brand new Skill Builder Park at Silver Creek. It is built on a concept that we call “Terrain Based Learning." The park has very gentle rollers, mellow banked turns and small basic shapes. These elements help teach the core elements of skiing and riding. There are no rails, boxes or jumps. This is a great place for all skiers and riders to hone their skills and build to the next level."
CANAAN VALLEY RESORT: 37 of 42 Trails; Tubing and Ice Skating Open; 12-24" Base, 2" of new snow and awesome conditions.
…Homestead this morning
THE HOMESTEAD RESORT: 6 of 10 Trails; 38" Base; Trace of Snow
No snowmobiles tonight. The Homestead looks great for skiing and snowboarding today. Check out the LIVE CAM at: http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-homestead.php
TIMBERLINE RESORT: 100% Open with all 40 Trails; 2" of New Snow; 12-55" Base
DAMNNNNN! Tom! You didn't tell me about the new Snow Report Page and Website! The Snow report page JUST became my personal favorite! How much better can you get than what Tom Blanzy and his staff have done with that report?!?! Check it out at: http://www.visitcanaan.com/timberline/snow-report-spreadsheet.html
I had been looking at the website and report that has been running all season at www.TimberlineResort.com/winter which is the old format! This new one is crazy great and frankly I think most ski resorts should go to this report format. Very cool. Check out the LIVE CAM at: http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-timberline.php
EDITOR'S NOTE: Just a note about the fact that Davis, WV which is home to both Timberline and Canaan Valley Resorts has seen 43.4" of snow since February 1st! and 133.1" on the season!
…Beech Mountain this morning.
BEECH MOUNTAIN RESORT: 100% Open; 2" of New Snow and 16" of snow since February 1st. Beech is in GREAT shape with Ice Skating and no snowmaking happening during the day. Beech was getting some SNOW this morning and was pretty "snogged" over. See: http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-beech-base-cam.php and also the slopeside cam at: http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-beech-slopeside.php
Terrain Park is open as well.
MASSANUTTEN RESORT: 100% Open; 38" Base; Trace of New Snow
Temps were borderline for snowmaking overnight but they still hustled and got some snow down on Upper MacAttack and Diamond Jim. Massanutten has ten lanes of snowtubing open as well. Check out: http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-massanutten.php and http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-massanutten-base.php
APPALACHIAN SKI MTN: 100% Open; 1" New Snow; 44-74" Base
For the comfort of their guests, ASM WILL NOT be Making Snow from 10am-10pm Saturday & Sunday. Don't forget that App is open til Midnight tonight and for this special holiday weekend also Sunday night. All terrain parks and the ice skating rink are all open.
BRYCE RESORT: 100% Open with Tubing Open as Well; 36-62" Base; No Snowmaking
CATALOOCHEE SKI AREA: 16 of 17 Trails; 1" New Snow; 52-72" Base
Cat too will not be making snow during open sessions for their guests. Great conditions and terrain park open. Snow tubing open as well.
WINTERGREEN RESORT: 25 of 26 Trails; Tubing Open; Trace of New Snow; 30-60" Base
Along with some early morning snowmaking, they received a dusting of snow overnight. Today is going to be great with new snow, both terrain parks, tubing, Freestyle ski demos at the Top of Eagles Swoop, ice skating, and plenty of trail variety. Head this way!
SAPPHIRE VALLEY: 100% Open with both trails and snow tubing as well. They made snow and were grooming this AM.
WINTERPLACE RESORT: 100% Open with Awesome Conditions; 30-56" Base; 2" of New Snow and 59" on the season! Snow tubing and terrain parks are open as well. It is STILL SNOWING HARD right now and you can see that at: http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-winterplace.php
OBER GATLINBURG: 7 of 9 Trails; Snow Tubing and Ice Skating; 1" of New Snow and 15" on the season.
We have to give some amazing kudos to the staff of Ober this season as they have done some MAGIC with snow on that mountain this season. I don't know what they are doing and using, but they have kept good to great conditions despite less cooperative weather there than across most of the region. Ober is in awesome shape today. John Cossaboom emailed me this morning, "Now that I am on the mtn., I’m revising our trace of NNS to one inch."
Thanks John and the rest of your comment was funny…and I'll keep that between you and I as usual.
WISP RESORT: 28 of 32 Trails; Snow Tubing; Ice Skating; Mountain Coastering
Trace of new snow and no snowmaking even though it is 18° as of this report. There are NO CAMS that really show conditions but conditions are awesome, We've heard about snowmobing and ice fishing in Garrett County recently and bear in mind that it has been colder and snowier up that way this season as they have recorded 127" of snowfall.
SUGAR MOUNTAIN: 19 of 20 Trails; 2" New Snow; 40-82" Base; Making Snow
WOLF RIDGE: 9 of 22 Trails; 1" New Snow; 20-40" Base; Did not make snow
Snow is still falling as I type these last words at 9:50am. Go enjoy the conditions. Those cameras are showing some BIG CROWDS!
Email me your thoughts and reactions at: [email protected]
FOLLOW US on Twitter for up-to-date news (like when it SNOWS) and for the best chances to WIN our FREE LIFT PASSES, VACATIONS, FREES SKIS, FREE SNOWBOARD and more! We're giving a LOT away this season and all you have to do is FOLLOW US ON TWITTER, Subscribe to our SkiMail list at the bottom of every page of the website OR Join Us on the SnoForum at http://www.skinorthcarolina.com/messageboard/
They're ALL FREE to Join, Subscribe or Follow Us and we promise to keep you well-informed. Share our website with your friends. We'd appreciate it a lot.