(The image above is a bit blurry because it comes from the LIVE CAM at the base of Sugar Mountain. It is CROWDED, but I’ve seen it MUCH busier!)
I was doing some catch up work at the office today so I didn’t get a chance to drive over to the foot of Sugar Mountain Resort like I like to do this time of year to see (for myself) how busy things are. The best barometer for judging how busy they are for these kind of peak weekends is to simply drive down Hwy 184 and see how many cars are parked out on the highway. On Sugar’s top weekends (like MLK weekend) they will have all of their normal, close-in parking lots full and then they park people a couple of miles out at the front of Hwy 184 and shuttle people to the ski area. I have seen some peak weekends when even that parking area has been packed and then they actually park people down the road and bus them over.
We are certainly not seeing that kind of skier-visit MLK Saturday – and not even the most positive, glass-half-full, marketing person will be able to debate that.
HOWEVER, I decided to take a quick trip around the entire Southeast and mid-Atlantic ski region. By car that would take ALL DAY, but with our ResortCams.com network of LIVE CAMS I was able to look in at all of the ski resorts in about 20 minutes.
Here is a South-to-North tour of the ski areas:
As I was sitting at my desk working for most of the morning, I couldn’t help but shake my head a bit as the clouds cleared and the sun popped out for most of the morning hours. It has clouded up a bit here in the High Country, but for the most part there’s been NO precipitation – which had definitely driven the crowds to show up at the North Carolina ski areas.
Further up and into Virginia, things look a bit wet and the traffic is not quite as busy as I witnessed on the NC cameras. Wintergreen and Massanutten looked the busiest of the VA resorts but they are certainly not packed as they would normally be on this popular, four day weekend.
Here’s another look at Wintergreen Resort. Again, traffic looks good…but certain down a bit from the normal packed house.
You can tell that it is even wetter still as I looked at the WV ski areas but the crowds at Winterplace could be see (somewhat) on the mountaintop cam. Snowshoe was busy but certainly WAY OFF from a normal MLK Saturday. There were some lines at the Ballhooter lift, but about one-third to one-half what you would typically expect.
The Silvercreek side of Snowshoe Mountain had NO lift lines at all. (Again, it IS a bit wetter there as can be seen on the Boathouse Cam.
Timberline Resort looked busy, but definitely off. Wisp Resort is still getting an icy precip as can be seen on their LIVE CAM.
If you want to see something cool, visit the Wisp Cam and click on the TIMELAPSE icon on the top right of the video screen and watch the weather come in! You can see the nighttime groomers come in as well.
Click on the link here and don’t forget to click on the TIMELAPSE ICON> http://www.resortcams.com/webcams/wisp/
This is obviously a VERY unscientific approach to judging skier-visit traffic but there is no question that the weather is holding things back a bit in the MD, WV and VA resort areas.
Further south? Ouch! That’s about all I can say. Look at the traffic at the base of Beech, Sugar and Wolf Ridge ski areas. I am certain that they too are down somewhat in terms of lift tickets sold, but OMG are those places swamped!
That’s it for now. Enjoy your day. Email me if have something to say – [email protected]