"Thankful" for the slow start?!

First Trax

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Things are going to be a bit slow this week and as such we’re going to take a moment today and address some questions that we’ve had asked of us lately. Before I get to some of your questions and comments, let me say a huge "thank you" for the tons of emails that we’ve received from our visitors commenting about how extensive our new website is. We realize that we’re a bit late in implementing some of the new features, our contests and our on-snow reports, however we have been programming in some HUGE new features that once we turn them on this week will blow you guys away. We are also happy to announce that we now have over $22,000 in prizes, free ski passes, vacations and equipment rentals that we will give away this season…and more are coming in.

Also, to save a bit of time today, we are posting this story on both websites, so we will be mentioning other Southeastern locations within this article. For those unaware, we have been updating TWO websites thus far this season with independent articles and information. So if you want double the ski fix for the region’s resorts visit BOTH SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com daily.

Mother Nature has been stingy with snow and snowmaking temps thus far and rather than looking at the glass half empty, we’re taking the half full view. Don’t shoot me for this comment, but I have to tell you that if things were going full bore right now, with all of the resorts running all of the trails…and all of our on-snow reporters sending hundreds of images and reports…we’d be pulling our hair out! Why? W-e-l-l the simple truth is that we just weren’t ready on time. As the season approached we started getting the normal emails from people ready for us to crank up. We also received several great suggestions. Then came a FLOOD of new lodging, dining and tourism related inquiries that wanted to be a part of our network. The more businesses that we linked up the more dilluted our effectiveness in putting YOU our visitors together with THE BEST of lodging, dining, ski shops…you name it.

So we got to thinking, "How could we make SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com better and even MORE productive for all concerned?" The answer? We decided to make some MASSIVE changes and incorporate those changes into our brand new design look. The new look by itself was a HUGE undertaking as SkiNC.com ALONE is now over 650 pages of content. However, with all of the new lodging partners coming on, we decided that there had to be a better way to provide our visitors with the lodging that you are looking for without scrolling and clicking down a list of over 180+ lodging clients with hundreds of rentals and rooms to choose from. So we decided to create yet another database and program the ability for you guys to search and find the lodging THAT YOU WANT, WHERE YOU WANT it AND be able to know before you click around whether that particular rental has an availability for you! Cool huh? We’ll have that feature in place this week, but it took a lot of man hours to get it there.

Now, let’s address some of your questions and comments –

Question: Is the weather turning? The number one question on everyone’s mind is the weather. First, we DO have three Southeastern resorts open for skiing today. Appalachian, Sugar Mountain and Snowshoe. (Cataloochee was open over this past weekend but closed this week, which their NORMAL opening week operating schedule.) Second, this week looks like the pits as far as snowmaking opportunities. The North Carolina ski areas MAY see ONE night of snowmaking ops (Wednesday Night) this week and more days with light rain during the week. The picture won’t be much different further north as the forecast for the week ahead for resorts in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland is much the same. So if you want to get some turns in for the next week it will have to be at one of those mentioned above.

Get to the point! IS THE WEATHER TAKING A TURN? Thankfully THERE IS GREAT NEWS! There is cold air coming in this weekend! Not in time to open more resorts for the weekend…but it WILL allow all of the resorts in the Southeast to crank up the snowguns! The forecast for North Carolina for the weekend calls for temps Friday night to start diving and we’re going to see lows cold enough to make snow overnight Friday night and ALL DAY Saturday and every night for the foreseeable future. The longrange forecast even calls for snow on December 14th. That’s quite a ways off so stay tuned. The forecast into West Virginia is calling for much the same, with highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s…and snow on the 13th.

The Skiing Weatherman – Herb Stevens, AKA The Skiing Weatherman, has made a name for himself over the last several years by accurately forecasting the weather for the United States ski areas. Here’s his summary of what we can expect.

"Later next week, as the upper level trough continues to carve itself a new home over the eastern U.S., the prospects for a coastal storm, one which could produce a good deal of snow away from the beaches, will be much improved. Much of Canada is still very cold, and it looks to me that more and more of that cold air will be flowing into the East as we end next week and head toward the week of the 13th. At that point, I believe that the cold will become entrenched in the region, giving most areas plenty of time to produce a good on-hill product by the time the holidays get underway. With the trough in the east, the likelihood of snowstorm threats is greatly enhanced, and I see some signs that the middle of the month, leading up to Christmas, could be quite stormy, indeed. Conversely, the western ridge that pairs with the eastern trough to deliver cold air probably means that western resorts are going to have to ride with what they have received so far, as storms will have a hard time penetrating the ridge.

There you have it…don’t panic…we’re less than a week into meteorological winter!"

So keep your chin up…and get that equipment waxed up…we WILL be skiing with more resorts and more terrain in no time at all.

Question: When will SkiNC.com start the contest giveaways? We’ve already mentioned our delays in getting everything ready, however we don’t normally begin giving away vacations, free ski passes and more until December 15th or so. With the weather as it is…we’ll begin around that same time. We’ll announce all of the contests THIS WEEK and begin accepting entries to win THIS WEEK, so stay tuned for that.

In closing…this slow start has been a mixed blessing for us…but we’ll be ready for anything later in the week…and all we can now say is BRING ON WINTER!

To brag for a moment, SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com:

1. Has the most pages (650+) of content promoting the industry in N.C. and the Southeast Region.

2. Features MORE photos of all of the Southeast ski areas than any other web entity anywhere.

3. Has more LIVE CAMERAS providing images of the resorts than any other website.

4. Receives MORE unique visitors than any ski web presence in the Eastern U.S.

5. Provides the only open messageboard for promoting the Southeast ski industry.

6. Is the only ski web presence that incorporates all of the resorts ski conditions reports and our own, dedicated, on-snow reporters to provide visitors with the best, most accurate conditions.

7. Has given away $57,000 worth of free log cabin rentals, ski passes, equipment rentals, dining and more. This season we will award prizes and free skiing worth over $22,000! More about that in a moment!

8. Provides the best (and most) lodging choices for the region.

9. Works with over (30) television stations in (9) Southeastern states providing our reports and live cams to countless millions of people, promoting our region like no other ski web presence anywhere.

10. Is the ONLY ski web presence that answers your questions (unless they are covered in our FAQs) the same day.

…and now we GROW our services even more. Check back daily this week and we implement some great new tweaks to the websites.

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