First Trax

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THIS SEASON WAS SPECIAL!  Some may say that it was a sub par season as far as snowfall and cold, but that doesn’t make or break a ski season anymore.  The way snowmaking technology is these days and with the most talented snowmakers in the entire residing in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic – we can play all season long with borderline temps.

Ski resorts are always kind of quiet about responding to questions about how the numbers turned out on a season.  Those guys can say what they want but they are a LOT more competitive than they act. They get around each other and “play nice” at association meetings etc but when it comes to comparing numbers, they are very jealous and competitive…and that’s natural.  So absent of any real numbers, I think it’s safe to say that most if not all Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts broke single season attendance records this season.  We WILL get you some numbers when we can.  But that is not what made this season special.

This was out 11th season for and there’s a feeling about THIS season coming to a close that is DIFFERENT than the ten previous ones.  Those of us who are a PART of the snow biz in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic are ALL tired.  I have had communications from MANY of the region’s management and marketing teams and they ALL are tired and ready for a little R & R.  The sister websites of SkiNC and occupied a lot more of my time this season and juggling those duties with my “real job” was a real time-burner and even so, there’s a part of me that’s not quite ready to see the season come to an end.  Typically by this time of the season I’m drained and watching the calendar for that last day to come. (Okay, THERE IS a part of me ready for that too!) – but the feeling is different here in the last days of 2005-2006 and I was trying to put my finger on it as to why.

The messageboard posts pretty much sum things up.  SEVERAL people have made posts that relate the fact that in SOME way this has been “the best, most enjoyable season in memory”. Many who don’t post on the messageboard for one reason or another – have emailed me stating much the same sentiments. 

Tawny W (last name withheld) wrote me yesterday and said, “ADMIN (that’s me on the messageboard), I have to tell you that I have followed this website for many years and I am always impressed by the activity on it and how each season it gets better.  I am also impressed with the way that so many have become friends through a community that brings us all together.  I don’t know if you’ve thought about your sites as a community, but for those of us who visit each and every day and read the daily goings-on and the zany messageboard posters this website provides us a mini vacation each and every day – even from as far away as Jacksonville where I live. I feel as though I “know” you from your years of writing each and every morning for what amounts to be about one-fourth of our year. I feel as though I am friends with you and all of the members of the messageboard.  The information coming from your column and the messageboard members is invaluable.  I feel as though I know Teledave, CB, and others and it was fun "being with them" during their Utah trip! You can tell by some of the posts that many are admittedly sad that the days are approaching where you will “leave us” for several months and we’ll be left to find other entertainment for the next seven-plus months. Thanks for giving snow lovers a place to hang out.  I for one will be visiting the messageboard all summer just to stay in touch.”

Tawny’s was the lengthiest email (thanks Tawny!) but several people have written similar statements of late and I think that many of us feel the same way about THIS SEASON. I think the thing that has made this season more special than normal is THE FRIENDSHIPS that have grown via this website this season…more than any other.  The messageboard crew HAS put a face on these friendships.  There are SOME who say that the messageboard reflects in some way negatively on SkiNC and SkiSoutheast…and I’ll admit that sometimes things do get a little crazy on there.  However, have you ever hung around the bar or lounge at your favorite ski resort?  There are some professional sorts, some zany characters and some who kind of hover around just to soak up the “color”.  I think that sometime during the off-season we’re going to rename the messageboard “The Lounge”.  We’ll have to come up with some cool name for it.  Maybe we’ll do a contest!?!?  But my point is that many “acquaintances” have grown more so this season than previous ones and for that reason these last few days are kind of bittersweet.

Thanks to ALL of you who have written.  We’re honored to be a part of your lives and hope to grow those friendships in the years to come.


Until Next Time…

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