Timberline, WISP and more about reporting –

First Trax

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First, it is not our intention to give ANY resort a hard time. Just the opposite. We have always gone overboard to equitably promote all resorts so that our visitors get the best, most accurate information possible. Additionally we have television stations all over the Southeast using our data, webcams and reports and they help to send us a gazillion visitors a season to our websites. (Okay SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com pull an average of 150,000 unique visitors a day during the 160 +/- day season…so you can do the math.)

Having said this, we have certainly roughed up Timberline Resort in West Virginia a bit for some "reporting anomolies". After we ran the stories (see archives) about questioning Timberline’s reported 38" of natural snow on the season, we received several phone calls and emails from Timberline locals, and others. All (100%) were not only questioning the totals, but several called them "inaccurate" (to keep things nice).

Then today we received back-to-back emails from Timberline’s "web guy" and he wrote, among other things, "The problem with the website being not updated on Dec 18th was because a contractor knocked out the router that I use to manage updates. I had to drive in to fix it. Fun stuff but it happens, especially when you need it to work. Murphy’s law in action."

He also wrote that Timberline’s snowtotals were accurate. As I stated a second ago, we are here, first and foremost for our visitors and yet we STILL want to be VERY pro-resort. Afterall, if not for the resorts…we’d be skiing and riding in our backyards. The problem with Doug’s statement is that AFTER we wrote about them for a couple of days…they adjusted the figure BACKWARDS to 33" of snowfall to date. Which one was accurate? The one BEFORE we questioned things or after? …or is the 33" accurate. One homeowner at Timberline actually still questions this total. Also several people from the area stated that Whitegrass Resort in West Virginia which is a stone’s throw away is reporting 27" of snowfall on the season.

We called and left messages for Timberline’s marketing director but as yet have not received a callback. But here’s the point that we try to drive home with every visitor and every resort operator:

If I am a first time visitor and I’ve never seen snow…and I’m driving or flying long distances to get to you, and I call ahead or visit a website and see that a resort had 38" of snow; I’m STOKED! Then once I get to your resort…if I see 24" of snow…I’m disappointed. If you’d have told me you had two or so…upon my arrival I am ONE HAPPY CAMPER. It’s all about perception. The fact is if Timberline has had 27" or so of snow…that’s a LOT of snow. Just report the facts.

Just so that we can be called fair…we received our fifth email in two days from people claiming that we should be questioning WISP as well. Here’s what one man had to say:

"Hey, just thought I’d bring to your attention that Wisp had 2" before the snow last weekend hit, they claimed 10" from that storm and were reporting somewhere around 12" after the storm on Wed, December 15th. Now they have a new "Timberline Magic Snow Cloud" that brought their total up to 24". I appreciate you guys trying to keep these resorts real."

Enough said, we want to put on our Happy Face now and get off of this subject…it’s downright depressing! We did get a cool photo from Doug, AKA "the web guy" at Timberline, which we posted to the photo gallery.

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A group of LSU students enjoy a day of skiing and riding at Cataloochee on Dec 16th – Photo by Austin Beegly.
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This was captured by Doug Clayton from the Timberline webcam and sent to us – Stay on the right side of the wall! Depressing Mid-atlantic weather on t
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