Plenty of snow, but what about the crowds?
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Jim
March 3, 2004
Member since 11/22/1999
317 posts
Just wondering if folks on the board notice any decrease in crowds as the weather warms up. As Scott noted in his recent article, there certainly is plenty of snow at area resorts built up from the decent winter we've had ("decent" from a skier's perspective, that is!). Of course, as last year demonstrated, snow cover (or lack thereof) was not the cause of most area closings - it was lack of skiers/boarders coming up. So are folks starting to depart for warmer weather pursuits?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
March 3, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Last year, Snowshoe did more business in March than Timberline and Canaan Valley did the entire season. I think that says more about Snowshoe and its marketing than about March skiing in general. Snowshoe offers all sorts of good deals for college students during this month and I think many take advantage of the deals and go. Also, skiers visiting Snowshoe understand that the resort will make more snow in March if the base deteriorates too much. The resorts of Snowtime, Wisp, and 7 Springs will also make snow late in the season but many others will not, and that may drive a lot of people to these resorts as opposed to those less committed to the late season. To put it another way, once trails at Timberline begin closing in March, they don't re-open unless we get hammered with a major storm. Whitetail, by comparison, will blow 5 inches for a late March weekend.

Another problem for local resorts during this period is competition from the West and even Europe. Airfares and ski and stay packages in Colorado and Utah are cheap right now, and conditions are excellent, as several forum members have reported in recent posts. Europe is also in great shape right now for those who want to spend a little more. I got an e-mail this morning from my friend Fabrizio D'Aloisio of the St. Moritz Tourist Office. To quote him, "at the moment it's around -7, the snow is really perfect, but it's a little bit too cold for this period."

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 03-03-2004).]

chuckie
March 3, 2004
Member since 12/29/1999
77 posts
I was at LIBERTY last weekend, and was shocked at the amount of people there. Even odder was the fact that it was after 12 noon, and the place was overflowing with skiers! Typicaly when it's warm the crowds have dropped off in the past, and usualy the skiers go home before noon (no fun to ski in slush?), but this was something different. I haven't seen lines that long during peak times this season, and I'm certin that LIBERTY made their bucks that day.

This is excellent, considering that most of the local hills still have a decent base, it's usualy the lack of skiers/boarders that prompts closure.

I'd be up for a late APRIL closing myself.

finsoutoc
March 4, 2004
Member since 09/30/2003
172 posts
i'm hearing 3/14 for Roundtop so i would assume that Lib and WT will close then as well.
Scott - DCSki Editor
March 4, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999
1,095 posts
Just received word from Wisp that they plan to stay open until March 28.

Snowshoe is planning to stay open until April 11.

With the sustained warm temperatures, we might start seeing some closings (or scaled back hours) in the next week or so. There is still a lot of snow, so many of the decisions will come down to whether there are enough visitors to make staying open profitable for the resorts. I'll try to post word any time I get official notices from resorts.

- Scott

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