By Jesse Wood
Jan. 16, 2014. It seems like it has rained every weekend so far this winter. But unlike pleasant afternoon showers in the summer, rain during the winter is just plain miserable – especially for ski resorts that depend on consistent seasonal weather.
Looking ahead to Martin Luther King weekend, though, which is one of the major ski weekends, those in the industry say the forecast couldn’t be much better for winter sports in the High Country: calmer winds, temperatures that aren’t too warm or too cold, snow flurries rather than rain and plenty of sunshine.
Drew Stanley of Appalachian Ski Mtn. also said that sustained cold weather is a major plus, one that hasn’t really occurred so far during this fluctuating winter season has the industry grinning.
“I don’t think you could get a better forecast for Martin Luther King weekend,” Stanley said.
Jim Cottrell, president of the French-Swiss Ski College, which has taught more than one million people how to ski and snowboard since 1969, agreed.
“We are really excited about the fact that we have a weekend coming up where we have a good forecast,” Cottrell said. “We’ve been in that weather pattern of rain on the weekends. Hopefully that pattern is changing. The next 10 days look really good.”
Along with Thanksgiving Weekend, the Christmas holiday, and Presidents’ Day, Martin Luther King weekend is the other main holiday that increases business by about 25 percent over the typical crowd, Cottrell said
“National holidays affect the industry more than anything,” Cottrell said.
With that in mind, Cottrell – not to mention Sugar Mountain Resort, Beech Mountain Resort, Appalachian Ski Mtn., Hawksnest Resort and everyone else who benefits from a busy holiday weekend in the High Country – has a right to be excited.