Editorial: Snowstorm renews optimism for strong finish to ski season
February 22, 2018
What a difference a bit of snow can make.
After Parkites collectively spent the first three months of ski season scratching their heads and wondering where the white stuff was, we finally got the pounding we've been waiting for.
It waited until the President's Day holiday, a marker that typically means we're nearing the end to ski season, but we're holding out hope that, this year, we're just getting started.
The lack of snowfall has certainly made it a difficult winter for many in the ski industry and those who rely on the tourism sector it fuels. This late, there will be no making up for some of the opportunities missed in December, January and the early part of February. But with the last week of this month and all of March ahead, there's still time to make it a season worth fondly remembering.
Perhaps the early-week snowstorm, which dropped more than 16 inches at our resorts, was a harbinger of things to come. Maybe Mother Nature was simply biding her time — more than few locals have joked in recent weeks that the poor winter so far means we'll be knee deep in snow in May.
A couple months of neverending fresh powder would be a welcome development. For one, it would entice visitors to get in a ski vacation before springtime. And at the very least, a strong finish to this season would provide momentum heading into the next one. It would go a long way toward getting rid of the taste the last few months have left and would remind everyone why this time of year is special in our town.
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Of course, as this season has shown, the weather doesn't always cooperate. If this week's storm turns out to be merely a blip on the rader, the exasperation many Parkites have felt will return. But even then, it would be important to finish the season with a sense of optimism and keep the winter in perspective.
Just one year ago, we were in the middle of one of the best seasons in memory — in fact, there's never been a better one as far as statewide skier days. Major snowstorms seemingly occurred every other day and thousands of visitors returned home with stories about our epic skiing and snowboarding offerings.
Uneasiness about how climate change will affect the ski industry notwithstanding, there's no reason to think next season and those after won't be more similar to the 2016-2017 winter than the first months of this one.
For the time being at least, that kind of optimism should be easier to come by — it always is when we're looking up at mountains flush with powder.