"Momentum is what everybody has at the Boston Ski Show," Tom Meyers of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area told OnTheSnow the other day. "That's the momentum you need to maintain going into the season, but more importantly, coming out of it."
"When the Warren Miller movie comes out, and they're filling the theaters in November, that's momentum. When my kids say in July, 'I can't wait for it to snow,' that's momentum.
"On Columbus Day weekend we had 150 people show up for the Fun in the Sun Rail Jam. The guy who runs it has three buddies who go around in three pickup trucks and scrape up ice from local ice skating rinks, throw it on some hay, and have the biggest rail jam we have all season - in October," Meyers said.
"There's all this pent-up enthusiasm and excitement going into the winter, and coming out of the season it's going in the other direction. If we could marry the weather conditions of march with the enthusiasm and interest of December, that's the magic bullet. Will we ever get there? I don't know," he said.
"Historically, if we have a challenging season weatherwise, and hit March and all of a sudden Mother Nature kicks in like she did today, then we could have a gangbuster March because people have all this skiing and riding pent up inside.
"There is some thinking that people have a certain amount of skiing in them - whether it's spread out over a long season, or compressed into a shorter season, they ski or ride for so many days.
"We compete, as an industry, with so many other interests and leisure time activities vying for time and money. Then we get to March and April, and we start competing with summer activities, which add another layer of distractions, that you have a really tough time coming back from.
"When the joggers are out, and the bikers are out, and the golfers are out, and the crocuses are out, it's a hard thing to turn the tide.
"I've always used the analogy of the rakers: When they're out raking their lawn, they're not thinking about skiing," Meyers said.
"All through March we balance weather with events, aggressive pricing, and promotions to maintain momentum," Meyers said.
He looked out his office window at trails with a base depth of 20 to 40 inches, and a dwindling number of skiers and riders, and consoled himself with thoughts of Jackson Hole, which plans to close the first weekend in April with 400-plus inches of snow on the trails.
"Mountains close due to lack of people," he said, "not lack of snow."
The magic bullet is to keep them coming as long as there's cover on the ground.