Start the New Year with a trip to a local ski resort for a fun-filled day on the slopes.
Snow enthusiasts who practice downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or buoying are in luck because the region has several ski resorts that offer activities for outdoor enthusiasts.
On December 31, an agreement was reached with Vail Resorts Inc. to purchase Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Hidden Valley Resort and Laurel Mountain, placing the resorts under the same ownership as Breckenridge and Vail Mountain in Colorado.
Vail Resorts officials have said that starting in the 2022-2023 season, certain levels of “EPIC Pass” holders will be able to ski and snowboard at Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain and destinations such as Breckenridge. with the same season. past.
âNothing will be affected this winter during the ski season,â said Alex Moser, marketing director for Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain.
âWe have an agreement with Vail that we will operate the resorts this winter.
âBob Nutting (the former owner of the resort) really wanted to make sure our people didn’t have any disruptions this season.
Due to warmer weather conditions this winter and limited snowmaking capabilities, ski enthusiasts are advised to check the availability of snow reports posted daily on resort websites.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort offers 33 trails and trails, seven snow parks, 10 chair lifts, and four ski lifts that will keep guests busy skiing and snowboarding.
âWhat makes Seven Springs unique is the range of things you can do, and there is something for everyone – so mum could go to the spa, dad could go shoot sports clays and the kids could. take a ski lesson, âMoser said.
âThere are endless restaurants, be it The Foggy Goggle or Helen’s, besides roller skating, bowling and indoor swimming, so there is so much to do. There is also a variety of accommodations, including hotel rooms, cabins, condos, and cabins, and we can accommodate anyone.
He said the community of Seven Springs offers a distinctive vibe.
âPeople don’t see each other for nine months of the year and then come and tackle the trails and slopes and hit the Foggy Goggle together afterwards,â Moser said. âIt’s such a close and nostalgic community. “
He said what sets Seven Springs apart from other resorts in the area are its freestyle skiing and snowboarding parks, including the East Coast’s only 22-foot superpipe.
âThe name of the game in the snow parks is progression,â Moser said. “We have snow parks for the beginner to the expert and everything in between.”
âOver the years we’ve had events and found that some of the people who were here ended up at the Olympics a few years later.â
The snow sports school offers introductory lessons for children and adults wishing to learn to ski and snowboard.
âWe also have private lessons for everyone and we have group lessons, so we cover them,â Moser said.
“Our professional instructors want to make sure you have fun on the snow.”
Lessons are also offered to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders.
For those who want to enjoy the snow, but not the slopes, Seven Springs offers an 11-way tube attraction.
âSeven Springs is the largest tube park in the entire area,â Moser said.
âIt’s really an amusement park, and it’s for people who want to come have fun and go sledding on our tubes. It does not require any skill and anyone can do it.
For the 2021-22 season, a new chairlift has been installed at Seven Springs.
âWe replaced the old avalanche chairlift with this state-of-the-art Doppelmayr Alpen Star quadruple fixed-grip chairlift,â said Moser.
âIt’s faster and will get people up, and we’ve tweaked the path a bit to make it easier for our customers to enjoy all parts of the mountain. “
Other upgrades include new snowmaking on the Avalanche slope, added transport rope to the Polar Bear chairlift, and 30 new HKD snowmaking towers.
âThese were huge investments, but we are committed to our pass holders to continue to improve the experience,â Moser said.
Information on tickets, passes and rental costs can be found at www.7springs.com.
Hidden Valley Resort offers 26 trails and trails, nine ski lifts and two snow parks.
âThe slopes and trails in Hidden Valley are a bit milder than Seven Springs,â Moser said.
âThey are longer and good for young families. It’s a non-intimidating place to learn because it’s a slower, quieter pace.
The snow sports school offers a variety of lessons for children and adults.
âIt’s the same learning program as Seven Springs, and the lessons are available all the time,â Moser said.
âWe always say learn to ski in Hidden Valley, then progress to Seven Springs, then take on the challenge of Laurel Mountain.â
The complex also offers eight-way tubes.
âWe see a lot of locals coming from Somerset and Johnstown just to snowtube here,â Moser said.
âThe price is a bit lower than Seven Springs, so it’s a good option. The lodge is right on the main drag so you don’t have to enter the resort to tubing.
He said the resort has added a new tow handle that connects the northern summit and valley areas.
âWe also have a new general manager at Hidden Valley, Brett Lesnick,â Moser said.
âBrett has been in charge of our snow sports school in Seven Springs for the past few years, but before that he ran the snow sports school in Hidden Valley. He’s a newcomer to the industry.
Information on tickets, passes and rental costs can be found at www.hiddenvalleyresort.com.
Laurel Mountain offers 20 trails and trails and a ski lift.
Not only does Laurel Mountain have the highest vertical drop in Laurel Ridge in Pennsylvania at 761 feet, the mountain is also famous for its double black diamond Lower Wildcat Slope, the steepest in the state. Its average slope is close to 60 degrees.
âLaurel Mountain is unique in that it is an inverted mountain with the ski lodge at the top of the mountain,â Moser said.
âWhat’s cool is that it’s a real mountain of skiers. There is no snow park or tubing, and that’s how customers like it.
He said the atmosphere at Laurel Mountain has a vintage ski vibe.
âWe try to keep its rich history there and embrace it and the nostalgia is amazing,â Moser said.
âIt’s a tight-knit group of skiers, and everyone knows each other.
Private and group lessons and specialized learning programs are available upon request.
Laurel Mountain has appointed Amanda Barnhart as Executive Director. She recently ran the snow sports school in Hidden Valley.
There were no new upgrades planned for this season at the resort.
Information on tickets, passes and rental costs can be found at www.laurelmountainski.com.
Moser said Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel Mountain provide variety.
âEach mountain has its own distinct character,â he said.
âSeven Springs is the great resort, where you can spend a full day skiing and has many amenities.
âHidden Valley is a nice change of pace and a day trip for people. Laurel Mountain offers this half-day experience.
Blue Knob All Seasons Resort has 34 trails and trails with a vertical drop of 1,072 feet.
Blue Knob is the second tallest mountain in Pennsylvania, behind Mount Davis in Somerset County, but it is the highest skiable mountain in the state.
âWe have a variety of terrain for beginners all the way to Double Black Diamond with some of the most rugged terrain in the mid-Atlantic,â said Donna Himes, Marketing Director of Blue Knob All Seasons Resort.
âWe say Blue Knob is the skier’s mountain, and it’s a mountain you never get bored with when it comes to ability. It is also a great family mountain because of the variety of terrain.
The complex also has an eight-lane tube park.
âWith COVID last year, even people who weren’t skiing or snowboarding were desperate to get out and do something, and we saw more activity in our tube yard than ever before,â said Himes said.
âHe introduces them to outdoor winter sports. While they are there they see people skiing or snowboarding and maybe that is something they would like to try.
The Ski and Ride School offers group, family and private ski and snowboard lessons, as well as its New Generation Ski Academy for children.
âThe New Generation Ski Academy offers two sessions on weekends and holidays, in the morning and in the afternoon, where they will spend time skiing with an instructor,â Himes said.
“During the week, we only have one morning session, and the fees for the New Generation Ski Academy also include the lift ticket and the rental.”
She said the resort also offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
âWe have a maintained cross-country ski area on our golf course and are transforming the golf office into a Nordic center where there are a limited number of cross-country ski rentals available, as well as snowshoe rentals,â he said. Himes said.
âIt’s a good way to get started with cross-country skiing because there isn’t a lot of intense terrain on a golf course. There are also scenic trails and routes that people can cross-country ski and snowshoe on.
The station has undergone several facility and infrastructure upgrades.
The projects included the replacement of approximately 2,500 feet of snowmaking water pipes from the top of Route 66 to Deer Run and Lower High Hopes, sandblasting and painting of the loading and unloading terminals of all chairlifts, completion of a two-year project to sand and paint all lift towers.
For Blue Knob Condominium residents and lodging guests, renovations and upgrades have been made to the indoor pool, hot tub and gym. In addition, the outdoor tennis courts in the condominium area have been repaired and a pickleball court has been added.
Information on tickets, passes and rental costs can be found at www.blueknob.com.