Recount your last resort.
What's up with WISP?
12 posts from 7 users
Updated 3 years ago
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3 years ago

So what’s up with WISP?  My Family and I have always enjoyed skiing at WISP, but there’s been a lot of changes with the new owners.  Just wondering if skiing still a priority for WISP?  For instance:

  • WISP website just switched to their winter site.
  • Winter employees told that the Resort wouldn’t be open until the 3rd weekend in December.  Last year they were told the 2nd week in December.
  • No WISP Birthday Celebration, why?  Because they’re not open.  This was a popular event for DCskiers.
  • No White Friday sales.
  • No early season skiing or snowmaking.  Even with the cold weather we’ve had so far, I haven’t seen any evidence where they’ve actually tested the guns.  Based on the number of holes that are dig all over the front side, they are either looking for buried treasure or they have been pressure testing the snowmaking lines and have found lots of leaks.  There are also holes dug over the base area on Main Street and there is a 8” main near the tunnel that needs to be repaired.

Based on the cold temps and the fact that Canaan Valley and other resorts in the area are blowing snow, why isn’t WISP?

Wonder if you can still get a Tee Time?


Scott - DCSki Editor
3 years ago

I know they’ve been working hard to finish up some upgrades and enhancements at the lodge and base area, so maybe they’re focusing on getting that done before the slopes open?  (This is just me hypothesizing — I don’t have any inside or firsthand info.)

Wisp has made some substantial improvements and investments to base area facilities over the past several months, and some of what you’re seeing may be the tail end of those projects.  I documented some of the enhancements here:

3 years ago

Opening day at Wisp is scheduled for Fri Dec 16th. Their blog says they anticipate that they will begin making snow this Thursday. They’re also claiming to have sunk $125k in new rental gear. I’ll be there opening weekend and will give a report. I’ve only been to Wisp once previously for tubbing, so I personally won’t be able to give a comparison to say if things have improved or not, but my buddies that I’ll be there with have gone there regularly for the past few years, so I can get their two cents. 

3 years ago

Was there on Friday and no snow being made.  

3 years ago

kwillg6 wrote:

Was there on Friday and no snow being made.

Me too.  We probably crossed paths, as I headed south after my stop at WISP.

Just disappointed that the new owners have decided that not to try and open up for early season skiing.


3 years ago

I think it is incorrect and not really fair to say that the owners are somehow not trying to get open.  The fact is that the weather in Garrett County has been pretty warm this entire autumn and there have been no significant snowmaking windows.  There was a 24 hour cold snap with about 5 inches of snow back in early November and then a couple of nights just below freezing right around Thanksgiving.  But there has not yet been an opportunity to really get the guns going in a meaningful way.

This can be seen by the similar conditions at Seven Springs and Canaan Valley - granted, 7 springs got a couple of small slopes open for Thanksgiving weekend, but from a financial perspective Wisp doesn’t have the same incentive around the lodging impact of being nominally open. 

On the good side, we should see a huge change in the situation come Thursday afternoon and, with a little help from the weather gods, Wisp and the other higher elevation areas will be significantly open for Christmas week.

3 years ago

Wintergreen and Wisp have same ownership.  I’m sure they have seperate budgets and P&L, but from a culture and comraderie perspective you’d think Wisp would be trying to match Wintergreen’s efforts, and it looks like Wintergeen has already laid down some cover.

3 years ago

Tommo, Glad you’re still lurking.

I was told by an employee in November 2015 that WISP wasn’t planning on opening until the 2nd weekend in December.  I also was told several weeks ago by another employee that the “Scheduled” openning day would be the weekend of December 16, 2016.    I don’t believe they’ve actually tested their guns this season, as I’ve seen no remnants of snow, plus they typically blow a large enough pile of snow on Central Park, that the local park rats come out and play in it.

There’s been lots of activity at the resort, but as of yesterday, there are still large holes with pipes in the bottom on several trails.  I guess these are new “Features”.


3 years ago

Yep, still lurking.. and skiing after all these years, thank goodness; Thanks, Scott, for finding my old account and reactivating it.

I believe Wisp has shown Dec 16 as the tentative opening date for quite some time.  Agreed that, in years past, they often opened earlier but that was always highly weather dependent. 

I haven’t been over to the area in a couple weeks but I think the holes at the bottom of Possum and Wisp Run were for installation of a couple of new hydrants. This is at the end of the supply pipes since all the pumping infrastucture is at the top of the hill by the whitewater course.  With the continued development and expansion of the Learning Center/Sundown Village area, there were some holes in  coverage to the west of the lift base.  As of today, at least to the degree one can see from the main cam, everything appears completed and air cannons are in place in that area for a major effort starting tonight.

There was a modest test of the system a few weeks ago on Wisp Trail… I didn’t see any test on the Mainstreet side by have not noticed testing there in years past either.

All that said, I sure hope the weather cooperates for a strong early season after last year’s struggles.  Some Christmas.New Year’s week revenue would be huge help to all of our local resorts.


3 years ago

Just checked their cam.  They are blowing snow now.

3 years ago

tommo wrote:

I haven’t been over to the area in a couple weeks but I think the holes at the bottom of Possum and Wisp Run were for installation of a couple of new hydrants. ……



Maybe the large open hole with the pipe in it just below the tunnel on Eye Opener is for a new hydrant, but if they were trying to be open early season (weather permitting of course), wouldn’t this work already be done?   

Glad to see WISP making snow, they can really crank it out if they want to.



3 years ago

I emailed to ask if they have any multi day discounts. The 2-day price is identical to the price of lift tickets on back to back days. What a bargain!

On the plus side, the snow guns have been firing nonstop since yesterday.



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