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Blue Knob's Plans
5 posts from 3 users
Updated 9 days ago
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2 months ago
I asked Blue Knob on their FB page what they have cooking for next year. Here’s what they said:

“Still working on snowmaking repairs and upgrades.Working on lifts. New tubing park will be open. Also, renovations on the Black Bear. Probably some more changes in the Summit Lodge, as well.”

They later clarified that the lifts needed a lot of catch up on maintenance.

Sounds like they have a good handle on things - getting the infrastructure where it should be then they’ll have a good base for upgrades.

Kudos to the new owners for being very active and engaged with the community!

They’re also doing a big fireworks bash on the 7th, claiming to be PA’s highest fireworks show.

12 days ago
Is there a good place to post pictures? Blue Knob’s tube park is mostly together now and looks fun - the backstop is all fill, and it’ll look better in the snow, but it’s major progress.
12 days ago
The advanced editor has a way to post pictures directly into posts. I’m also mention this again since this is the BK thread … BK is offering season pass holders to ANY resort $30 day and twilight sessions on weekdays (non-holiday, of course). That’s $13 off their regular price.
9 days ago

Its great they they are responsive… but if they are doing so much great infrastructure work, why don’t they promote it?  There is zero information about mountain upgrades on their website, and only an occasional post on Facebook, which is mainly dedicated to pushing their wine tastings/golf specials/labor day dinner etc etc etc.  I get that the partners are in it for the long haul and are prudently deploying capital… but a bit more effort on the marketing side would help sell more season passes, which would help replenish the coffers for the deferred maintenance, which would help make the ski experience more enjoyable, which they could promote, and sell more passes… rinse wash repeat.

As for myself, I’m ready to buy a pass once I know they can keep 50% of the mountain open on a consistent basis, AND get extrovert open. 

9 days ago

Wow … I had a long post and it timed out on me.  Hate when that happens! :D

At any rate, I agree with you - they need more advertising (especially the “free” stuff like FB and their website) and a much more reliable snowmaking system.  They also need to attract new blood up there. Season passes were ridiculously cheap in the spring (as low as $199), and the $30 weekday ticket to other resorts’ pass holders can help bring people up to try it.

I think there are a few things in play here. I think the first thing is they want to become a year round resort, and they’re advertising the golf and other events heavily to get awareness that there’s more to do there than just ski or to go to the park. Having grown up in the area, no one ever thought about the resort after ski season was over. People would hit the state parks for the free activities like swimming and hiking. Few knew they had a golf course up there.  At any rate, get that off-season money flowing and you have more money for improvements.  Take the focus off there too soon and you can kill that market off sooner than you want.  Roundtop’s doing more or less the same thing - heavily promoting their summer activities.  It’s only been in the last few days they’ve hinted at any new announcements for the winter (even though WT and Liberty did a long time ago).

I don’t think deferred maintenance excites anyone. The general public won’t see it for the most part. Maybe a new coat of paint, but who’s going to see the snowmaking and lift repairs, snowcat upgrades, etc?  The improved snowmaking may excite some, but for most people, it’s going to look like the same resort.  It’s playing catch up to everyone else - not doing anything new and exciting.

Anyone know what the water situation is? I see a few streams at the bottom of the hill, and a few smaller ponds at the top.  So even if they can fix the infrastructure, do they have the water to really cover stuff?

I know they applied for a $2.5M grant from the state shortly after purchasing the resort, but I have no idea if they got it. Or if they did, when the cash will come. That’s a huge infusion for them, considering the estimated sales price was only around $1.3M.  They also hired Scott Bender from 7S, so I’m sure there’s some prioritization and long term planning going on.

I’m curious as to how much veto power the state has on their plans.  Only about 1/3 of the total acreage they own is on state park land.  Most of the ski runs are on private land.  It’s the resort buildings at the top of the mountain and end of the old Condo trail that are on park land. Makes sense why the lease is so low.

At any rate, as far as open terrain goes, 50% of the mountain is a relative term. How much is that really?  Better question is how much can be covered by snowmaking?  BK has a lot of natural snow areas, and they also pad the heck out of the trail count. Aside from a couple difficulty changes on the Twins and Shortway, all the upper/lower stuff is garbage. Extrovert, Expressway, Stembogan, Mambo/RunOut - all one run each.  Reality is you probably have about 16 full runs with snowmaking on them.

Extrovert’s always going to be dead last to get the guns.  It takes much more snow to open (hence time and money), and only a few people have the skill to get down it - especially once it bumps up.  Not a good return on investment in the beginning. Starting with Mambo and the beginner area, then everything serviced by the Expressway triple, then the Twins/Stembogan gets a lot open for the vast majority of people.  Then it makes sense for Extrovert to get the love.

But yeah, they need the snowmaking and water to make that happen. Between a limited amount of guns and pipes bursting (hence why Expressway opened way late), it takes them way too long to get to the good stuff.

What I’d like to see is them hook up with SnowTime - perhaps sell an add on to the passes there and get some more people up there.  BK isn’t that much farther from Baltimore/DC than WT,and that can bring in some new blood and revenue for future improvements.

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