Chuck L. in Northern Virginia provides this recollection of a Lost Ski Area in Virginia that used polyethylene “snow” in an attempt to offer year-round skiing:
“Unfortunately, I don’t recall the name of this single-bunny-slope “resort,” but for one season in the early 1970’s there was an operating ski area just northeast of Charlottesville, Virginia. It was a few miles from the University of Virginia, on what is known as Pantops Mountain. I tried to find the location again about twenty years ago, but it had become a housing development.
The hill’s claim to fame was that it was not dependent upon the weather. It used plastic snow. In what would today be considered an environmental nightmare, they coated the slope with white astroturf and dumped on truckloads of slightly oblong, white, plastic BB’s. The claim was that you could ski in any weather, but natural snow would make it better. I remember lights for night skiing, and a rope tow. I don’t think there was snowmaking, but they had to redistribute all those plastic beads that got pushed to the bottom of the hill each day.
I skied there only once, but white pellets of polyethylene “snow” continued to fall out of my ski boots for years afterwards.”