What’s New for 2009: Hidden Valley Resort
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

Hidden Valley Resort is putting the finishing touches on several enhancements for the 2009-2010 winter season. The Pennsylvania ski area will offer improved snowmaking and expanded instruction offerings, and has also taken over management of food and lodging reservations.

Over the past two years, Hidden Valley has invested heavily in snowmaking improvements, spreading state-of-the-art M18 TechnoAlpin snowguns across the slopes. Hidden Valley’s snowmaking system has now been completely automated, and the ski area reports that it has added additional snowmaking water lines and increased the operating pressure. Hidden Valley is one of the largest fully automated TechnoAlpin installations in the United States. Computers continually monitor the snowguns and adjust to changing conditions, increasing the quality and efficiency of snowmaking. Snowmaking, chairlift, and maintenance departments have been relocated to a newly constructed mountain operations facility.

Hidden Valley is putting a focus on safety this winter, instituting new helmet policies similar to those of West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort. Hidden Valley will require anyone age 12 and under participating in instructional programs or lessons to wear a helmet, which will be provided complimentary with the lesson. Anyone taking a lesson in the terrain park will also be required to wear a helmet. The resort is requiring its own ski and snowboard instructors, terrain park crew, and ski patrollers to wear helmets anytime they are on the slopes.

Hidden Valley has thinned out some trees to create a new gladed skiing area between the Cobra and Road Runner slopes.

Last season, the Hidden Valley Wintersports U ski and snowboard instructional team introduced a new program called the Very Important Family, or VIF program. Geared towards families learning to ski or snowboard together for the first time, the VIF program provides concierge treatment with preferred parking space, assistance renting and fitting equipment, and personalized on-snow instruction. Hidden Valley is expanding the program this year to reach beyond first-time skiers and boarders. While the VIF Starter program will continue to be offered, the new VIF Explorer program will provide more advanced instruction to families looking to increase their skill.

Hidden Valley is also introducing a new 3-day program called Excel, geared towards kids ages 10-15. This program will introduce kids to advanced skills like bump skiing, riding terrain park features, and carving turns. The program will initially be offered December 26-28 and Dcember 29-31, 2009, but additional dates may be added throughout the season.

“Our team is really working to offer some unique instructional programs to help a wide array of winter guests to achieve their skiing or snowboarding goals,” explained Bob Kuban, Wintersports U director. “Other special offerings for the 2009-2010 winter season include Parks & Pipes 101, the Sunday Night Adult program and Tuesday Night Ladies program,” he added.

Information about these programs can be obtained by calling the Wintersports U department at 814-443-8000, extension 308.

Previously run by outside vendors, Hidden Valley Resort has brought management of food and beverage services in-house, and has also taken over lodging and reservations operations. The resort claims that these moves will improve the guest experience, and result in new menus and offerings and improved dining experiences throughout the resort.

The Sports Club has also been refurbished, and Hidden Valley continues to build new condominiums at the North Summit, a short walk from the slopes.

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About M. Scott Smith

M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.

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