Getting from the DC area to Snowshoe Mountain Resort just got easier. A new road connecting the resort’s summit to Route 66, three miles outside of Cass, WV, officially opened on Wednesday, Nov. 20, promising to shave up to 30 minutes off the trip for many visitors.
“We’re excited to open this road and make travel easier for visitors to Snowshoe and the Potomac Highlands,” said Tom Staud, district engineer for the West Virginia highway department.
Construction of the 2.9-mile road began three years ago, and cost the Department of Highways $2.4 million dollars. In addition to providing a shorter trip to Snowshoe, the road will also address safety concerns that were identified in 1996.
“In January of 1996, Cupp Run washed out Snowshoe Drive at the base of the mountain and we were without a road for nine hours,” explained Ed Galford, vice president of operations at Snowshoe. “During the washout, we had to evacuate an injury via a groomer.”
The new road connects to the south end of the resort, near the Widowmaker lift and Top of the World lodging complex. To complement the new road, Snowshoe is expanding the General Parking area near the Widowmaker lift, supporting up to 500 vehicles. Snowshoe expects this will help relieve congestion near the main Village area.
Although the new road was built using state funds, skiing in West Virginia is a big industry, contributing nearly $200 million to the state’s economy each year. Last year, the state’s ski resorts drew over 700,000 skier visits.
“Since the ski season is starting on schedule [this year], West Virginia tourism is on target to set visitation and revenue records for 2002,” explained Alisa Bailey, West Virginia’s Commerce Bureau Chief and Commissioner of Tourism.
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.