That was the music and the message that greeted guests at an anniversary dinner at Ski Roundtop on Sunday evening, November 23rd, 2003. Roundtop has survived and thrived for 40 years! The early years were extremely difficult and survival was possible through the vision, hard work, and determination of its founder and President, Irvin S. Naylor. His company, “Snow Time, Inc.” now owns Pennsylvania resorts Ski Roundtop, Liberty Mountain Resort, and Whitetail Resort, along with New York’s Windham Mountain Resort. The first three are, as they say, “an easy ride from Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.”
The dinner was a warm and sumptuous occasion. Outside, the vivid lights of the ski area shone dramatically, and Roundtop is spiffy and modern inside. The runs look steeper without snow. All hope for an opening soon - in early December.
At the dinner, all of the guests were introduced and their history to the ski industry explained. Most were founders and managers of the four ski areas. Many of the original founders and supporters (even the bankers and CPAs!) looked fit and continue to thrive on snowsports. Gold medal Olympic champion Diann Roffe was also there - she will teach her special classes for all interested at Roundtop this winter. Diann is now competing to be on a second Olympic team - on horseback!
A 33-page book published by Snow Time was handed out at the event titled “Committed to Excellence - A Summary History of Ski Roundtop.” It contains fascinating histories of the early days, and the struggles of Irvin Naylor and his backers. At the end is a section filled with both heartbreak and hope. On April 17, 1999, Irvin Naylor was involved in a horse accident during a steeplechase in Butler, Maryland, leaving him partially paralyzed. Since then, he has made progress and become an advocate for stem cell research. Naylor encourages anyone interested in stem cell research to contact the Bedford Research Foundation (www.bedford-research.org).
To contrast the past with the present, original pamphlets were distributed from the opening season in 1964. The pamphlets listed some prices that seem like bargains today: Full day lift rates were $4 or $5 on weekends, and an entire family could get a season pass for about $100! Today’s rates are a bit different, but, with all the Snow Time resorts, the costs are cut quite a bit if you buy a season pass or a special rate “Advantage” card.
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.