Over the past year, West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort has invested more than six million dollars in capital improvements. Snowshoe’s water and sewer infrastructure was upgraded over the summer, and snowmaking has been enhanced with extra guns and pipes. The newly-upgraded snowmaking system is capable of covering an area equal to five football fields with one foot of snow in an hour when running at top capacity.
Taking advantage of that snow, Snowshoe’s Ski and Snowboard School is introducing a VIP Program this year, providing VIP students with access to one of Snowshoe’s top instructors every weekend and any holiday period for the duration of the season.
Snowboarders and daring skiers will find beefed-up terrain park offerings this year. Two terrain parks will be offered, along with a new area dedicated to beginning, low impact rail riding for beginners. The new Terrain Garden will be located on the Lower Spruce Glades slope. Snowshoe will also continue to offer a 450-foot long all-snow halfpipe.
Snowshoe’s mountaintop village continues to evolve and improve. A new walking trail will connect all of the lodging facilities on Snowshoe Mountain’s basin side, running from Camp 4 to the Top of the World accommodations.
Snowshoe’s newest lodging facility, the Seneca, is scheduled to open in early 2005, adding to the mountaintop Village at Snowshoe. Adjacent to the Seneca, the new Junior Brigham Center is also scheduled to open in early 2005. This Center will become the permanent location for Snowshoe’s Outdoor Adventure Program.
Speaking of the Outdoor Adventure Program, Snowshoe plans to offer some new activities for the adventurous this winter season. Through a partnership with Adventurous Seasonal Pursuits, Snowshoe will offer half-, full-, or two-day guided trips into the neighboring Monongahela National Forest. Instructional winter camping and touring workshops covering mountain orienteering will be available, with food and transportation provided by the resort. Cross country skis, snowshoes, and advance camping equipmkent rentals will be available through the Outdoor Adventure Program. The Monongahela National Forest covers 909,000 acres and spans ten West Virginia counties.
The Sunrise Backcountry Hut will double the available seating space for dining while providing a full menu and bar. Guests reach the Sunrise Backcountry Hut via a snowmobile or snowcat ride. Guests can stay for dinner or even spend the night, receiving a gourmet dinner and breakfast.
“The ride to the Sunrise Backcountry Hut, in itself, it better than any other trip you’ll take to any other restaurant anywhere,” says Hut Master Ben Brannon. “The Cheat Mountain Ridge Trail offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains and when you arrive at the Hut you’ll be treated to a dinner that rivals the scenery.”
For those not willing to make the scenic trek to the Sunrise Backcountry Hut, Snowshoe now offers a Starbucks Coffee located in the Village at Snowshoe. This is one of only a few locations of Starbucks within the state of West Virginia.
The Village Bistro is a new restaurant that debuted at Snowshoe this past spring, located within the Allegheny Springs lodging complex. Daily blue plate specials and a large bar area are offered.
The Boathouse, a small restaurant located on the banks of Shaver’s Lake by the base of the Ballhooter high-speed quad, will offer a Surf and Turf-style dinner menu for the first time this year.
Prior to Easter 2005, Snowshoe plans to open the Saint Bernards Chapel, located near Wildcat Privisions. According to the resort, Saint Bernards will seat a total of 214 worshippers and offer two weekly services, a traditional Roman Catholic Service and a Protestant service.
New log cabin-style townhomes are being built by a third party developer near the Widowmaker Lift and Trail System. Finally, Snowshoe Drive is being widened in sections.
“These are the kind of improvements that will only build on the one-of-a-kind ski and snowboard experiences we offer here at Snowshoe Mountain Resort,” said Bruce Pittet, Vice President and General Manager of the resort. “It is our constant goal to give our guests a reason to visit over and over again while, at the same time, bringing new people to Pocahontas County, West Virginia,” he added.
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.