It’s March, and that means the end of the ski season is near. But not as near as mid-Atlantic natives might think. Resorts have built up strong bases and continue to make snow as temperatures permit, hoping to provide excellent ski conditions through (at least) the end of the month. But all too often, skiers stop visiting the slopes as the days lengthen and thoughts move to springtime activities, causing resorts to close not due to lack of snow, but due to lack of visitors. In an effort to prevent that from happening, and hoping to make up some lost revenue from a balmy January, many resorts are offering deep spring discounts this year.
For example, Virginia’s Wintergreen Resort has just begun selling $99 “Spring Saver Ski & Ride Passes” at its Ski Services Office. The pass allows guests to ski or ride every day from now through the end of the season.
“The time we spent building our snowbase was well spent,” said Jay Roberts, Vice President of Mountain Operations at Wintergreen Resort. “Guests continue to compliment us on the quantity and quality of the snow on all of our trails, including our tubing hills. It’s wonderful to see so many people enjoying great conditions along with the great weather,” he added. “Based on the current conditions, we fully anticipate being open until at least March 25, so there’s plenty of good skiing left.”
Pennsylvania’s Liberty, Ski Roundtop, and Whitetail Resorts have also begun selling a Spring Value Pass. The $79 photo pass entitles the purchaser to receive one lift ticket each day from now until the end of the season. Passholders must stop at the ticket window each visit to get their lift ticket, so the new pass works similar to a Night Club Card, only the lift tickets are free. The pass can be purchased at Guest Services and can be used at all three resorts.
Springtime deals are plentiful at other resorts. Beginning March 7, Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Resort is offering a 50% discount on lift tickets to anyone who brings a bag of dog or cat food weighing 5 pounds or more on Wednesdays. The food will be donated to the Somerset Area Humane Society and Animal Angels in Mt. Pleasant, PA. If you hold a season pass from any ski resort (including Seven Springs), you may present your season pass on any Monday from now through the end of the season and obtain a free lift ticket valid for that day. These are two of several specials Seven Springs is offering in March.
Nearly every resort in the region is offering discounts or specials during March, and snow conditions are excellent.
“The month of March historically means some of the best skiing, riding, and snowtubing on the slopes in the mountains of West Virginia,” said Joe Stevens, Spokesman for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. “There is no doubt that history is going to repeat itself this year,” he added. For example, Lindsay Kutsko, Communication Coordinator at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, reports that Snowshoe plans to stay open through Easter.
Call your favorite resort to find out what specials are being offered, or visit their web site. Remember that mid-Atlantic ski resorts and their employees were dealt a financial blow early in the season, due to a long stretch of unseasonably warm temperatures. Resorts stepped up to the plate in February and made tons of snow. With great snow conditions, resorts are prepared to stay open through the end of March (or longer), as long as skiers and snowboarders keep visiting.
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.