Visions for Almost Heaven
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Roger Z
February 3, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
That T-line visions thread was real popular, so I'd like to start a new one on a similar vein. But this one will be about Bill Bright and his future darling, Almost Heaven.

What is it that we're envisioning when we think of Almost Heaven? Let's concede that we're all thinking that this ought to be the best ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic, bar none. It's the answer to every frustration we have with other ski areas around here, save for the fickle weather (which even MPC and the Dolly Sods don't escape). What is it that, for us, would be "Almost Heaven" in a local ski resort?

Since we're a group of the most committed skiers and riders in the region, let's take this seriously. Let's imagine that Bill Bright has asked us for our input. He wants to know from the core group what we want at a ski resort.

So what is it? What's our vision for Almost Heaven?
KevR
February 3, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
Free!
jimmy
February 3, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Good one Z, my AADD is bad today. Bear with me cause I'll probably blurt thoughts out when.......

1. Strive to be the first to open and the last to close.

jimmy
MadMonk
February 3, 2005
Member since 12/27/2004
235 posts
Long, uniterrupted vertical. Naturally segregrated terrain so that beginners don't wander onto blacks too often.

Oh, and a completed Corridor H.
DCSki Sponsor: Seven Springs Mountain Resort
Rickh
February 3, 2005
Member since 12/2/2004
130 posts
RogerZ I'm with you...

1) Logistics/Staffing (Think Whitetail!!!!!)
2) Start with well thoughtout Terrain, appeal to ALL.
3) Well layed out base area.
4) Snow Making, get a Snoeshoe type system (add lots of water).
5) Did I mention Snow making?
6) Good lift capacity.
7) Add the Tubing park & Ice Skating (Revenue generaters).
8) I like the village concept.
9) I really like the mid-mountain cafe.
10) Try for the rusticness of TLine.
11) Limit Lift tickets. I said I like the logistics and staffing @ Whitetail NOT the crowds.

Last eveyone needs to get over the $$$ thing. Bill needs to make money to make this viable. So, sell the condo's and houses.
bawalker
February 3, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
The first thought I get for MPC is that this would provide nearly 2000' of vertical which means some very massive and very awesome double black terrain. First and foremost would be to get an olympic skier such as say Bode Miller to come in, consult and design one or two double blacks. While straighline trails are... "OK", they have no personality, they have no ferociousness to them. Take something like Cupp Run or Shay's and magnify them to stand out at MPC as trails you revere, trails you respect, and trails that scare the piss out of even the most experts of experts.

With that said the same should be done with green's and blues. I'd almost say as trails are being designed on the mountain is that the single and double blacks would have their own portion of the mountain that would look down on the rest of Canaan Valley for miles around. But back to the green and blues, have long defining green runs longer than 2 miles that are wide open and groomed to perfection. Don't stop at 30-40 trails either, I encourage Bill Bright to create upwards of 100 trails (without logging the crap out of the mountain either).

The biggest concern for me as with everyone here I think is the fact that Reality sales stand to be the biggest threat to the perfect enviornment of any resort including MPC. One of the favorite reasons I like to goto Canaan and TL is the fact that it's the closest feeling I get to being in the backwoods of the Teton's riding down without another soul in sight. Dolly Sods and the Roaring Plains are perfect to have a resort snuggled up next to because quite frankly, I'm tired of places like Wisp where you ride a chairlift beside limitless condos.

Hrm... another thought would be to have two base lodge areas which are both designed to be Alpine towns. Going back to the Timberline thread, for goodness sake, PAVE the parking lot!!. It would be great if there was an Alpine village there at the Dry Fork entrance area, and then say at another entrance have another base lodge area. That would allievate congestion off of everyone funning right to one lift to ride to the top... again like Wisp. This would create some really great load balancing and along with designing trails/lifts to optimize amounts of skiers without congesting any one area. That alone would make MPC stand out as the greatest MA resort.

Create a wonderful night sking enviornment that covers 90% of the available terrain.

Create a dedicated area with 2-3 Terrain Parks including a massive super pipe. But don't stop there, one reason big resorts out west seem to be popular back here in the east is that all sorts of events are televised from them. Winter X-Games, and such. I don't know who or how, but it would be imperative for Bill Bright and management to entice racing events, terrain events of a regional wide nature to come here for multi-day competitions.

Thats what I'm thinking of at the moment... but there is more boiling in my mind of what could be done.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 3, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
I'll pass on commenting on real estate, skier services, logistics, lodging, food service, etc (all the money making stuff). I'd use some of it, but it doesn't inspire my creative side.

The ski terrain does. What would be great and unique is if they could come up with a trail layout that featured a dozen or two runs - all with a vertical drop of 1500-2000 feet. That would catch the attn of the masses, and attract all skill levels from the entire mid-atlantic and beyond. I haven't studied detailed maps of the area they are looking to develop so I can only speculate, but to keep dreaming...if the vert was that big it would justify one or more high speed quads to serve the main terrain. That trail pod could get the standard heavy snowmaking infrastructure and wide fall line runs a la the model represented by Snowshoe's basin side or Seven Springs front face (only on a bigger scale) to accommodate the masses. It would be good if this part of the mtn included a mix of blue and black runs from the top, perhaps with a long green cruiser or two like Salamander or Timber Trail swinging wide from the summit. Basically, build a conventional ski area.

Then, assuming there is more than one mtn face to the terrain that they are looking to develop (and it is steep), I would build a mini Mad River Glen. Cut 8-10 narrow, no snowmaking, no frills, quirky trails down about 1000-1500' of vert, integrate some nice glades in this area, and string up only one or two t-bars (!!) to serve it and filter out inappropriate level skiers/boarders. Make this place 75% black diamond, but maybe cut two solid blue runs off to the fringes with a little snowmaking to offer better intermediates a small option away from the main ski area mentioned above. The idea behind this section of the mtn would be to have it as an option that could be cheaply opened when natural snow is good.

The combination would give the mtn mainstream appeal, yet bring black diamond credibility to attract hardcore downhillers and backcountry types that seem to migrate towards WV already.
tgd
February 3, 2005
Member since 07/15/2004
585 posts
Quote:

First and foremost would be to get an olympic skier such as say Bode Miller to come in, consult and design one or two double blacks.




This is a great idea. Any resort would really benefit having a Director of Skiing (also one for snowboarding as well) much like Steamboat has Billy Kidd. What a great draw, plus this adds a lot to the perceived legitimacy of the snowsports product offered by the resort.

It's also a perfect smokescreen from the true business this resort is in - selling real estate! Let's face it, it would take 100 years worth of ticket sales to payoff the huge capital expenditure required to startup a new ski resort like Almost Heaven. Intrawest spent over $83,000,000 improving Snowshoe - that did not include acquiring all of the land, cutting all new trails, adding all new lifts, building all new access roads, and a complete ground up snow-making system. Plus the costs of the permits, environmental surveys, public relations (to get local pols and businesses behind it), and advertising. Almost Heaven is going to be one big *ss project. Of course it is about real estate. The trick will be that they somehow manage to balance this with the backcountry mountain experience.

My vision of Almost Heaven is that it also be friendly and complementary to the local business community. If Almost Heaven becomes so inclusive an enterprise (like Snowshoe) that people won't patronize local businesses for food, alcohol, ski supplies, services, gifts, etc.... it could have the same effect on local businesses as if Bill Bright built a Wal Mart in Dry Fork. Sure, there will be plenty of minimum wage ski resort jobs, but does that serve the community well if the resort ends up driving all the local businesses out of business?

Let's face it, unquestionably if Almost Heaven is built it will add tremendously to the Mid Atlantic ski experience. But it will also change the Canaan Valley area forever. This change can be positive though if Bill Bright engages with the local business community and builds a resort that not only brings people to ski (and buy property), but also brings people into Harman, Thomas, Davis and Canaan village to patronize the small businesses there. He should also ensure that local construction firms and builders get a fair (better yet, an unfair) share of the contracts needed to build the place. Let's face it, as much as I love funky little towns like Thomas and Davis, there are more businesses in these places closing than opening. I hope Bill Bright is sensitive to the delicate economics of the area and can build a resort that shares its wealth with the community.
kwillg6
February 3, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005
2,020 posts
Interesting thought...almost heaven in almost heaven. My thoughts:
1. Access.
2. uninterupted terrain for the 2k vert.
3. snowmaking (lots of it)
4. on mountain services. resturants, shops, etc..
5. a decent base lodge capable of handling the 3to 5k people such a mountain would surely attract/day.
6. at least 1/3 of the trails advanced or better. anything more is unreasonable in the MA.
7. do it soon!
Roger Z
February 3, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Since we're all assuming this is going to be MPC, and since some of y'all haven't seen the mountain yet, may I present.... drum roll please.... the TOPO of Mount Porte Crayon!

http://www.terraserver-usa.com/image.asp...cHarman%7cWV%7c

What's really impressive is that, unlike most Mid-Atlantic mountains, you can't fit the whole mountain on a single topo map.

You'll see just to the southwest of the summit an open ridge around 4000 feet (High Mtn). There are houses on that ridge. Westvaco sold the land to a developer years back so they put houses up to 4200 feet. On the one hand, I'd really like to own one of those houses. On the other hand, it makes it hard to argue that a base village should be relatively compact, since there's already houses in the high country.

I'll chime in on one thing. Bawalker I think mentioned having at least two alpine villages. While I agree that we need an alpine village setting (and two possibly), one thing I don't like about Intrawest villages is that they all feel the same. What would be great is if in going to the base village, it incorporated some of the elements of a West Virginia highland town. And I don't mean trailer parks and collapsing buildings-- the GOOD elements.
bawalker
February 3, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
LOL

Common... whats WV without collapsing trailers in parks, 1952 Chevy pickup on cinder blocks and 3 18' C-Band satellite dishes in the front yard?
Murphy
February 3, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004
618 posts
Anyone have an idea of what portion of that mountain will become Almost Heaven? Any idea on how the map in the link below superimposes onto the topo?

http://www.jonathanjessup.com/maps/porte-crayon-map.gif

It looks to me like the north face with the greatest verticle is owned by MeadWestvaco (although the summit apparently is owned by Teeter). I know they're selling off property all over Virginia.
KevR
February 3, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
I think if you flip it about a bit and line up against the marked rivers and other features between the two, you can almost get an idea. I think the property marked #5 which goes up to Porte Crayon top seems to be steep stuff... i have to admit its not clear there's a cohesive boundary there yet that forms and obvious ski location...
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 3, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Quote:


The idea behind this section of the mtn would be to have it as an option that could be cheaply opened when natural snow is good.






Jim:

I love your idea in theory but in practice, it will not work.

MPC almost never gets enough natural snow to support natural snow trails. I've driven past MPC 100s of times in the winter and it's not like the CV: there's rarely that much natural snow down there to support Alpine skiing. The wind blows away the upper altitude stuff and the snow on the lower sections melts due to low altitude syndrome. There's an old adage in WV skiing: no snow at low altitude. They don't call Lower Cupp "Mush Meadows" for nothing.

Back country skiers from WG try to ski the MPC environs once in a while and almost always report "sketchy" conditions.

Bright will have to create a resort like Snowshoe or 7 Springs to survive--100 percent snowmaking on all marked trails, high-speed lifts, and service with a smile. You're right that he should cater to experts but sadly to say, those experts will need manmade snow just like everyone else.

My biggest fear for this new mountain is that he turns it into a Yellowstone Club. With all the $$$ in this area, a private "gated" ski resort could do very well. Wealthy Mid-Atlantic types would pay top dollar for a chalet on a private ski resort that features a 2,000 vert., 100 percent snowmaking, and a modern high-speed lift. This would be a disaster for the rest of us but good business for a developer.
Murphy
February 3, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004
618 posts
Quote:

I think the property marked #5 which goes up to Porte Crayon top seems to be steep stuff...




45% grade for 1200' of vertical ain't nuthin' to sneeze at.
KevR
February 3, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
I can never keep it straight, angle vs grade. So it seems like i have read slopes with a 35 degree angle almost *seem* vertical when on them to the skier. THen again, maybe they meant grade ... very confusing. Also someone once told me a 70 degree angle is for a slope about max for snow holding. Then again, did they mean 70 % grade? Very confusing!
A 45% grade however, does seem like it could be steep to the skier, or wait do you mean 45 degree incline?
Also any ideas on other comparitive steep slopes in the region to help visualize!?
BushwackerinPA
February 3, 2005
Member since 12/9/2004
649 posts
http://www.wvhighlands.org/roaring-plains/CRW_0789-700.htm

good pic of the area, maybe not a so suppotive site though
Murphy
February 3, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004
618 posts
A 45% grade drops 0.45' for every 1' of horizontal travel. A 45 degree angle drops 1' for every 1' of horizontal travel. That would be a 100% grade (nothin' I would ever touch).

I think a 45% grade is pretty steep by mid-atlantic standards but I think there are several that hit the mid 50's and a few that hit 60%. But I doubt there's anything that gets close to averaging 45% over 1200' of drop. Particularly since there's only 2 runs that I know of that even have that much vertical. FYI if you average over the entire length of Shays or Cupp the pitch is a whimpy 16.5% due to the flat stretch.
myrto
February 3, 2005
Member since 10/4/2001
259 posts


Why have almost heaven? It already is heaven. Leave it alone.
Work with what is already there.
Roger Z
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Well Myrto I know we're focusing pretty exclusively on MPC here, but I meant it in a more general fashion. If you don't think MPC should be developed, that's fine, but the question is still out there for you: what should an "Almost Heaven" look like? If you want, assume Bill Bright is going to build it on Job Knob or elsewhere. Any location is cool, what we're looking for here is what we want at the near-perfect ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic.

I have to disagree with one comment that was made earlier. Someone mentioned that they wanted at least 1/3 of the terrain to be advanced or higher. I don't think that's necessary or even beneficial- for a destination resort*. Ninety percent or more of the skiers in the Mid-Atlantic are intermediate or less, so to the extent that you are not catering to them you are limiting your market and crowding their slopes up unnecessarily. The flip side of that is a lot of ski areas mark terrain as "expert" when in reality it is nothing more than a high intermediate run.

I would rather have one single, honestly marked expert trail than a dozen so-called "expert only" runs. Those fake expert trails are why we wind up with parents bringing their five year olds down an "expert" run in the first place.

Now, if you want to say that you want a lot of natural snow terrain that is reserved for experts, that's cool- but I'd still want intermediate glades and narrow gauge trails where mere mortals could cut their teeth. But as far as the maintained runs (runs that are groomed and have snowmaking), I wouldn't want to see more than 20% of that terrain advanced or expert. And the 20% that was marked expert better darn well be expert.

* I'm pining for an MRG of the Mid Atlantic. I've found two potential sites so far- one in VA and one (with much better snowfall) in WV. That would be the site where you'd put the "experts dream" mountain.
KevR
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
I see your point
andy
February 4, 2005
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
With all due respect good buddy,I'll have to take issue with the bleak nat snow outlook that you have posted a couple of times for MPC Mr johnf.Driving south from canaan to harmen & even trying to compare the conditions up on the Mtn does MPC no justice.you are at 2600' driving down to 2400' at harman,wv.you are driving south from the valley(south facing slopes melt faster)At 3000'the owner of the golden Anchor has said they get as much snow as the valley but it just doesn't hang around as long.Mpc is not south facing & creates its own cloud shadow due to its size.The backtrackers you refer to cannot even get close to the summit due to its very thick spruce forest.They are more likley skiing on the cleared out lower section of the mtn that prob does get windswept.This mtn prob is the snowiest Wv has to offer.I think that if you could have been able to detour off of route 32 & driven up to the summit you would have been treated to different world!I have driven thru frost,wv at the base of Snowshoe & wondered where all the snow that had been reported was & then at the top bieng surprised to see snow laden spruces & plowed walls of snow on the sides of the road. While bulldozing the runs they ought to transplant as much spruce trees as they can to these exposed areas.Nat snow fences if you will.While bulldozing, uneven some of the flat even runs.put some twists & bank turns ups & downs ect..." Landscaping will be the crucial 1st faze.Then it will be time to install the 1st & only Gondola in the south!! Any ideas for the design?A mural of John Denver with a guitar on the sides?Almost Heaven...Bill Bright...lets Roll!!!
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 4, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Andy:

My basic point is that MPC does not hold enough natural snow to realistically support natural snow slopes. Bill needs to install snowmaking on 100 percent of his ski terrain. Cutting natural snow slopes is just a waste of wood.
JR
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
I'm just not seeing it. From what I can make up from the topo and Jonathanjessup map it looks like the NE facing slope is primarily owned by Westvaco. The whole resort looks like it will have to be built on West to NW facing slopes. Definitely not ideal. The place is basically a funnel for any winds from the NW and will be real cold and icy.

I still think Tory Mountain was a much better choice. I mean its alot like Timberline only basically a clean slate, other than a few old overgrown trails. That's pretty much what all of us want anyway isn't it?
Roger Z
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Tory has another interesting feature, but it would involve additional land acquisition. Look to the east of Tory:

http://www.terraserver-usa.com/image.asp...cHarman%7cWV%7c

You'll see that Job Knob is buffeted by a 3800 foot ridge, behind which the terrain drops down to 2800 feet. Looking at the topo, it's possible to have a couple of runs that could come off the summit in a northeasterly direction and drop all the way down to that base point- 1600 vertical feet total.

One thing I think would be interesting with MPC, and Johnfmh you probably know more about this. A lot of skiing in Europe is done literally through farm pastures. Who says that the entire bottom of MPC needs to be built up? In other words- why not lease some of the lower terrain from local farmers instead of buying it outright, and allow them grazing and use rights except for, say, Nov 15-Apr 15 or something like that? Someone was mentioning earlier about trying to help local businesses- that would be a darn good way to help.

I wouldn't advocate doing that for every acre of farmland around the base, but a couple of them anyway. It would be another very unique skiing experience, particularly when there's natural snow, and it would be for skiers of almost all ability levels: a couple hundred acres of spread out "cowpie" skiing, the way only WV could do it.
tgd
February 4, 2005
Member since 07/15/2004
585 posts
Whitegrass is actually a tenant on an operating farm owned by a longtime valley resident. Same kind of deal as RogerZ mentioned - Whitegrass has use of the fields and trails throughout the winter. I'm not sure what the arrangement is, but I believe Chip and the gang help out with maintaining the trails on the property as part of the deal.

Another possbility for MPC - a number of ski resorts are actually built on National Forest Service land. I know Mt. Baldy in Sun Valley is entirely on NFS property. In the tradition of multi-use it is possible they could lease land from the NFS and build the ski slopes. Don't know which direction the Fed's land faces but this could be a viable possibility. Heck with the current administration, the Feds would probably let them clear cut and strip mine it first, and use the "fill" to sculpt the mountain as they please. They'd even use our tax dollars to build the roads for Mr. Bright.
JohnL
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Quote:

My basic point is that MPC does not hold enough natural snow to realistically support natural snow slopes. Bill needs to install snowmaking on 100 percent of his ski terrain. Cutting natural snow slopes is just a waste of wood.




John, I think you are underestimating how little snow you really need to open a natural snow trail provided the base is free of rocks and brush, the altitude and exposure are correct, and the trail is protected by trees. Also, for many of us, expectations for required coverage to open an advanced trail are a lot less than your expectations of coverage.

A natural snow trail with 1500' vertical on MPC is probably unrealistic, but several trails of 500-700' may be possible. I love JimK's idea of a mini-MRG, but I don't think any large resort developer will reserve that much real estate for natural snow trails. If there were 2-3 natural snow trails and well-mantained glades, I'd be a happy camper.

I do agree with your assessment that many sections of MPC seem to be subject to winds blowing off a lot of snow. The mountain may not be as "comfy" as a lot of the masses prefer.

For a mainstream area (which is what Almost Heaven will be), any natural snow / advanced trail would have to have features that minimize skier use (to preserve snow) and to discourage use by the unqualified. IMHO, people on this board place too much emphasis on gates and ski patrol. The best way to weed out the less serious sliders is to have a natural barrier to entry to the trail itself. This is as simple as requiring a hike as brief as one minute, a long visible traverse, or a cornice-like or very sketchy entrance. Most will ski on by.
JohnL
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Quote:

My biggest fear for this new mountain is that he turns it into a Yellowstone Club. With all the $$$ in this area, a private "gated" ski resort could do very well. Wealthy Mid-Atlantic types would pay top dollar for a chalet on a private ski resort that features a 2,000 vert., 100 percent snowmaking, and a modern high-speed lift. This would be a disaster for the rest of us but good business for a developer.





Having sections of the development being similar to Beaver Creek (exclusive gated homes, but mountain and shops open to the public, with the masses staying in Avon) is more likely to occur than another Yellowstone Club. While many may object to "some animals being more equal than others", this model could possibly minimize the impact to the environment by lessening development on the slopes themselves and the masses would still get an area to use. More money may be able to be made by developing less, but charging more for what is developed. Hopefully Roger Z.'s alpine village model would be used versus Timberline's sprawl model.

Tiered marketing and service is a fact of life, and can be very profitable. Look at Snyder and the Redskins for a classic example.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 4, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Roger:

Europe is a completely different animal than WV. Over there, ski lift operators receive all sorts of government "transportation" subsidies. For tax purposes and to continue receiving subsidies, these companies plow most of their profits back into the mountain. That's one reason why Europe has become the land of the high-speed 6-pack. Their insurance costs are also less because liability law in Europe caps most payouts at reasonable sums.

There are tremendous curbs in Europe against development. That's why you still have farmland at all these ski resorts in the Alps. Chase's WG, in a way, follows the European model. It's very communitarian and there's almost no profit motive. His goal was to build a Nordic ski community in WV--a goal he has achieved and one for which he should be sainted.

Bright is not a skier but a businessman. He needs to make money and the way you do that if you are running a ski resort in America is by developing residential real estate. The question is how he should develop the land. I think a high density, base village is the way to go rather than a lot of big house lots like T-line. But as JohnL mentioned, the housing lot idea may be better for the environment.

As for using the "land of many uses," there are legions of environmental lawyers just waiting for him to apply for a use permit for Roaring Plains. These lawyers may not win but they'll tie the project up in court for years and years. That's why Bright isn't interested in using Forest Service Land--something he's said in a number of interviews.

JohnL, I realize that you can ski on 20 cms of snow on Chip's meadows. And I concede that you could probably have 700 vertical feet of natural snow expert skiing on the mountain, but I'd rather see a 100 percent snowmaking mountain. Natural terrain, even at Timberline, is not skiable enough for my tastes. I want to be able to ski this expert terrain in January, not late February. The freeze/thaw cycles are just too severe in this neck of the woods to realistically support natural snow skiing.
Roger Z
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
It's a good point about Europe, Johnfmh. As I mentioned, though, I don't think it's out of the question to have *some* multi use fields to ski through. Certainly some or many of them would be bought up around the base, but all of them? And while Bright is indeed a developer, after skiing Winterplace I'm not ready to say he's going to turn the ski resort into a gigantic real estate venture (that is, covering the mountain with homesites). Granted he doesn't own much land immediately around Winterplace, but that also demonstrates that he's filled up almost every acre of hillside with a) ski terrain rather than houses (except for some stretches along one novice slope) and b) with some fairly creative terrain, given the limitations of the hill.

As far as what's more environmentally friendly- a compact village or large lot subdvisions- there probably aren't a lot of environmental analysts who would argue for the latter. You wind up with septic systems that can leak, threats to water recharge zones, extended road infrastructure and associated sanding/salting (runoff pollution), increased energy consumption, fragmenting of open space, increased impervious surfaces, and so on. I'm sure Mountain Masher could do a better job of explaining this than me but a compact village is usually better on the environment.

ps- JohnL those were some great ideas about how to keep non-experts off the expert runs. You could even have a snowmaking run with similar conditions- hike-to, for instance. Let people hike up with a sketchy narrow entrance out onto a run that, although it has snowmaking, is left pretty much ungroomed all season. East meets west idea?
JohnL
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Not sure if I 'splaned things so great, but the Beaver Creek model I was thinking of would consist of very high-end, exclusive (and probably more profitable) condos, townhouses, etc (versus large lot homes). You could get more profit per acreage. Hopefully, a smaller fraction of the land would then be developed. A lot of the traffic to the village would consist of people staying in Harmon, etc.

I think you would need to create some sort of perceived image for the upper-end buyers to consider a condo/townhouse versus a cabin on a lot. 1500-2000' of vertical could very well be that image maker.
Murphy
February 4, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004
618 posts
I think Snowshoe was able to achieve that perceived image, I'm sure Almost Heaven could. People are dropping 1/4 million dollars for a single bedroom, 600 sq ft condo like it was nothing.
andy
February 4, 2005
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
Yeh JR,that nw face has been discussed as a minus for the area.We can only hope that the geography of the surrounding mtn's somehow offsets the wind factor.I'm sure the big wigs have been cking thier weather moniters on the mtn & have deemed it bearable.JohnF i should have mentioned in my earlier post that i agreed with you on the nat snow trails...I just wanted the masses to know that MPC recieves as much or more snow than any mtn on the east coast south of killington,VT.To get back to JR's concern about the nw exposure I will say again that my 1st choice for "Almost Heaven" is actually a 4702' peak just to the east ne of 4770' MPC that drops down to flatrock run.This is a north facing basin that has multiple peaks for diff chair lifts.I don't think I have ever looked up at that awesome area(from lanesville rd) from thanksgiving till april without seeing white thru the trees on top.If that area is the best terrain WV has to offer it should be developed.Wouldn't it be a shame if we had to settle for 2nd or 3rd best because of red tape?
JohnL
February 4, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Quote:

Cutting natural snow slopes is just a waste of wood.





Snowmaking is just a waste of water.
Murphy
February 4, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004
618 posts
Andy,

That is a pretty sweet looking spot for a ski resort. Even looks like there's snow in the aerial photo date 10/16/1990.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 5, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Quote:

Quote:

Cutting natural snow slopes is just a waste of wood.





Snowmaking is just a waste of water.




JohnL:

You need to take up telemark skiing and hang out at White Grass.
andy
February 6, 2005
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
congrats on your article johnf...maybe we can get a sister ski area for "Almost Heaven" over in Slovinkia.Speaking of Mount porte crayon & juggling some figures with topozone I see vail,co sits at 8380'.With the bottom of MPC at 2400' & a 2370' vert rise to the top at 4770 it would make it look like a 10,750' mountain in CO....just somthing to do at 420 in the morn!

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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