NY Times Wisp Article
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January 27, 2006
Member since 12/13/2004 🔗
12 posts
For those who haven't seen this article:

January 27, 2006
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,556 posts
Great, just what we need, more New Yorkers down here. Keep them confined to Huntah, Mount Steaux, K-Mart and $tratton.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
January 27, 2006
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,991 posts
The future appears to be three large West of the Allegheny Front resorts (Snowshoe, Wisp, 7 Springs), and maybe a few other remoras swimming with the sharks (CV, WG, Timberline, and maybe Hidden Valley). I don't see where the skiers will come from to support another large development like Almost Heaven, but I hope I am wrong.

If Snowshoe did "300,000 to 400,000" last year, 7 Springs, about 450,000, and now Wisp wants 200,000+++, where will the skiers come from? Wisp can only build its numbers by poaching skiers from the other resorts--especially given that snowsports is on the decline nationwide:


the number of American skiers over all has been declining - from 6.7 million in 2003, to 5.9 million in 2004

January 27, 2006
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Well, I for one am ready to be poached. I'm tired of paying big resort prices for not much of a hill. Please explain to me why Snowbasin UT (2,650 acres) charges $58 (with discount $46) for a weekend ticket while Snowshoe (224 acres), for example, sees fit to charge $65.

I think another resort, if done well, would definitely result in a serious shakeout with the customer as the ultimate winner. Competition is a good thing and generally results in lower prices and better service. I wouldn't worry about the NY crowd, they have their big NE resorts and I don't see them coming all the way down to WV for a fraction of the trail capacity and amenities. On the other hand, if you look at the license plates at Snowshoe, a good 60% of their customers are from the south; NC, SC MO, KY, TN etc. and for that clientele there -is- room in WV for another resort.

If, as johnfmh says, skier numbers are in decline, then how did many resorts have record attendance/profits last year? Maybe they lowered their ticket prices? Built better and newer amenities? Had great grooming? Opened cool backcountry for the hardliners?

I know it's what the market will bear, but I think the market will just make more trips out west and spend the same (or less) bucks for a much better experience. We will. We maybe won't get in as many skiing days per season, but the days we do, will be primo!
January 27, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
. "I don't see where the skiers will come from to support another large development like Almost Heaven, Wisp can only build its numbers by poaching skiers from the other resorts"- Think about it John.."ALMOST HEAVEN" will blow all of these places away.Think how many people the resort will POACH away!!! The resort will attract day skiers from even their 2nd homes up & down the the whole area.Even you will ski there..even with a TL season pass & home there. Think how many people will go to the resort over heading to new england...That will be a huge poach....You go Mr. Bright, you know whats up!
January 29, 2006
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Wisp, 7S have the advantage of easy highway access. I-68 has been great for access to Wisp and the PA turnpike is usually well maintained. Wisp has great potential as a true 4 season destination and committment to maxing quality of skiing!

Almost Heaven will always have a problem (like SS does) of having people complain about the drive (yes even from NoVA!). I truely believe SS has the "Emperor's New Clothes" phenomena where you aren't supposed to acknowledge how painful of a drive it really is (I'd prefer to drive to Dulles and fly to Utah!)
January 29, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Corridor H =Almost Heaven...See ya on the slopes!
Roger Z
January 29, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts

...where will the skiers come from?

Well, skiing is actually growing a little. Check out the numbers:


Unfortunately, skiing in the south appears to be lagging the growth in the rest of the country, and the numbers have far more variability than the nation overall. I guess this makes sense- if I had looked at other regions you might see the same thing, because of seasonal weather. Still, there is growth. The regression showed an increase of about 33,000 skier visits per year throughout the southeast. We have- what- 20 ski areas in the south (MD, VA, WV, NC, GA, TN, AL) or so. You also have to wonder how many skier visits would be picked up if there were a resort down here with the snowmaking capabilities of Wisp or Seven Springs with a 2000 foot vertical- that is, what portion of skier visits are leaving the south because an option like that isn't available (my guess- probably not a lot, maybe a couple thousand trips a year. But enough that it would factor into that ski resort's revenue numbers).

So in ten years (about the time it would take to get an MPC built), you're looking at a possibility of another 320,000-340,000 skier visits per year. That's a brand new ski resort somewhere down here, without poaching a single skier. Obviously if an MPC or something of that caliber opened, there would be some poaching but, on a positive note, Whitetail opened in 1991/92 and no one else closed as a result (unless Cherokee counts).

I also think it's a good sign that since 1998/1999, there basically hasn't been a year when the SE has seen fewer than 5 million visits (I'm rounding 01/02 up, but only by 6,000 trips). This year very well might, though. And we still haven't beaten the record visitor attendance of 87/88.
January 30, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
CorridorH would equal Almost Heaven, if it was finished. Right now the various remaining sections more than likely aren't looking like they will be built in the next 10 years. Especially the section from I-81 to Wardensville which Virginia is adament about not building. Although the drive across north mountain isn't too bad so too many people shouldn't complain about that. But with several sections still up in the air over in the Davis - Greenland Gap area regarding civil war sites, miscaculated soil removal, etc, it will be a long time before the whole highway is ever built, if it ever is. Based on whom I've talked to and things I hear, it might not surprise me one bit to say that the Virginia section may never be built earlier than 2030 if at all unless Virginia becomes super rich.

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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