Need help choosing resort for mid-wk stay in March
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kireland
February 7, 2006
Member since 02/7/2006 🔗
13 posts
This is a long post as I am trying to give as much info as possible to elicit helpful responses. I'm looking to book a 3 night midweek getaway from D.C. the week of March 13th and with the help of this great website I've narrowed it down to Timberline, 7 Springs or Wisp and I'd appreciate your input before we decide.

We are four adults (two parental units, and two over 18 'kids') who will board and ski (beginner boarders, moderately experienced skiers). A few of us will likely take a boarding lesson. Our wish list includes a nice ski in/out condo/cabin with a fireplace and outdoor hot tub and on-site amenities such as bars and restaurants. We'd also love to try tubing at night.

It appears that Wisp is closest and offers everything on our wish list for $730 in a Deep Creek Condo (including lift tickets), but it may be the weakest link in terms of snow conditions in mid-March.

If we forego the hot tub, 7 Springs offers everything we want for $760 in a Swiss Mountain Condo (including lift tix)...and if we can live without a hot tub AND tubing, Timberline has the best deal at $597 for three nts in a Herzwood Condo inlcuding lift tickets.

All appear to have on-site dining and bar(s).

What do you think? Will Timberline afford us the best shot at good/any snow? Is it worth the extra for the additional amenities at Wisp or 7 Springs? Does anyone know if the 18 yr. olds would be allowed in the bars with parents (I know they can't be served, but are they allowed in to eat?) Is there anything/anywhere else I'm overlooking?

Thanks in advance!!
jimmy
February 7, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
kireland, I wouldn't worry too much about the snow at any of those three. The "kids" would probably find 7S or wisp more entertaining.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 7, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,724 posts
You've done your homework and have a good list. I guess I would wait until a week before, then pull reservation trigger based on snow, trail counts, and costs. Mid-week in mid-March should not be crowded??
Two additional options:
-Stay at Canaan Valley Lodge for 2 or 3 nights, not slopeside, but free and frequent shuttle to Canaan Valley ski area. Ski a couple days there and tack on a ski day at Timberline on front and/or back end of stay.
-Mid-March can be a mighty nice time at Snowshoe. It will meet or exceed the slopeside amenities of just about any other resort in the region.
bawalker
February 7, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I guess it seemingly boils down to do you want better quality snow vs better quality amenities. If you are looking for better snow conditions and are willing to forego the amenities part, Timberline is your best bet. I have been to Timberline in mid-late March and have still seen untracked 36" powder on some trails. Many on this forum can't believe sometimes how Timberline closes with quality snow conditions that can easily last till the first of May. However they do not have snowtubing, there is very little true nightlife (compared to Wisp or 7Springs), and they have very little night skiing/boarding open. If your kids are true beginner boarders, all of the main green trails are closed at night due to there being no lights on those trails. For top to bottom skiing/boarding at night, you are limited to two blues and a black which can be intimidating for a beginner or a light intermediate. Timberline does have plenty of ski in/out condos along the Winterset and Salamander trails, however those trails close at 4pm so actually skiing into them is unavailable.

However, if you prefer the night life and amenities a bit more than snow conditions, I personally would suggest Wisp. I've never been to 7Springs so I can't vouch for their resort. I can say with personal assurances due to 30+ times having visited Wisp in the last several years, you won't go wrong with Wisp for amenities. They do have nightime tubing with alot of lanes. Their newly built lodge is 100% better than any other I've set foot in in the area. There seems to be generally more people at the lodge hanging out, socializing, having a great time - almost as if you would goto an amusement park on a good day. Not crowded, but not deserted either. There is alot of ski in/out condo's over on the Main Street side of the mountain which is a black slope you'd have to go down to get to the lift to take you to the top and across the mountain. There are even more condos at the top of the mountain that may not be ski in/out, but you can simply get your equipment and make a short walk.

They have 99% of their trails open for night skiing and they offer a HUGE selection of green trails for everyone to enjoy, and several blues that really are considered greens in my book. Even their main black trail "Squirrel Cage" is a bit tame. I've been there numerous times in March and the snow quality does vary a bit. If there are March storms, you will be set with powder. However if you hit a rainy/drizzly/foggy day, conditions will be sub-par (as they would be at any resort in the region at that time), however the snow would be slushy, plyable, and better than 3' thick ice. Thats for sure.

I guess you and your family need to make the decision if you will forego some amenities for better snow, or forego the absolute best snow conditions for the best amenities. Honestly - even in March it's a crapshoot at this point as to who will have the best snow conditions. If you plan for amenities, go Wisp.
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wojo
February 7, 2006
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
312 posts
Two thoughts.
With the advice of this board I planned a trip to Utah (Brighton, Alta, Snowbird). BWI to Salt Lake was about 200$/person on Southwest, Lift tickets are 43$ and include the bus. You can flop in a hotel for 100ish a night. You can ski the day you arrive at Brighton (last bus is at 8:30).

If you have an Advantage Card for Whitetail, it applies at Wyndham in NY (even with the sale for this year). I got a 35$ room (and a free upgrade) CB included and Lift tickets are 1/2 off with the card. Group lessons midweek ended up being private or 2 people and the hill is very nice with nice variety and 1600' vert. There is NO NIGHT LIFE at Wyndham, but some decent restaurants.

Any choice is a good one!!!
tommo
February 7, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
I agree that Seven Springs or Wisp would be the best choice given all of your criteria. In addition to the range of slopes and overall amenities, they both are ideal for the late teenage crowd. They will find many other kids in their age group there, even mid week. And, if you are in a Spring Break week, they'll feel very much at home. From the Boarders perspective, the park at Wisp is right in front of the lodge, has it's own lift, and offers everything from rails to HUGE jumps. Based on what I've seen with all the teenagers we've taken up there, they will be quite happy and therefore your trip will be much better. There's also the movie theaters to send them off to at night and, as mentioned, the whole place is lit for night skiing if you're so inclined.

Snow in March at Wisp or 7 Springs is consistently good and will not be an issue. Most of the ski in/out condo's at Wisp are on Winding Way. As mentioned above, there are also many nice ski in/out houses as well. Be careful that you aren't rented a condo as ski in/out that is actually a 1/4 mile walk to the slopes, as there are quite a few of those on the lake side of Marsh Mtn road.

I also agree with the suggestion that Snowshoe may be worth looking into. It's a longer drive, but there's lots of nice slopeside condos (actually, that about ALL there is) and there is a fair selection of other stuff as well.

As to dining and bars, the selection in Canaan Valley is very limited. 7Springs has some nice places on site. The DCL/Wisp area has many, but none would be walkable from the slopeside Condos. If that is at the top of the list, then Snowshoe or 7 Springs may be more to your liking.

Based on your stated criteria, though, you'll likely enjoy any of those three.
gavin123
February 8, 2006
Member since 11/12/2005 🔗
21 posts
I agree with tommo - the snow at the springs and wisp in mid-march is pretty consistent. Wisp has really taken a step up with the new terrain and all of the money they have pumped into their off mountain activities. Honestly I used to like 7 springs better but now Wisp is just as good - however since the nightlife does not matter at all to me now - I only make it out to each of those once a year and spend the rest of my time at BK. Either way you cant go wrong with Wisp or 7 Springs.
GaryEsq
February 8, 2006
Member since 12/20/2005 🔗
54 posts
my $.02:

Ive snowboarded 7 Springs all my life and love it, but was exposed to Wisp for the first time last year. This year I had the opportunity to buy a place at either, and chose a place at the base of Wisp. While 7 Springs is a terrific mountain, and staff keep it in great shape....boarding at Wisp last year...I fell in love with the moutain, skiing down looking at the lake, i dunno, there's just something about the ambiance at Wisp. As someone mentioned, Wisp's Ford Tough snowboarding park is great, but as 7 upgraded to another park this year as well, they're prob about even now. Lastly, the thing about Wisp for me was how DCL is a town full of activities, the whole county really... whereas 7 is just itself on the top of the mountain, and thats about it.....

hope any of that helps?

PS: never been to Canaan so I defer there
RidelikeaRhino
February 8, 2006
Member since 01/31/2006 🔗
42 posts
For me it's Wisp hands down. Having been in your situation kids, dog, house, car, cat, sink etc. I was always looking for options. What if it rains, someone is sick, we don't want pizza etc. Skiing in either of these places will be just fine. The North summit at the springs can get a little funky in the spring with the freeze hard at night soften in the day thing but it's not a big deal. Wisp is in a town so you have many more options, including easy access to grocery stores. But that's just me.
kennedy
February 8, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
For beginner boarders I'd recommend 7 Springs only slightly higher than Wisp. I just feel the terrain is more varied and more conducive to learning to ride plus at night there is so much to do beyond riding. That said Wisp is a very strong choice too to be very honest you will not go wrong with either mountain.
kireland
February 10, 2006
Member since 02/7/2006 🔗
13 posts
Thanks everyone! We'll be going to Wisp. I found a terrific deal on a house and my only real concern was the snow, so your comments really helped. The place we are renting is $495 for four nights (Mon-Thurs), is brand new (4 bed/4 bath) and has every imaginable amenity including an outdoor hot tub and 43" plasma TV with XBox - not the main draw, but a nice option if the weather is bad. It's not ski in/out - but is across the road from the main gates so is walkable and we won't have to be ferrying people back and forth all the time.

It's snowing fiercely here right now (Toronto) and I can't wait to get to Wisp!

Cheers!
yellowsnow
February 10, 2006
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
270 posts
Sounds good!
How much will lift tickets add?
kireland
February 10, 2006
Member since 02/7/2006 🔗
13 posts
Because we rented through an affiliated agency, we can get 3-day lift tickets for the price of a 2-day ($50). I think we might all want to take a boarding lesson though and some of us might not go out all three days. So all in with the accomodations we are looking at close to $900.
Eug
February 10, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
142 posts
kireland,

Just wondering, are you coming to the Mid-Atlantic area/Wisp just to ski? Meeting people down here?

If not, Holiday Valley right outside Buffalo is pretty much 'next door' to you.

I miss the old CFNY radio station. I think it was CFNY (alternative, progressive, new wave) back in the mid to late 80's
kireland
February 10, 2006
Member since 02/7/2006 🔗
13 posts
I am visiting people in DC and we are taking the ski trip together, hence the desire for a resort close to DC. Holiday Valley and Holimont in Ellicottville are great though - probably the best near Toronto.

CFNY 102.1 is still around - it is now called The Edge and still plays great alternative rock.
Ullr
February 11, 2006
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

If we forego the hot tub, 7 Springs offers everything we want for $760 in a Swiss Mountain Condo (including lift tix




You can "rent" time in private hot tubs at the pool area of the lodge at 7 Springs. They are ok, and fenced in, but you can stand up and see some of the slopes. If the new hot tubs are installed by then, it may be just what you are looking for.

Since you are with 18 year olds, and they can't drink yet, Wisp & 7 Springs would be your best bets. Don't know about the statment you made that the Springs would have better conditions that time of the year? They should be about the same.

7 Springs definately has nore to do in "walking" distance than Wisp.
snowcone
February 11, 2006
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Is there any reason you are not considering Snowshoe for you vacation? their midweek rates are very good and usually in March they have some ski free options. there are a lot of theings for kids to to apres ski including the splitrock pools. Some of the village condos have hot tubs but they are not private.

Why not take a look? ... www.snowshoemtn.com
Ullr
February 11, 2006
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Quote:

Is there any reason you are not considering Snowshoe for you vacation? their midweek rates are very good and usually in March they have some ski free options.




He is getting a 4 bedroom house for 4 nights for $495. Snowshoe can't compete with that..............

The cheapest they have is a 1 bedroom studio in Rimfire or Highland for $469.62, and the most expensive is a 3 bedroom condo in either Seneca or Allegheny Springs for (gasp) $1,866.72!

Lift tickets, Wisp offers a late seaon 3-day pass for $63pp, while Snowshoe's $90 for 3 days.

I think cost and travel would be the two big issues here......
kireland
February 13, 2006
Member since 02/7/2006 🔗
13 posts
Cost and distance are why we chose Wisp over Snowshoe. The house we are getting is pretty amazing for the price and it is a shorter drive. Snowshoe looks great, but Wisp won out this time. I'll post after the trip to let you know what the house was like and how everything turned out. Thanks for all of your help!
Eug
February 13, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
142 posts
Glad to hear (pun intended) that CFNY is still around!

Don't forget to bring some of that good canadian beer for your friends in DC. Last time I was up there, I found out that the prices at the duty free shop right before the Peace Bridge was the cheapest. They also have some great specials here and there.

That Molson XXX was a pretty smooth lager style beer with, I don't remember exactly, 7.5% alcohol!

Drive safely and have fun
bawalker
February 13, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
kireland - feel free to PM me or email me when it gets near the time of your trip. I have a season pass at Wisp and plan to go there constantly like I have been. I would be more than glad to show you around the slopes a little bit.
kireland
February 28, 2006
Member since 02/7/2006 🔗
13 posts
bawalker - thanks for the offer. I will PM you to let you know that I may take you up on it! We are getting really excited about our upcoming trip! - K
fishnski
February 28, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
coming down from Canada to ski Wisp...Eh...Plan on swimming at the lake too..EH...Just Jiving!(could be some good ice fishing!) If you get bored with wisp head south off the main drag for about 55 min to Airboard or tube at the Canaan valley area Or ski a solid 1000' vert Mtn like timberline or go X-country at Whitegrass.....Real Mtns---Real Snow!...PS stop at Blackwater Falls state park on the way down(in Davis)..If you can catch it after a fresh snowfall It is absolutly Picture Postcard PERFECT!!..
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