Now that the ski season is winding down, I just wanted to keep y'all updated on the status of Laurel Mountain Ski Resort. I spoke to Doug Finger of the PA DCNR this morning. Doug oversees Laurel Mountain State Park (on which Laurel Mountain Ski Resort resides) and Linn Run State Park. He informed me that there has been no movement in the negative direction for LMSki (that's good) and stated that some decision would be made and announced by mid or late April. He did seem very optimistic that LMSki will resume operations next year.
He stated there is a team of people (he did not elaborate who these people are) that he is currently working with to determine how best to make LMSki a viable long term operation. He mentioned that with gaming on the horizon with Seven Springs, many people probably will become more interested in skiing at a family oriented facility.
Contrary to previous speculations that the Mellon family is an impediment to growing the resort, he said they are just a concerned neighbor, but they in no way would prevent additional development. (Note: The family has a fish hatchery in Rolling Rock Creek, of which runoff from the ski resort eventually ends up. The land on which LMSki resides was originally donated to the state by the Mellon family.)
He is very aware that state rules would have to change in order for LMSki to become viable in the long run. We talked about how great it would be to have lodging similar to the Log Cabin Motel in Donegal near the ski lodge that would have a hundred or so rooms. This would guarantee ski traffic on the weekends. Of course, current state regulations forbid lodging like that on state park land. I pointed out the success of Rocky Gap in Maryland after the golf course and lodging were added. He stated several other states are doing similar things (of course, not PA).
Anyways, he left his email address with me (at the bottom of this post). Any suggestions or ideas his team could use that might aid with decisions that affect long term viability would be welcomed. For all who care about the future of LMSki and have any ideas on what you would do to make LMSki viable, please forward your ideas to him. And even if you don't have any ideas, at least tell him that LMSki being reopened is important to firstname.lastname@example.org