Hidden Valley -- A Positive Retrospection
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Leo
October 12, 2006
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
281 posts
Maybe we need a thread specifically about what used to be GREAT about HV. I know some people have mentioned things that used to be good in the "killed" thread, but let's start one specifically about positive past aspects of HV.

1. I miss the Cabe family. A ski school and ski shop which was seperate from the resort was a very healthy thing.

2. Spring carnivals. Remember the weiner mobile?? Classic.

3. Mogul lines. There used to be bump lines on more advanced terrain instead of only the right side of Riveria.

4. The old slope names. I still call them Nose Dive and Straight Shot...

HV will one day rise again. The sun don't shine on the same dog's @#% all day....
Frederick
October 12, 2006
Member since 07/26/2006 🔗
79 posts
Awesome Leo!

I would love to know more about the history. It seemed to me the owner's had good intentions at one point. The addition of more slopes (Outback), banquets and weddings, etc. Some older pictures show boats in the lake. Can you pin point a year when things started to change?

It seems like several of the suggestions that have been made on this site were done at some point at Hidden Valley, so they had spring carnivals?
nic223
October 12, 2006
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Frederick

H.V. used to have kids camps, car cruises, outdoor beach parties with entertainment, Mt. bike races, torch light parades, etc. They even had a recreaction dept. with a full time staff. There is only one way the resort can go. Hopefully the "real" new owner is coming soon. Why don't we put together a buying group ourselves.
Leo
October 12, 2006
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
281 posts
Frederick,

I instructed at HV from 1996 through about 2001. I would say that it was at first a gradual decline, and then accelerated tremendously in the last 3 years or so. But I digress, as we are going to keep this thread positive!

In, say, 97-98, I actually taught Mr. Kettler's (the patriarch) daughter Claire almost every weekend in private lessons. They were at the resort frequently, and I can honestly say were great people.

Back then, at probably the pinnacle, the Cabe family had the ski school and there were not only great instructors working for them, but they also organized nastar races, bump contests, etc. Growing up skiing at HV, the weekend racecamp was probably my favorite thing...this is something they still try to do.

Maybe it was just one of those lucky timing things, but I remember there being a disproportionate number of truly good skiers in the mid and late 90s, and then even when I was a little older and appreciated it (or was legally allowed to participate), as recently as 2000-01, there was a good social/après ski scene as well.
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BushwackerinPA
October 12, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Quote:

Frederick,

I instructed at HV from 1996 through about 2001. I would say that it was at first a gradual decline, and then accelerated tremendously in the last 3 years or so. But I digress, as we are going to keep this thread positive!

In, say, 97-98, I actually taught Mr. Kettler's (the patriarch) daughter Claire almost every weekend in private lessons. They were at the resort frequently, and I can honestly say were great people.

Back then, at probably the pinnacle, the Cabe family had the ski school and there were not only great instructors working for them, but they also organized nastar races, bump contests, etc. Growing up skiing at HV, the weekend racecamp was probably my favorite thing...this is something they still try to do.

Maybe it was just one of those lucky timing things, but I remember there being a disproportionate number of truly good skiers in the mid and late 90s, and then even when I was a little older and appreciated it (or was legally allowed to participate), as recently as 2000-01, there was a good social/après ski scene as well.




as for the weekend race camp they are still going on this year. With some very good and dedicated instructor minus well me this year. The Hidden Valley Race club is alive and strong "pistenflegers" is what we call our selves literally meaning slope flyers in austrain. Also their is very talent young man running slopestyle competions there. Expect a freestyle program this year frim mike ambrocik.

For anyone posting or lurking and wanting to become a part of ski school the first meeting will be October 21st in the main lodge. I will be there to say goodbye to all my friends.

As for the kettlers themselves clair(who has posted on here under a very poor alias) wants what you guys all want trust me. She was a closer friend of mine at one piont in time, but CMU keeps her pretty busy now a days. Clarence is one of the nicest guys i have meet and truly made a place where many people like to live and play. He himself said many times that he wished he could of ran the place better.

I will miss Hidden Valley, I hope you guys who are sticking around get to see back to its glory days. With out this little resort I am simply not the person I am today. that for sure is a postive thing.
gizmosnow
October 12, 2006
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Several years ago, my eldest daughter chose to have her wedding at HV. (By the way, at that time, a hv wedding was actually more expensive than at 7S and well worth the extra). It was a tremendouse 'venue' and we had guests from as far away as vermont to florida. It was, literally, a weekend-long affair and every guest 'demanded' to my youngest that she, someday, have her wedding at hv as well so they would have an excuse to return. Unfortunately, that is no longer likely to happen. When we first began planning the wedding we needed to book almost 2 years in advance or risk losing the day and hv had something like 7 wedding/event planners. By the time the wedding took place, they had dwindled to about 2 event planners and, of course, now there are none. Out of town family and friends still ask/boast about their wonderful wedding-weekend at hv and are envious that we have a place there to go regularly. I am sad to have to tell them what hv has become- have even found myself coming up with excuses to avoid inviting people up so they can remember hv as it was.
JCHobbes
October 12, 2006
Member since 09/12/2005 🔗
94 posts
One of my favorite things about HV is the short lift lines and limited amount of people on the slopes. And I know that contributes to the resort not being profitable, but it's a plus. 7S seems so concerned about getting the most people packed onto that mountain as possible that they fail to give too much room for those people to go.

Another great thing is the North Summit. You can park in the upper lot for free, carry your skis no more than 50 yards, and you're on the mountain (and the best part of the mountain if you ask me..)

I will be skiing at 7Springs this year, mostly because the fact that HV didn't have season pass information up early enough. A few capital improvements and passes being made available earlier could win me back for next season.
mountainman
October 12, 2006
Member since 04/17/2006 🔗
7 posts
One of the truly wonderful activities at Hidden Valley is the skiing program for individuals with disabilities conducted by Three Rivers Adaptive Sports (TRAS). The relatively small size and lack of crowds at Hidden Valley makes it an ideal location for this tremendous resource for the disability community of Western Pennsylvania.
snosnugums
October 12, 2006
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
It has been a while since I posted, I too heard the rumor about this guy purchasing the resort. Too bad we lost 50 pages of wisdom. But this is supposed to be positive and I will related several positive experiences:
1) My first Thanksgiving after purchasing my condo (which was very cheap), it snowed 6 inches from Thanksgiving night into Friday. It was awesome walking around with my dog on the lighted slopes with the snow streaming down. The next day I put my skis on and skied a few hundred feet down the slope and I thought how great it was to have a slope side condo. The next night they started making snow and it even made me feel better.
2) One New Years not long after Dundees Restuarant first opened, my wife and I had New Years dinner there. We had a great meal and then went to the bar and drank free champagne until midnight. We stayed there until 2 AM and had a great time.
3) My wife and I take long walks on the walking paths and throughout all of the HV subdivisions. I love the ponds behind Alpine Woods. The did a great job laying out the homes and preserved many wooded areas.
4) One very hot summer weekend (a rarity at HV), my wife and I spent many hours in the pool. It is always nice to get away from the big city heat and find out how much cooler it is at HV. One evening, the temperature dropped from 91 at the Bedford exit on the Turnpike to 69 by the time we arrived at HV. It was refreshing.
5) I believe it was 2 winters ago when we had a warm spell during the first two weeks of January. On the MLK weekend we received about 10" of snow and the slope under the lifts(can't remember the slope name) to the right of Imperial was covered with fresh powder. I got the first run on that slope and I felt like I was floating in the powder.
6) The many nights of lake effect snow, sitting by a roaring fire in my condo.

If only Resort management would understand what potential they are sitting on.
BushwackerinPA
October 12, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Quote:

One of the truly wonderful activities at Hidden Valley is the skiing program for individuals with disabilities conducted by Three Rivers Adaptive Sports (TRAS). The relatively small size and lack of crowds at Hidden Valley makes it an ideal location for this tremendous resource for the disability community of Western Pennsylvania.





I have to know you mountain man, are you a member of tras too?
Leo
October 13, 2006
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
281 posts
I actually did some instructing years ago with Special Olympics children at HV...not sure if it was related to TRAS. But not only did it seem that the kids had a great time, I learned a lot my self. It was a great experience. And clearly HV was a great place to do it, as mountainman said b/c of crowds and terrain.

HV should continue to focus on the family friendly resort thing while still considering additinoal slope expansion and resort upgrades.
pamurchu
October 13, 2006
Member since 10/11/2006 🔗
26 posts
I love this thread. We have owned at Hidden Valley since 1989. My son grew up here. Every winter, Winter Carnival was the first weekend in February, Spring Carnival the first weekend in March...each with loads of activities for both kids and adults. Remember torchlight parades? My husband snuck onto the end of one of them and skied down last, fulfilling a life long dream! Remember when Escapades was an adult disco with the "Dark Shark" spinning tunes---dance contests, blinking lights, good friends, and fun? They had Jazz festivals here-I remember seeing Walt Harper and other groups while sitting on the slopes with a pitcher of beer. And the bike races! Bikers came from everywhere and raced the entire weekend through the trails in the woods, many of which, sadly, are not there anymore. And before Escapades, Club Soda-a teenage nightclub. The sign still hangs in the game room. The summer camps-oh my. Many years my son attended three or four of them-Nature Adventure Camp, Sports Camp, Tennis Camp. Oh yes, the Tennis Camps, run by Fritz Schunk, were first rate. He was my neighbor in the Highlands, and what a wonderful staff he had. His camps are now over at Seven Springs. I remember when they had a Civil War Encampment down by the lake. My son practically lived with the soldiers while they were there. And WTAE brought in local celebrities to race mini-cars around the ski parking lot. The station did remotes from here all weekend. We kept seeing ourselves on TV over and over again! And they had a Parrothead party down by the lake, which turned us into lifelong Jimmy Buffett fans. I even remember seeing fireworks one fourth of July. They set them off over Lakes George and Helen. On New Years Eve, for a fee, you could drop your kids off at the Sports Club, and they had the times of their life at their own party there. OK-I will stop now as you are probably bored enough with these reminiscences. But if I think of any more, get ready, because I am going to post again. I love Hidden Valley!
Frederick
October 16, 2006
Member since 07/26/2006 🔗
79 posts
Pamurchu,

Thanks for the history. My wife and I read the post and were excited to read the resort had some glory days. This positive outlook increased our thought process on buying a place at HV.
gizmosnow
October 16, 2006
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Just happened to notice the newest member is HiddenValleyFan.
HiddenValleyFan --- Can I encourage & invite you to post some positive feedback re: HV here !!!
Frederick
October 17, 2006
Member since 07/26/2006 🔗
79 posts
I saw a wedding taking place this weekend. I guess HV is still honoring scheduled weddings. I am not sure why they don't continue to do this type of buisness and open the hotel for wedding guests?
HiddenValleyFan
October 18, 2006
Member since 10/16/2006 🔗
1 posts
gizmosnow - Thanks for the invite.
Yes - just joined the forum here. We bought a condo in August here at Hidden Valley and could not be more excited about the potential opportunity that lies ahead. We are from the Pittsburgh area and try to spend every possible weekend we can at the resort. We bought seasons ski passes and we are ready to go. It is silly to think this place will not turn around. The potential is huge.
Glad to be a new member !
snosnugums
October 18, 2006
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Welcome Hidden Valley Fan - since you are new you missed the 50 pages of posts (mostly negative) that were removed from the website by the web master. We too have tried to maintain the positive outlook that you have. Where did you buy a condo? Perhaps we can all get together and have cocktail one night and talk Hidden Valley. The resort real estate is very well thought out and the ski area is fun, but not challenging. Yes the place has enormous potential and the surrounding area has some great things to do and see. Suggestions:
The Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown (top notch live theater). Eat at the Green Gables Restuarant.
Seven Springs Festivals
The Italian Oven for pizza.
JP's Restuarant in Somerseet (excellent food at a reasonable price)
Stone Villa Winery(excellent wines)
Laurel Hill State Park lake and hiking trails
Ohiopyle State Park for rugged beauty
Side trips to Deep Creek Lake and Wisp Ski Resort
Nemacolon Woods Resort art collection

....and many more. Enjoy
casey
October 19, 2006
Member since 11/21/2005 🔗
37 posts
Hidden valley fan
This is our second year and we just love it here too. We try to come every weekend....it's like a mini vacation. Its great to hear someone be so positive. Maybe we will meet on the slopes. Welcome
snosnugums
October 19, 2006
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
I am going into my 4th year and my wife and I do enjoy our time spent at Hidden Valley. We have considered upgrading to a larger house in fact. I am hoping that the ski season has an early start similar to last year when I skied 7Springs the day after Thanksgiving and Hidden Valley and Wisp the first weekend in December. These were the best early season conditions that I have ever experienced in this area. Of course the weather changed and January was a bust. I hope that Hidden Valley can afford enough electricity for snowmaking to make a good base.
See you at Glaciers Pub.
jb714
October 20, 2006
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
I learned to ski at HV, in the '77-'78 timeframe - no ski school for me, just tagged along with some high-school/college buddies who were already accomplished skiers. In those days if we were 'going skiing' we meant we were going to HV - we avoided 7 Springs like the plague. HV had sort of a cool, laid-back kind of feeling (sort of like Canaan Valley nowadays, kinda/sorta), whereas as 7 Springs felt very 'disco-ish' at the time.

If we get a few decent dumps this year I'd like to take my daughters (ages 14 and 11) to HV - I want them to experience something like I did when I was younger. I want them to understand that skiing is not just detachable 6-packs and Superpipes the length of a football field.

Don't get me wrong, I love 7 Springs (now, that is) and I bought 3 seasons passes there for this season - but a change of pace is nice once in awhile, too.
shawnwalt
October 21, 2006
Member since 04/17/2006 🔗
2 posts
I purchased a condo in the highlands last January. I've lived in Florida since 1985 but grew up in pittsburgh and spent many winters skiing at HV. We were looking for a mountain condo to get away from the heat in the summer and to get on the slopes in the winter. After looking in the Carolinas and other closer areas to Florida, we kept coming back to HV. There is a certain charm and feel at HV that is truly unique. The natural beauty of the resort and surrounding Laurel Highlands is, in my opinion, as good as it gets. This beauty is a well kept secret as evidenced by any first time visitors suprise and awe of the area(much like anyone's first time visit to Pittsburgh)

I bought my unit knowing that the resort was in decline, but also knowing that it was only a matter of time before someone realized it's potential and made the minimal improvements needed to bring it back to where it once was. Although I haven't participated in it, I have actively followed this thread and have found it to be the best source of info on the HV sale saga. Thanks for the forum and Bring on the snow!!
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