If an investor were able to put any more money into the resort, snowmaking on such trails as Dream Highway, Innsbruck, Laurel RUn, Hegans Cut etc, it would make Laurel from a terrain perspective every bit as good if not better than Seven SPrings. THe trails at Laurel are longer, have a more consisent pitch, bigger vertical drop, and more fun than any of the trails at Seven Springs. But snowmaking on 1.5 mile Innsbruck, and on windy dream highway can't be cheap. We all lose in this one.
Laurel Mountain State Park Manager Doug Finger, whose supervisory responsibilities include Laurel Mountain Ski Area, said he doesn't believe the state-owned ski area will operate this season.
Finger said the amount of money it would take to open the ski area, estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, "would be better spent on upgrades beginning next spring."
He said he will be meeting soon with representatives of the Laurel Mountain Ski Co., the concessionaire that re-opened and greatly improved the area in December 1999 after it had been closed for 10 years.
HomeSpan Financial Group of Petersburg, Va., a diversified real estate, mortgage and financial services company, announced Nov. 5 that it would acquire the ski company's interest in the area and operate it this season.
But HomeSpan President John Edward Jones died Nov. 14 of a brain aneurysm and the company's plans for the ski area apparently have been on hold. HomeSpan officials couldn't be reached for comment.
Finger said the state and Somerset Trust, the ski company's largest creditor, "have taken steps to ensure" that the two-story 14,500 square foot lodge and other buildings have electricity and heat.
Finger said the state is providing daily security "and trespassers will not be tolerated."
Part of me regrets Laurel is (most likely) closed for the season -- I actually paid to ski there a few times last year, even though I had a Seven Springs season pass.
The other part of me is the telemarker with climbing skins -- it's not really closed, just the lodge. :-)
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