Hidden Valley - A new beginning!
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The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 1, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Let this or some other thread be the place we post good news about the new Hidden Valley now that it has been reported that the "closing has happened and Buncher owns the place"!!!! Announcements of change, actual changes and activities seen first hand, those there at HV please keep the rest of you fellow DCSkiers informed.
The Colonel
gizmosnow
September 2, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Note: Have not personally heard confirmation of closing.

However, I did note first small sign of progress. As you enter HV you will notice a ditch has been dug across Craighead from the Conference Center to bldg occupied by NW Realty and, recently HV Resorts/Scanlon.

For YEARS the bathrooms in the NW bldg have been out of order - apparently due to a broken sewer pipe.

The sewer line has finally been repaired and people are again peeing in the NW bldg.

I assume this will become the Buncher HQ, at least initially, and this is a positive sign that closing is eminent if it has not yet occurred
drats
September 3, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
19 posts
I was wondering what the ditch was. Saw no other signs of change but, after all, it was a holiday weekend. I bought every local newspaper and saw no mention of the closing. Would think they would do a press release.

I was happy to see so many folks there, especially around the lakes.

The dumpsters were overflowing.....looks awful
drats
September 3, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
19 posts
One other thing....the security guard I saw was driving around in a beat up old Lumina with a red globe light on the roof. Wonder where the jeep was??
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gizmosnow
September 3, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
In any case, I have since heard from several sources, including from the homeowners association, that the closing did occurr at about 11:45pm on Friday night --- too late, supposedly, to get out a press release for the weekend. Most people I spoke with are expecting to see it hit the papers tomorrow or Wednesday.
Straight Shot
September 3, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
The security guard in the jeep was probably off duty. I've met a few of those guys and they are pretty nice. Sometimes the one is driving around in his Corsica because while one is in the new-er Jeep Liberty, the other has to drive their own car around because the old Jeep Cherokee has been sitting down by the lakes broken down since winter.
snosnugums
September 3, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
In my travels around the resort, a couple of signs for change are present:
- the manager of Mulligans says he works for Buncher and that Scanlan had cleaned out his office.
- Surveyors stakes are present between the lifts serving the Imperial slope. I assume that this is where the new lift will soon be built. We can say good bye to the express duo's.

A consultant from Vermont has been hired to run the ski area and architect Jack Johnson has been hired to redesign the resort facilities.

All I can say is " Yeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaah!"
Straight Shot
September 3, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Are the surveyor's stakes going all the way up the lift and at the top or are they just down at the bottom?
snosnugums
September 3, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
I did not make to the bottom of the lifts/slope, I saw 3 or 4 stakes closer to the top of the slope. Based on my knowledge of surveying these stakes appeared to be control stakes. One stake was marked as a GPS control stake meaning they may be using satelites to etablished control reference. Thus it appears that a more detailed survey is happening. This usually means that they are obtaining a topographic survey to prepare construction documents....hopefully for a new lift.
I would like to suggest that once the 2 lifts are replaced with one, this would open up the area for a active slope. Hopefully, they'll add snow making. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of this slope. Note that all HV slopes are named after car models.
Straight Shot
September 3, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
That slope was named Road Runner. It was active, but, the groomers and the maintenance ran up it with the snowmobiles and snowcats. It was really rare to get a run on it when it was actually open, but you could get on it a lot closed if you really wanted. I've never been on the end of surveying to know what all you just said, just the end of using the machines to lower or raise the ground level to get it where it needs to be.

For putting in the lift, I can't imagine it would take all too long. It would initially take long to take down the current ones, but once you had a clean slate to work with, digging the holes and pouring the concrete for the poles should take barely any time. The only thing that should take any tiem at all is the stations at the top and bottom of the slope.
drats
September 4, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
19 posts
The guard was in a Corsica, not a Lumina. All this sounds great. Excuse my scepticism, but after so much disappointment, I have a hard time believing it's finally a "done deal". Everything I've read supports the idea that HV is on the way back!!
Big Dawg
September 4, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
7 posts
I just read a press release on marketwatch.com It's official Buncher says their moving full steam ahead. Man thats exciting
Check out http://www.MyHiddenValleyResort.com
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 4, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Could you provide a link to the press release. I could not find it on marketwatch.com.

New website the day after they close on the place. That IS exciting.
Edgar3
September 4, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
The news of the sale has apparently hit the wire and is on multiple web sites. Interesting things are:
- Rumored sale price was $12.5M
- A multiyear master plan for HV and adjacent property will be forthcoming by mid october
- New Quad for this season!
- Expanded snow making and grooming equipment for this season!
- Renovation of the Lodge for this season!
- New retail and dining options for this season!

http://www.kxxv.com/global/story.asp?s=7022964
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070904/netu054.html?.v=21

And yes, check out that new web site with better pictures than anything we have seen before. Seems like things are exactly on target with an intention to "return Hidden Valley to it's former glory".
Big Dawg
September 4, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
7 posts
snowsmith
The links Edgar3 has listed say exactly the same thing that I read on marketwatch.com
SkiBoarder
September 4, 2007
Member since 05/22/2006 🔗
44 posts
Awesome!!! That just gave me a w. . . warm, fuzzy feeling. Definitely a nice website and new beginning. Calls for a celebration at Mulligan's Friday night.
rdytooski
September 4, 2007
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
The new My HV alerts is now running on the new site!!!!
Lets show our support and get signed up
Straight Shot
September 4, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
I actualy just met Bill Doring the other day and he seems like a pretty nice guy. Even before reading all this, I got the impression that he was extremely excited about HV and getting things rolling. Can't wait to see things up close and personal.

Also, I wonder which all slopes are going to get new and more snowmaking systems and what grooming equipment will be added. I would guess Continental, Rambler, Riviera, Firebird (Cabe's Run), Thunderbird, Cobra, Imperial on the front side. If possible on the summit side, Barracuda (Nose Dive), Comet (Straight Shot), Wrangler (Angel's Elbow), and possibly the slopes that don't have any snowmaking at all: Outback and Charger. If gromming equipment, will they buy a Pipe-dragon to go with a new Snowcat so that they pull in the younger crowd too with better improved park features. I know everything that was behind the previous park set-ups and the main constraint was the person in charge of ski patrol and not wanting a park at all, which limited all building possibilities. Even this past season was held back majorly by weather and the snow blown from the portable guns blew straight into the trees and barly anything landed on the slope. I hope they have something in the works for that area on the hill as well.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 4, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
This is all very exciting after all of the BS we've been through over the past few years.
I have heard that the Bunchers are exploring the expansion of the ski area into the 'Outback' area for sometime in the near future ( 2- 3 years out). I have always wondered what the trail here would look like so this past weekend I rode my mountain bike over the 'Charger' slope which pass above the tubing hill. I thought I could hike up from the top of this truncated slope to the top of the hill to see what kind of terrain and vertical we would get out of this part of the mountain. Well I must say this was a mistake from a hiking stand point. I thought I could just hike through the woods to the top of the hill while assessing the terrain and vertical. There was so much logging debris that it was an extremely difficult hike. Since I was carrying my mountain bike it only made it more difficult. After 45 minutes of stepping through waste high ferns, briars, broken branches, stumps, and hidden rocks I was literally exhausted and my legs were covered with bleeding scratches...ouch! Never the less I continued on my quest and despite my circuitous route I did confirm to myself that this appears to be the most promissing terrain on the mountain with the most potential vertical drop. In other words this would be the best skiing terrain on the mountain. So I very much look forward to that day when the logging debris disappears and the new slopes appear.
gizmosnow
September 4, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
In addition to all else, Bill Doring is a HV homeowner. If I remember correctly, at the Homeowners mtg he indicated he has owned property at HV for 13 years--- has personally seen the best and the worst of HV!

Also, at the homeowners mtg, it was suggested that they hope to begin clearing of the outback slope area in the near-term with the slopes to open within 1-2 seasons after this comming season.
snosnugums
September 4, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Road runner - OK - that the name of the slope under the 2 double lifts. I have skied this one when it had 12" of powder on it and no tracks. But I would be willing to sacrifice those rare oppurtunities for snow making on Road Runner. This would give us 3 decent blue runs from this one lift. It could still remain ungroomed after a snow fall or it could even become the mogul run.
If they clear the Outback slopes, those willing to hike up from the current terminous of the Charger slope could ski some fresh powder.
Straight Shot
September 5, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Road Runner has been quite a good amount of times. The best I have ever skied it was in jst ove 2 ft of fresh pow during a midweek night. Other than that, I will ski it until rocks are showing, and after that I will just keep skiing it, but more carefully. One time about 2 seasons ago we actually had what you would call good moguls at HV.

As for the Outback slopes, if they are cut and you are thinking of hiking up them, I sure hope you like taking a long hard hike. Last winter when we would be closed from the weather or we happened to end up down at Dundees whenever tubing had been closed for the night, myself and some others would hike up the tubing hill to go sledding for some extra fun. Well, when you get to the top of the tubing hill, you are only at the bottom of Charger, so imagine that, plus then hiking up the equivalent to Imperial, which I have also done. Your best bet is to hope that the slopes come out somewhere near the road by the Summit tennis courts or golf course entrance, hike over form there and go down. The good thing after getting down though is the connecting trail from the sleigh rides to get to the Summit quad.

So if you're going to do that, uhh...good luck!
Edgar3
September 5, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
One of the articles states that a new quad will be in operation for this season, while most of the acticles fail to mention thisand just talk about increased snow making ang grooming.

Does anyone have any insight if current plan is that the quad will be in place this season? There was talk of the flags spotted, but timing is such that things would have to happen quickly for this to be the case.
hordnip
September 5, 2007
Member since 09/5/2007 🔗
1 posts
I'm a new owner at HV and I thank you all for keeping me informed. Nothing but great times ahead
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Straight Shot
September 5, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Which article talks about a new quad. I have obviously read about it on here ffrom other members. It doesn't say anything about it on the new HV website though. I will be up there probably the weekend after this one to do some more work for a homeowner and will go snooping around when I am done to see if anything looks obvious. Hopefully somebody has something better util then.
Scott - DCSki Editor
September 5, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Although I have heard discussions of a new quad, I didn't mention it in DCSki's news story covering the sale because the Buncher Group hasn't made any firm announcements yet. They plan to detail their mid-term plan for Hidden Valley in mid-October, and I'll share those details when they're confirmed.
drats
September 5, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
19 posts
Something I read that concerns me, as a homeowner, is the mention that there is room for 1800 new units at HV. Hmmmmmm.....where will they put them?? I hate to see more tree removal and construction on the mountain
WPABoarder
September 5, 2007
Member since 01/20/2006 🔗
22 posts
My recollection is that the Master Plan indicates that the resort was approved for 3,000 residential units back in the early 90's. I beleive the large display model shows the 3,000 units. I don't recall it being anymore dense than what has already been built out.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 5, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
New Quad at HV?? There was talk of such for this season much earlier in the summer. But, I would anticipate taht the delayed closing on the deal probably rules out a new lift until next year at the earliest!!
The Colonel \:\)
rdytooski
September 7, 2007
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
Has anyone seen if road repair has started or any other work besides the ditch to the old real estate office?
nic223
September 7, 2007
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
No road work yet.
gizmosnow
September 9, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
While the roadwork did not start 'instantly' I think Buncher deserves a little bit of latitude here especially given the delayed and uncertain timeframe of the closing and considering how difficult it is to schedule asphalters at this time of the year in general.

However, when down at Mulligans I heard that the new resort mgr (from VT) is on premises, (JS has cleared out his desk),and they have already begun tearing out the inside of the ski lodge.

All indications are that they are moving ahead as quickly as realisticly possible.
rdytooski
September 9, 2007
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
All is great news!! nothing negative meant by has the road been started, more so what has started

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jeffo4
September 10, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Season passes are avalible on 9-17 $375 and discounts for additional family members
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 10, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
$375 -whoa! Seven Springs prices prior to June 2 were only $359. I'm not going to pay $375 to ski at Hidden Valley when I can pay $359 to ski at Seven Springs.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 10, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
You can not pay $359 for a pass at 7Springs if the offer expired last June. What is the current price for a 7Springs season pass?
Apples to Apples!
The Colonel \:\)
Scott - DCSki Editor
September 10, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Seven Springs prices for an individual pass are $459 now through September 15, and $559 after.

Hidden Valley prices are $375 from now through November 4, and $450 after. If you didn't already buy a pass at Seven Springs prior to June 2, the comparison is moot. Given that Hidden Valley is offering a discount of 20-30% or so over the next few months compared to Seven Springs, one would imagine they would have offered a similar discount if they were selling passes prior to June. (Passes might have been around $299 or less, I'm guessing.)
jimmy
September 10, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Short honeymoon , RogerZ, u made plans for yours yet??
Straight Shot
September 10, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
I heard lately from a friend currently working at the resort that Dundees will be transformed into a Johnny Harbor's Brewhouse. I am not sure if that is the complete name and spelling, but that is what I have been told. They are owned by Boston Culinary, who, apparently got signed back for concessions at HV. I have not heard of what is to come yet though for the other restuarants. As for Ski North, I heard from another source that Center Ski out of Monroeville will be taking over ski and board sales on the mtn. If anyone else doesn't see much this week up at HV, I will be going up sometime in the afternoon on friday and will be working over the weekend.
snosnugums
September 10, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Since they did not offer a pass untill now, what they would have offered for a pass for back in June is purely speculation. Since we never had the oppurtunity to buy a pass back then, it is a moot point. They also don't have 2 express 6 packs, an equivalent snow making system, they have less vertical and less terrain. Note however that the $375 included unlimited skiing and snow tubing. For me, I really don't give a hoot about tubing, I'm a skier. However, this may be attractive to some families.
Now I realize they have big plans for the resort and we should applaud the proposed improvements, but let's face it, at this point it is still a broken down ski resort. I want to support them, I'm estatic that they have a sound plan to turn the place around, but quite frankly, back in May, when most ski resort have been selling their pass for two months, I bought a Seven Springs pass for $359. I like to ski and I frankly did not think the place would open for skiing with the old ownership in place. I know more than a few people who proceeded in the same fashion. Some of the folks said if the HV pass was cheap enough they would also buy an HV pass. But at this price I simply cannot afford to buy passess for my family for 2 resorts.Since this is their first offering of the year, the price and related discounts should have taken that into account.
I wish them luck and hope to return next year if they offer a season pass that is priced in relation to what is offered. If they improve the place as they have indicated I am willing to pay for the improvements. I don't expect the pass to be $250 anymore.
nic223
September 11, 2007
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Snowsmith

I really think you should consider moving to 7 Springs.
drats
September 11, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
19 posts
I think the name of the restaurant is John Harvard's Brewhouse. That would be nice since they make different kinds of beer on the premises. Food is ok but after a few beers tastes better......

I was kinda surprised their ski passes were so high considering the GREAT deal they offered at the golf course...$25/round.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 11, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Thank you Nick - Perhaps I did not articulate my opinion properly. What I was trying to imply was that Seven Springs initial pass offering was $359 which is less than the initial pass offering at Hidden Valley ($375). Now, Nic, if you could pay less to ski Seven Springs given what they have to offer compared to Hidden Valley, you mean to tell me you would chose HV? I guess I was a little surprised by the price since I had been told by a well informed source that the season passes would be very comparable to last year. This was supposedly being done since the offering of season passes was being done at such a late time of the year.
I agree with the other assessment by Snowsnug that Seven Springs has more to offer than HV. However, I certainly want to support the new owners, after all I do own real estate at HV. I am estatic that we have new owners with a sound plan. However, given the current condition of the resort and what is offered this year in comparison to Seven Springs, I think the season passes could have been a little cheaper. The pass includes snow tubing, but I frankly won't use the snow tubing facility thus I would have preferred it to be offered separately. And I won't be moving to Seven Springs.
WPABoarder
September 11, 2007
Member since 01/20/2006 🔗
22 posts
I noticed on the web site that each season pass holder in addition to tubing also are to be given a daily ski & tubing session passes. That has value for me when my kids want to bring friends. If I read it right, my kids will even get free passes.

With respect to the $359 Early Seven Springs rate ($459 now) vs the $375 Hidden Valley rate with the adds, I will definately stay at Hidden Valley. I guess it comes down to where you are comfortable.
JimT
September 11, 2007
Member since 08/25/2007 🔗
11 posts
One other kicker to keep in mind, Hidden Valley Foundation members get a 10% discount off the current rates bringing adult rates to $337 (which is less than 7Springs early season rate). All said and done, I think Buncher has done the right thing. Anyone can slash prices and bring down the marketplace. That strategy feels good for a while but eventually the profits can't support the operations and we end up with what we have today..a resort close to death. Offering a competitive rate plus free add-ons is a way to sustain and more importantly grow the resort over the long haul. They obviously know how to 'Run a Business" versus use its patrons to sell real estate at any cost to the resort, people, or environment. Bravo to our new friends at Buncher. Can't wait to see it all come together.
casey
September 12, 2007
Member since 11/21/2005 🔗
37 posts
WELL SAID!!!!!!
drats
September 13, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
19 posts
Wish there was a more visible indication of their progress. I was at HV last nite and saw nothing to indicate any work being done on the slopes.
Domino
September 13, 2007
Member since 10/17/2006 🔗
6 posts
I tried to call the group sales office yeterday to confirm the 10% discount for HV Foundation members for season passes and was told to leave my name and number. The new website does not mention the amount. Has anyone confirmed the amount of the discount w/ Buncher @ 10%?
JimT
September 13, 2007
Member since 08/25/2007 🔗
11 posts
I was told by Lindsay at the Group sales office at HV.
SkiBoarder
September 13, 2007
Member since 05/22/2006 🔗
44 posts
I was informed of the same from Sarah in the sales office. She said more info on Monday, Sept 17.
Domino
September 14, 2007
Member since 10/17/2006 🔗
6 posts
Thanks. I was just too impatient to wait for a return call. Knew the DCSki regulars would have the answer.
Prospector
September 15, 2007
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
Just heard this morning from a Northwood Realty sales associate friend of ours that Buncher has some detailed plans available for owners to freely view at the sales office opposite the resort conference center. This sales associate was very excited/pleased with the plans. I haven't gotten there yet to pass along any details.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 16, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Prospector,
Looking forward to learning what is going to happen, both near and long term, after you view Buncher's plans.
And WELCOME to DCSki!
The Colonel \:\)
Prospector
September 16, 2007
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
Saw the Buncher plans this morning ....just 2 large drawings out in the lobby of Northwood Realty's office ....a plan/map view and an architect's rendering of the ski lodge area only. The plans are by Jack Johnson Company. They show the Clock Tower building staying (but modified) and 3 buildings (A, B, C) around it that are reported as probably hotel-like structures. They look great architecturally (go to http://www.jackjohnson.com for a feeling of hopefully what we are in for)!

The proposed building to the right of the Clock Tower building (that would replace the cafeteria/groups building) has a pool behind it. There are several formal skier drop off areas in the parking lots (which I was told would be paved for this season along with Parke Drive and Lake Road). They show access to parking via a new entrance off Lake Road.

Two new lifts are shown in the main ski area (I interpret to replace the existing triple chair and the 2 double chairs to its left). Also, a new beginners lift is shown.

I was hoping to see more details, but this stuff gets you excited about what is to come.
Straight Shot
September 16, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
I was just up working yesteday when a tractor-trailer came up Gardner hauling a low-boy trailer with a Hitachi excavator on it. It parked up top of the triples and dropped off the machine there. The excavator is only about a 115 or 135 size, something around that size and has a claw attachment on the bucket, so I'm guessing they are going to use that to start putting in new and more snowmaking pipes in. I also went walking around up top the doubles on Imperial and Cobra. The have elevation markers marked in blue up the middle of RoadRunner and up the sides of Roadrunner they have pink markers which I'm guessing would be electrical and possibly snowmaking. The same is up the sides and middle of Cobra and Imperial. There was one orange marker at the top of Cobra which I couldn't identify any of the markings.

Anyone else got any other input from up there from snooping around?

And oh, I'll have to stop back up there next weekend when I'm working again to check out those plans. Sounds great so far from what you were saying Prospector.
snosnugums
September 17, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
I too did some snooping around this weekend. I walked around the ski lodge and noticed that they were ripping up the old decrepit carperting. I also noticed that the ceiling had caved in at several locations from the leaking roof. The roof is the worst roof I have ever seen. I was told that the painters were starting on Tuesday staining the exterior and the roofers would be starting soon after. However, the renderings show most of these buildings being torn down. Why bother fixing up these decrepit dumps when you have these fantastic new building proposed.
Mulligans has been gutted and will be rebuilt into a brew pub I have told. They also plan on completely rebuilding the golf club house.
I too viewed the Jack Johnson renderings in the Northwood Realty office. I was told that the new building to the left of the lodge and over looking the lake, would be a small hotel.

It looks as though they are attacking the previous problems on all fronts. I think October will be a busy month.

My previous somewhat negative comments on the cost of the ski pass may have been off the mark. These folks are serious about improving Hidden Valley. And we should support these folks.
drats
September 17, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
19 posts
I was up there Friday afternoon and they have cleaned the brush from around the lakes and the embankment between the slopes and the lakes. It's the first time in 15 years I've ever seen this done. Before, this area was used as part of the mountain biking trail and also had a fitness trail. The fitness stations rotted away and the bike/cross country trail became overgrown with weeds. It looks much nicer. Great to see something tangible happening.
Straight Shot
September 19, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
I just got word from a friend that mroe heavy machinery is up on the slopes and some guys are working. Also, they have cleaned ou the inventory of old skis from the rental shop, stated tearing apart the lodge, and are working on the roof.

For anyone looking to try and get a job for the winter there, they will be holding a job fair this weekend for BCG foods if you would like to try and work in any of the restaurants, cafeteria, etc..

I'll be up there in 2 days to do some more homework and if I remember to take my camera I will try and take pictures of what all is going on.
Straight Shot
September 19, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Oh I also forgot, they apparently made a little bit of snow this past weekend on Imperial as I was told by a homeowner. Not sure why or how much, but they did from what I was just told.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 19, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
After visiting this past weekend and hearing about all of the improvements, I have with drawn my complaint about the season pass price. These guys are going to make some serious improvements and we are going to have to pay for them. That is the only negative that I see - everything is going to cost more money. The cheap real estate that we bought is no longer going to be cheap, season passes are no longer going to be $250, etc.
But I believe the Buncher Group is doing it right. Jack Johnson is a first class resort architect. They have hired a company ( does anybody know who they are??) from Vermont to manage the ski area since they had limited or no experience do this. They are completely gutting Dundees and I am told a brew pub is going in there. The ski lodge will be rebuilt; new lifts will be installed!! What more could we ask for. We are living through the Renaisance!
Edgar3
September 19, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
The new operations mgr is from Smugglers Notch.

Yes, I hear the intent is on bringing the resort up to a 4 or 5 star level and they underand that basically they are going to need to rebuild most everything to get there.

Although cheap season passes were good, we all know where that has left the resort. Frankly I don't see any choice but to go higher end to secure a better future for the place. They will never have the size to compete with 7S in the middle market. What the mid atlantic area does not have is an equivalent of
a Beaver Creek or Deer Valley.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 19, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
I can not imagine Hidden Valley coming close to a mid-Atlantic "Deer Valley". Just not enough verticle to work with, or potential to develop new terrain. The closest I know of the Deer Valley in the midAtlantic is Wintergreen.
The Colonel \:\)
Edgar3
September 19, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Yes, I was thinking of Wintergreen when I wrote the post as having some of the attributes. Obviously no mid-atlantic resort can have the vertical or scale to compete with the western resorts, but there are certain factors that set resorts like Deer Valley or Beaver Creek apart from the multitude of other western resorts of similar stats. It is the atmosphere of quality and service, which in turn leads to people wanting to spend $$$ for 2nd homes in these resorts.

The skiing will always be better in the west, but considering the concentration of population and wealth in the midatlantic, my point is that there is definitely a market for a resort within a few hours drive with these attributes.
snosnugums
September 19, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Hidden Valley is no Deer Valley and never will be. Wintergreen is a better comparison. Actually, before I bought real estate at Hidden Valley, I checked out Wintergreen. It is a beautiful resort with great facilities. However, I thought it was too far south to have consistly good ski conditions. We stumbled upon Hidden Valley and was amazed at how cheap the real estate was. This was 8 years ago and at that time the resort had not deteriorated to what it is now. Since HV is in the Pittsburgh market where real estate is cheaper than the Balto/Wash area, we were intrigued by what we considered under valued real estate at that time. Four years later we bought a place. In the 3-4 years from the time we first visited to the time we bought there was little appreciation. It has only been since 2003 that there has been a significant increase in the real estate values. With the exception of Stonewood, a development of large single homes, and some of the nicer town homes in Southridge and Westridge, most of the homes are not what you would call 'luxury' homes and have 80's era deficiencies such as small closets and bathrooms. Perhaps the new homes built by Buncher will be more luxurious.
jeffo4
September 23, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I was speaking with a northwood realty agent on saturday, he said from what they have been told the 26 acres on the summit will be the first to be developed but not for at least three years. Buncher would like to add the new slopes and get the rest of the resort up to par so they can demand a higher asking price. As for better homes the fenced area on gardner road is going to be developed in to a high end country club with estate homes an a completely new members only golf course. Home sites will start at around 3 acres.

As for current work the lodge has been gutted, and they have begun removing chairs off of the double at the top of cobra. There has been some repair work done to parke drive so it will be ready to pave soon. They also have excavation equipment but It doesn't look like it has been used yet.
gizmosnow
September 23, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Actually, just spent several days at HV and was quite pleased/impressed with the activity. It seems that there are crews working everywhere simultaneously.
-- The Northwood Realty bldg, now Bunchers offices as well, has been stained/painted and looks good.
- they were tearing the roof off the conference center bldg.
- spotted a crew with tape measures, pens/pads at the sports center bldg and was told they are getting ready to begin repairs/renovations there.
-staining/painting of the front-side of the ski lodge is nearly complete. They were also in the process of removing all the signs (I imagine to replace or repaint)
- They had torn off and were in the process of rebuilding the front and rear decks on the ski lodge.
- It even appeared they had stained/painted the trash dumpsters on Lake Dr.
- In process of tearing out interior of ski lodge
- My wife 'swears' they have repaired the clock tower as she heard it bellowing out a full melody promptly at 9am this morning on her walk(?)
- Crews are working on renovating the Seasons units for winter rentals.
-As previously reported, they did a nice job cleaning up and reseeding around the lakes. But I am also told that they dredged the lakes to increase water volume for expanded snowmaking. Told they want the lake area to be a 'show-piece'
-Boston concessions was holding a job fair and projecting that a John HArvards restaurant would be opening down at the Outback by mid-november. Check out the John Harvard web-site--to me, it appears as the ideal type of year-round restaurant for HV.
- Told that all the old rental skis went in a dumpster. All new rental equipment on the way.
- Asphalters due in mid-October.
- Significant new snow making also expected for this coming season.
_ UNFORTUNATELY, it does not look like we will see any new chairlifts for this season. Not that Buncher wasn't pushing to get the two-man replaced but their consultants advised that it was too late in the season and too risky.
- Now it does appear that they are a little 'slow at the gate' in terms of promoting the ski season, i.e., season passes, group sales, advertising, etc. I believe there are two factors working here: First, as we all know, this is a new business for them and they are still in the learning phase. The development part is their expertise and, i think, over the next few months you will continue to see them go like gangbusters here and, after all, that is what HV most needs. But, secondly, rfrom people I chatted with I get the definite impression that their laid-back attitude towards promotion at this point is mostly intentional. Not only because they need the time to learn the business but also because they are somewhat embarassed by the current state of HV. I honestly think they have determined that they can have HV spit-shined by mid-October and they are waiting till then to 'invite' the public to come have a look-see so they can be assured of making a good first impression. For this I give them credit.
Anyway, if you get a chance to be at HV on a mid-week day I think you will agree the place is abuzz with activity.
- And, by the way, I was impressed by the artists renderings of future developments of the ski lodge area. I think Buncher is dead-serious about making the necessary investment in HV to restore it to it's "glory days" (as quoted intheir press release).
Straight Shot
September 23, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
I was just there the past 2 days working again and a lot of what Gizmosnow said has gotten further.
-Most of the white on the lodge (front and back, has been completed. Some of the trim has also gotten frsh blue paint to make it really stick out.
-Only portions of the lodge have been gutted. A lot of the area around the Cafe still needs gutted.
-The deck has some new cross-members and all new deck boards. The only thing left for the deck is to put on the railings and stain that.
-The barn where Dundees is has been painted on the outside for the most part. The front and side are done but not the other side and unsure about the back.
-The area where Ski North was (where Center Ski will go) has gotten permanent walls away from the Munckins and Junior Center and drywall is up on the shop side with no mudding yet but nothing on the Munckins side.
-A lift was brought in to get rid of all but a few of the jersey barriers in the parking lot and they also cut all the grass and weeds all over the parking lot too.
-The trailer on the Summit side was painted the same color as the lodge but missing a port-a-potty. Hopefully the put a bathroom in it or plan on replacing the port-a-potty.

I've gotten word that they actually plan on putting in formal terrain parks that start off with smaller features and then other parks with progressively bigger features.

I did not see anything bearing the resemblance that they dredged the lakes at all unless they put machines out in to them and really dug without any way of showing they even drove a machine near the lake.

Things are really on the up way and I can't wait to get back up there and see what has been completed next.
Scott - DCSki Editor
September 23, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Great to read these first-hand updates, and to hear that so much activity is going on. The renaissance of Hidden Valley could be a big story in years to come. Now if only Laurel Mountain could re-open, I think DCSkiers could be a happy lot... \:\)

Thanks for the updates.
snosnugums
September 24, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
It amazes me that all of this work is going on at the same time. Who ever is coordinating this must be working overtime. Kudos to the Buncher Group.
There are issues with the developing land to the east of the current North Summit. There is a sewage spray irrigation field in this area. An alternative means of sewage disposal will be needed to free up this area for development. I am sure that someone is looking at hooking us up to the Bakersville sewer.
hockeydave
September 24, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
If anybody bumps into a member of the Buncher group, maybe they could drop a hint that HV & LM would make a great tag team and give 7S a run for their money. And given that the Nuttings history of running a baseball franchise is less than stellar (at lease as far as improving the baseball product), one wonders when the improvements they are currently making at 7S will be replaced by "Fireworks Night" & Pierogie Races down Gunnar to attract skiers.
Straight Shot
September 24, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
There is currently no Bakersville sewar system. There are plans within the next couple years where the residents there have to pay a andatory $1200 or $1500 to be hooked up to what sewar system will be coming. Residents down there also don not have a water system either. Each person has to use well water.

The only problem with owning LM too is that you can only use it as a winter destination. It was explained to me by a person who worked for DCNR that they can not build any housing development, build on to the lodge, build more trails, pretty much nothing else. They can replace lifts and they don't even have to do anything to the lodge cause it is so beautiful as is.

As for 7S, HV still ha a lot of catching up for the all-seasons factor. HV obviously has gotten back it's golf course in great condition and has the pools and tennis courts, but with 7S extra activities and the Activity Center, there is a lot to be done at HV. 7S even opened a new downhill mtn bike course with some really good downhill bikes (I think I was told they were Konas). There is an area though in between the Alpine Village I think and the golf course at HV where they could make a pretty good looking mtn-biking/bmx area through all trees. I walked through it one day over the past spring and it looked like they were going to make another housing development there but never did it. A bunch of trees are down and there was a bit of a dirt road through it, but now obviously has trees all over it.
Edgar3
September 24, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I believe the current plan is to just bring the sewer to Bakersville around the area of the washed out bridge. It was in the master plan to bring it up to where the Laurel Mt Inn is, but don't believe that to be in the works. It would require even further extension to go up to Hidden Valley up Rt 31 or via Gartner Road, so don't see that happening for some time.

The sewer was primarily to serve the planned Buncher development on the Bakersville side. Now with Buncher owning HV will be intersting to see any change in plans and priorities.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 24, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I believe the sewage from HV is pump to the top of the hill next to the North Summit condominiums where there is a large sewage lagoon. Next to the lagoon is another pump station which is used to pump the sewage to a spray irrigation system. THis is currently how the sewage is disposed. It's all downhill from that point to Bakersville, so it would appear that the sewage could flow by gravity to the Bakersville sewer. The sewer currently terminates in Lavansville and is supposed to be extended to Bakersville. Buncher is supposed to contribute the cost of the extension. I understand that Buncher is looking at the feasibility of hooking Hidden Valley up that systems. The existing water and sewage system, now run by Hidden Valley Utility Services, Inc. (aka Kettler), will not be turned over to Buncher until the Public Service Commission approves the transfer of ownership.THis could take another year for this to happen. Water is supplied to HV residents from several wells. THis would not change, regardless of where the sewage goes.
hockeydave
September 24, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
 Quote:
The only problem with owning LM too is that you can only use it as a winter destination. It was explained to me by a person who worked for DCNR that they can not build any housing development, build on to the lodge, build more trails, pretty much nothing else. They can replace lifts and they don't even have to do anything to the lodge cause it is so beautiful as is.


It is true that housing can not be developed on slope at LM. However, adjacent to the resort area is Laurel Mountain Village which is currently owned by Somerset Trust and they are actively trying to sell the remaining lots (they are in the process of upgrading the water system so more homes can be addded). There are 2 tennis courts & a swimming pool currently idle at the community center. We do not have a golf course (which is a good thing for my marriage).

I am relatively certain that increasing the number of trails and slopes would be approved by the DCNR & the Mellon Foundation.

As for LM being only a winter resort, that would be true for the resort area. But Laurel Mountain/Linn Run State park is right there with some of, if not the best hiking and mountain biking in Pennsylvania.

I'm sure Buncher will do a great job @ HV. But there is a great oppurtunity just 10 miles north of HV (at a bargain basement price) which could truly complement all of the not so distant future upgrades at HV.
Straight Shot
September 24, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
HockeyDave, I can't believe I just forgot about hiking and biking, which I have even just read about the other day and my friend worked with in Linn Run and Forbes State Parks. I would be more than happy to see HV buy LM before it goes to auction and sold in pieces. And the whole golf course thing being good for your marriage, I think it is also good for the mtn too because it keeps the rest of the area more prestigous towards being a true mountain and not a resort. I would actually be upset if they one day put in a golf course.

Even though the area where Buncher plans to one day put in a private residential area will be what brings in a ton of money at one point, I seem to show my conservationist side by saying I wish they wouldn't develop the land. If anyone has done any hiking near the fenced in area at certain times of the day, you would have seen a lot of the wildlife. On an evening hike this summer, in a time span of about 5 minutes I saw about 7 deer and 3 black bears. If the fenced in area becomes homes and another golf course, it will push the wildlife further away and possibly have a lot of unwanted encounters with native animals that might cause the richer folks who move in there to find the wrong means of getting rid of them.

I guess it might just be me looking too far in to it, but it's just one man's thoughts.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 24, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
From my recollection, wasn't Somerset Trust selling the lots and the ski areafor a grand sum of $1.5 million. What an incredible bargain!!!!! If I had some spare cash, I would buy this and make lots of money. You just have to be a little creative to be able to market the resort and development. It's sort of like living in Canaan...there are no developments slope side. In fact there are many ski area that have developments that are not slope side.
Straight Shot
September 24, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Now that I have let loose my conservationist side, I just thought I would mention something about what would be a good way for HV to make it's own power. Jiminy Peak has just put in the first wind-turbine at a ski resort. Imagine if HV was to take on this idea and place it somewhere with a great amount of wind during all seasons. The best place I would thinnk would have to be at the top of Cobra and t the top of Wrangler (Angel's Elbow). Not only would this be great for saving the environment but it would also bring more money into HV as HV would be the ones producing and distributing the energy.
hockeydave
September 25, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I think windmills are a great idea to generate clean energy and would be a unique signature for a resort like Hidden Valley. But do a search in Johnstown's Tribune Democrat newspaper's website. There are many people who are very unhappy with the windfarms that exist or that are in the planning stages in the Laurel Mountains. I don't get it... job generator, no emissions, but yet some people don't want them do their alledged impact on the environment. I'm sure there is some remote sub-species of bat that is being endangered.
Leo
September 25, 2007
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
I have read with interest articles about people with private homes attempting to put in wind mills and their neighbors opposing it as "visual pollution."

So they would rather have "real" pollution as long as it is happening at some coal burning power plant 40 miles away.

Out of sight -- out of mind.

But I digress. To keep this on topic (HV), I will say that it may actually be windy enough at the top of Cobra to have snow guns whose fans were turned only by the wind. Of course, I am hoping that Buncher (hint, hint) is going to do away with the archaic "fan" snow makers that currently grace the slopes at HV.
Straight Shot
September 25, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Getting rid of that old snow system is indeed the right way to go. Hopefully with what they say they are going to do with increasing snowmaking possibilities and updating the snowmaking system will mean we will get the same system as what Heram J. Dupres has made, or even going to an updated version of the fans like what Wisp has. But, in leaning toward a certain side, I would guess they are going towards the pressure system like Dupres' because when I was driving around over the weekend, I noticed that the mobile-snow-cannons were all missing form their usual resting spot over in the north summit parking lot near the trailer. So, it's only a guess, but I'm looking towards the Dupres system.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 25, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
New Snowmaking at HV...If you are really lucky they will put in the same automated system that Wintergreen purchased.
The Colonel \:\)
RobertW
September 25, 2007
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
199 posts
 Originally Posted By: Straight Shot
Getting rid of that old snow system is indeed the right way to go...


I have never seen those tower mounted "Boat Propeller" snow machines in the main area in use anywhere else. Would be interested to know who made them.

I am probably wrong (its been 5 years since I last skied there) but I think HV's current system is "Single Pipe". They would have to install an Air Plant and run Air piping to use the HKD towers. I suspect that they will invest in a bunch of the large Fan Snow cannons or some other airless technology. What system did they use in the North Summit area? Did they have towers or did they use portable guns? I can't remember....
Straight Shot
September 26, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
They used the same tower fans like on the Valley side and also the portable cannons a lot. For on Mile Long Trail, the would use both the cannons, and they had certain trees picked out that had brackets to put fan guns onto the trees. The biggest problem with the snowmaking on the Summit side though is that it does not reach any further than Mile Lone Trail. There is nothing on Outback and definitely nothing on Charger. If they were to get some snowmaking on Charger, that would be the current ideal slope for competition moguls. The slope is also within the viewing area of Dundee's. So, that opens up the idea of bringing in money from a moguls comp.

Complication:

I may not be very found of going down and tubing, but for those on bus trips and families with young kids who go tubing, where will they take tubing once they eventually cut out the new slopes over in the Outback section? I know a possibility is obviously to take it back up to the Golf course and go down the driving range, but is there a more identifiable place closer to the heart of everything else winter? I really don't think there is, but anyone else have an idea?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 26, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
The advantage with the systems that use compressed air is that they can make snow at a higher temperature than the airless systems. I would imagine that they can also make more snow. I doubt HV would switch from the airless systems that they now use. This would require a sizable investment in compressors and compressed air piping all across the moutain. The fan guns that they now use are widely used, however, the big fan guns that are used at Libery, Roundtop, Whitetail, Wisp, are the most efficient and can really crank out lots of snow. They can also be portable or fixed. I would imagine that they will invest in these types of snow makers rather than swithching to a compressed air system.
I believe that the Outback slope has snow making, but I am not sure about Charger which is the the most challenging, albeit short, slope on the mountain. If this trail were extended to the top and bottom of the mountain, it would be the best trail on the mountain.
The previous owner really didn't care if these slopes were open. Last year they advertised that the mountain was 100% open, but these slopes were barely skiable. Hopefully, the new owner will make an a real effort to open the entire mountain with good ski conditions. HV doesn't have that much skiable terrain, so I would think that it would not be a Herculean effort to open the entire mountain.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
September 26, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Just a bit of information concerning compressed air systems. A lot if not most resorts that use compressed air rent the compressors for the season. Usually they start with what ever their full complement is and as the season progresses and the need for snowmaking decreases less compressors are needed. They may start out with 4 for November/December reduce to 3 in January, down to 2 in February and 1 for March. If a major melt down occurs they can always rent additional compressors. Think about it, why build a big plant when its full capacity is needed for only a month or two?
snosnugums
September 26, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Wisp has an airless sytem, I believe and they do fine. Whether or not you rent the compressors or buy them, you have to pay for them and you have to pay for the fuel or electricity to run them. Additionally, as already mentioned, an extensive compressed air piping systems would be required to add a system of HKD type snow making equipment. I don't see how this investment would pay off. It would make more sense to stick with the airless system and use the money to invest in a state of the art, automated system with additional money spent on high volume fan type snow makers.
Scott - DCSki Editor
September 27, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
My observation is that most snowmaking upgrades in recent years at resorts across the country have focused on switching to airless systems. They are quieter, cheaper to operate (although the airless fans are much more expensive to purchase), and more friendly on the environment, and the newer airless systems can really crank out a lot of snow. It is true that compressed-air systems can make snow at slightly higher temperatures, but going with computerized systems helps maximize the efficiency of airless systems, as resorts can easily focus snowmaking on the parts of the mountain that have favorable conditions at any given time and make changes very quickly. Increased capacity allows them to make more snow during limited windows of opportunity. Weighing all the factors, it seems most resorts are moving towards airless systems. That's at least the sense I have gotten.
Straight Shot
September 27, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Not sure if anyone else here knows this fact, but I have spoken with a few previous maintenance workers up at HV and they have said that the pipes running the water up the mtn for the snowmaking are in poor condition. The one guy told me that a few times a season he goes on the hill to weld patches onto these pipes because they burst and geyser up. So at some point and extent, all if not a lot of these pipes must be replaced.

As for Outback, it doesn't have official snowmaking on it, but if they stretch out hoses from on Mile Long, they can place a few portables on it. It is rare though if ever that they do this though. The main priority is Mile Long and then if they decide to, they went after sections of Outback and nothing on Charger. This year was the first year I can recall not hitting stumps on Carger. There were a few days Mid-week that it was easily skiable and so called "safe to ski."

I am personally excited for any snowmaking system no matter what it is.

Oh, big issue on the beginner hill. Myself and many others have all wished that they would move the magic carpet lift over as far as possible to have a wider slope again a less oppurtunity for anyone to fall off/fall under/run into the magic carpet. It is a big issue to put forth some simple thought although we all get caught up in what is going on on all the bigger more advanced slopes, so I thought I would raise this issue.
WPABoarder
September 29, 2007
Member since 01/20/2006 🔗
22 posts
From what I have heard, besides not having compressed air lines they also have to live with the electrical power that is available on the slopes. They were looking at the Super Polecats like Wisp has but didn't have the electrical capacity on the slopes on the Valley side. I understand they looked at several configurations and are going with Techno Alpen automated smowmakers on three slopes for this year. I also heard that they are hoping to have the SMI portables refurbished and upgraded giving them additional capacity for the other slopes.
Straight Shot
September 29, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Sounds like great information. Not sure if I will be up on monday at all to scout out what other work has been done but maybe.
Prospector
September 30, 2007
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
About the poor piping for smowmaking....yesterday I noted a lot of 6 or 8 inch diameter piping stored at the base of the main triple chair and a backhoe heading up one of the blue slopes. It appeared to me that they might be replacing piping.
Straight Shot
September 30, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Any idea of what kind of piping it was? Steel, PVC, clay, aluminum? And hopefully what you are thiking from what you saw is what I am hoping to happen too.

Also, still awaiting the word on whether they have named a ski school director. The director from last season interviewed (she had a very good record for bringing up quality and amount of business in ski school) and somebody else and maybe some others. I'd like to find out and see what is going on.

Also wondering if and when they will get new snowgrooming equipment in like they said and whether they are getting a pipe-dragon at all. I also heard word of them getting rails brought in for more prepared and professional parks than relying on private parties to supply any metal placed in the park. I'd like to hear what they're getting, when it will be here, where it will be placed on the hill, and any other details on the matter.
gizmosnow
September 30, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
RE: the pipe, I noticed supplies of two different kinds of pipe at the base of the mountain. One of these 'pipes' i'm guessing is to replace the poles/pipes for the snowmakers (as there is a dumpster at the top of imperial filled with all the old snowmaker poles/piping and the snowmakers are sitting on the ground).

The other large, metal (green) pipe may well be for new water lines (just guessing, though) as, in addition to the supply of this pipe at the bottom of the mountain, there is a flat-bed worth at the top of cobra/road runner. Also, a 'digger' on the side of imperial and all the utility lines have been flagged running up imperial.
Prospector
October 1, 2007
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
No news on hiring the ski school director as of yesterday. I was asking since I am an instructor from last year and wanted to know status. I think it would be a shame not to rehire the woman from the last few years since she invested a lot of time/care into the operations (that were poor last year ....certainly not her fault).

I was told to submit one of Buncher's employment applications for a position as instructor. Get and submit applications at the group sales office.
Straight Shot
October 3, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Thanks for the info Prospector.

I took a short drive around today up there and have noticed more progress. If it isn't done yet, it is damn near close that all of the outside of the lodge is painted. The maintenance garage is painted, and even the Mouse House is painted. They are digging right at the Y-intersection to either go up to gardner Road or straight to the lodge. A bunch of Armstrong cabl;e trucks were there so I guess something to do with that. They were painting all the red HV signs on the mtn. The have finished putting shingles on the roof of the Inn and have moved onto the lodge itself and also to the fitness center. There was people out working on some of the snowmakers on Rambler and I don't think I got to look at much else.

It really is looking a lot like a different resort and they seem to be on track so far to look brand new for this winter.

And oh yea, the leaves are starting to look nice up there!
Leo
October 10, 2007
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
Took a drive around HV for the first time in a few weeks this morning. Wow. The transformation has indeed begun. I stopped in and talked to a few people I know around the resort and the feeling was generally the same with all of them:

-Buncher is doing things right, and is a good company to work for.

-Buncher has made good strategic "alliances" i.e. outsourcing the greens keeping at the golf course to Valleycrest

-A quote by a friend who works at the resort that really stuck with me, and is actually important to the success of a place like HV, while talking about the employees of the resort: "For the first time in years, I walk around and see people smiling."

The other thing that struck me driving around is the number of homeowners making improvements. I think there was pent up demand -- people just needed a reason to believe they weren't throwing their money away making the improvements.

Looking forward to a great season!
gizmosnow
October 13, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Spent a couple of days at HV and continue to be impressed by amount of activity and number of construction workers onsite on a daily basis (mid-week).

Heard that October 25/26 is the scheduled date for Buncher to unveil their long range plans for hv and to initiate their pr/mktg campaign.

For as much as they've gotten done thus far, they have a long way to go if they want to be substantially complete in about two weeks time. But from what I've seen, I'm not betting against them!
Straight Shot
October 14, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
I was just up there and was walking around with a friend and noticed a lot of good things going on as usual up there now. They cleared out an area of trees at the top of the triples, which is good and bad because it will make more trail room but cause more wind right there at the top of the hill and possibly a wind blown area. They have all of the snowmaking poles out of the ground on Continental and Imperial. It looks like the old pipes were only 3 inches in diameter and laying on the ground. The new pipes all the way up Continental are about 6 inches and are being put over to the skiers left. There are other pipes going up from Continental through Jaguar to the top of Imperial which are about 9 inches in diameter. But the places where the poles are going to be seem to be about a third over in the trail from skiers left, which is right in the way for a lot of the trail unless they have something long term set up for when they replace the lifts to take a few more trees from that tree line between Imperial and Road Runner. More painting has been finished and there we people working on a SATURDAY! Now that is progress!!!
Straight Shot
October 15, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Just thought I would give a good reminder to everyone of what Buncher said and what they are doing.

Buncher said they would put in new snowmaking, get new snowgrooming equipment, improve the lodge, improve the signs, roads and parking lots.

So far they are in the process of putting in new snowmaking, obviously working on the lodge like crazy, have been painting the signs all around the resort, and have moved all the jersey barriers and cut all the weeds and grass in the parking lot.

I've heard word of them getting some equipment to actually cut the halfpipe, so that area has also been started to be covered.

All I can say to all this is that Buncher really knows how to show us that they will do what they say and they are doing a GREAT JOB! So if anyone from Buncher is reading this, I'm sure we'd all like you to know how much we appreciate what you are doing for the Hidden Valley!
Nosedive
October 18, 2007
Member since 10/18/2007 🔗
1 posts
Not to be a downer, but these people seem to be real estate people, not experienced owners of a winter resort.
From what is going around, its starting to show. Especially the guy that is trying to run the show. (from the paper) There's a story there from the past. Can anyone help?
Just saying, don't get too excited yet.
WPABoarder
October 18, 2007
Member since 01/20/2006 🔗
22 posts
Nosedive - What is going around that is starting to show? From what I am seeing, a lot is getting done. I think they realized they were not the experienced owners of a winter resort, same as the Nuttings and that is why they contracted with Jack Johnson Company.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 19, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
What paper and what story from the past? Please fill in the holes. Thanks.
JimT
October 19, 2007
Member since 08/25/2007 🔗
11 posts
I would also like to better understand the comments. Facts and data would be helpful, else we are just spreading rumor. Quite honestly, what I have witnessed at HV recently has nothing to do with Real Estate and more to do with bringing the resort back to life. I am seeing work being done on the slopes, new equipment being staged for the season, changes to the slopes, renovations to the various signage and huts on slope, work on the lifts, a gutted and soon to be renovated lodge, and much more. Although I guess all improvements help the real estate value of the resort and for those of us who have places there, I am not seeing the blatent abuse of the previous owner. At the end of the day, if everything they do improves the value of the resort while bringing it back to its old "Family-oriented" form, I wish the Buncher's more riches than they could have imagined. Only time will tell but for now I am satisfied with their progress to date and its alignement with the expectations they set. Now, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!".
Scott - DCSki Editor
October 19, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Nosedive: Of course they're a real estate company. That's part of the background of the company, and frankly of most companies that own ski resorts these days (e.g., Intrawest). Hidden Valley is a four-season resort and skiing is just one component of that. The Buncher Company seems to be well positioned to improve all aspects of Hidden Valley Resort, and has hired experts to provide consulting, and is rapidly acting on those plans. I have been impressed so far by the comprehensiveness of their plan and dedication to turning Hidden Valley around. If you have properly sourced facts that you'd like to share, please do so, but otherwise it's not appropriate to toss out a strange rumor as your first post to DCSki.
jeffo4
October 19, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I think it is important that they are a real estate developer. If you look at seven springs the closest example; they are there to sell real estate and to do that you have to have a properly functioning resort. That will bring prices to a point where it is worth expanding the real estate. Otherwise they would have to build low price price units that offer no real value. A person that can afford to buy a resort is not going to throw away money and try to follow a failed model.
Leo
October 19, 2007
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
Nosedive = Scanlan?

Just a theory...but I mean, come on. Either that or a troll.

Oh, and speaking of Buncher as <gasp> "real estate people," does anyone know what their plans are for the Podlucky/LeNature farm in Ligonier that they just purchased in auction? Just a "holding" or perhaps a residential development? Just curious. Either way, I have got to get in the commercial development business. Apparently.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
October 19, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Scott,
Well said!!
The colonel \:\)
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 19, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Everyone is excited that improvements are proceeding at a whirlwind rate. They stated that a new lift will be built next year. I've heard that the ski operation is profitable, thus real estate sales is the mucho cream off the top or better yet where the real money is. By making the place desirable, they will sell real estate. Note that Kettler did not sell even one of the new North Summit condos that they started building. Folks saw the condition of the resort and weren't buying. Resort improvements have already dramatically increased the sale prices for existing properties. These folks are there to sell real estate and make money, however, I believe that they actually do care about the residents of the resort. Jack Johnson has a international reputation for resort design and planning. So hopefully the planning of the new development will be sensitive.
nic223
October 20, 2007
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
HV update

Parke drive is being paved as we speak. NO MORE POTHOLES!!!!!!!!!!
Prospector
October 20, 2007
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
Great improvements definitely are progressing at a whirlwind rate from what I can see (on the slopes as well as at both lodges and the Sports Center). I was a little worried that paving had not yet been done, but....yes....Parke Drive is indeed done between Friday and today .... and I got the impression they were moving right into the main ski parking lot today. They also are repairing the main drive into the resort today (possibly to pave it completely too, or maybe just necessary repairs).

I was a ski instructor last year and I've been asking around (with no answer) for weeks now wondering when things would get organized. I think they are "behind the eight ball" on this issue, but understand that there are a lot of issues/priorities.

The main signs at the resort entrance have been painted over completely for a while now. I hope they get new signs up there soon....it could almost look to unknowing people passing by the resort that it is closed.

I'm a full time resident here.....still very excited about the changes .... and anxious to hear directly from them about their overall plans. I haven't heard any announcement about such a meeting and expected one sooner....possibly at the Annual Homeowner Meeting November 17.
gizmosnow
October 20, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Prospector...
I had heard that a major announcement/press release was targeted for end of this week - 10/25 or 26. I'm guessing that the entrance signs will be painted JIT for any big public announcement.

Also, my wife was told that they are finalizing pricing/packages for group sales, etc. I agree that this is a bit late but I think it is a matter of not wanting to prematurely go to market before the 'product' is complete. I think they are "behind the eight ball" on this due to the delayed closing and certainly not because of any failure to act swiftly and decisively upon closing. To me this is a sign of strength -- they didn't rush things out in 'panic' mode even though the delay may, quite frankly, result in short-term revenue loss (i.e., this season).

To me, it appears that they are making 'long-term' decisions rather than acting in their short-term best interests and that is good news for homeowners.
WPABoarder
October 20, 2007
Member since 01/20/2006 🔗
22 posts
From what I have heard, they are planning a press event on 11/15. I think their original plan was the end of October, but there were more surprises and they wanted to deal with them first. I have no doubt that they are looking long-term and are being very methodical.
Edgar3
October 20, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I noticed there was some work being done in the ouback park area below the cabin. It almost looked like they were preparing for a new parking lot there. Thought this was odd. Any ideas what this is all about?
Prospector
October 21, 2007
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
I've heard they intended to put in a John Harvard's Brew House (there is one in Monroeville right near Sears). I'm not sure if it is intended for the Outback Park area (probably best for local "visibility" along Route 31, but I'd rather see it in the conference center to bring folks into the resort more and to reestablish a permanent year-round restaurant there). However, assuming it is going at the Outback Park barn, a better parking lot there would make sense.
Straight Shot
October 21, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Just to notify everyone, there is going to be another job fair at HV this Saturday from 9-3. Not sure where on the property it is going to be yet, just the date and time.
hockeydave
October 22, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
 Quote:
I had heard that a major announcement/press release was targeted for end of this week - 10/25 or 26. I'm guessing that the entrance signs will be painted JIT for any big public announcement.


Lots of questions...
Does anybody have any insight as to what might be announced?
Is there a management structure in place yet?
Whatever became of Keith James (spokesman for HV)?

Also, my wife and I took a drive thru the entire HV complex yesterday (my 1st time)... it was absolutely beautiful. If in fact the Kettler's were responsible for the layout of the community, they did one heck of a job. Considering what the Nuttings paid for 7S (9 figures), I think the Buncher's got a great bargain, especially with all of the potential @ HV.

With all of the baby boomers about to retire, especially those with $$$ from DC/Balt area, I can foresee many of the these people retiring to the quiet and beautiful Laurel Highlands (as well as West Virginia). Developers, such as Buncher, may be anticpating this as well.
Straight Shot
October 22, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Job fair is at the conference center on this saturday the 27th, from 9-3.
Prospector
October 22, 2007
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
Job fair also is Friday between 3-7 pm. The previous Ski School Director has been rehired.
Straight Shot
October 22, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
 Originally Posted By: Prospector
Job fair also is Friday between 3-7 pm. The previous Ski School Director has been rehired.


I just read the email a bit ago. Glad to hear she is back and can't wait for this weekend. There is also supposed to be a Halloween party for homeowners this Saturday too.

Hockeydave-As for Keith James, he really didn't seem to be part of much last season at all besides showing up without notifying those who were trying to get a hold of him, avoiding people, and occasionally showing up in the bar. He did SEEM to have some interest in doing things for the resort a few years ago with promoting the resort the way he was supposed to, but after that, the only way to get in touch with him was to hear his voice on the snow report hotline. Other than that, you'd be lucky to get an acknowledgement.
Edgar3
October 28, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
The picture of the 30 new HV snow guns as featured here on DCSki is a sight for sore eyes. Also shows that the new management is keeping lines open with such organizations as DCSki to communicate such improvements, which is also a significant departure.

Another example is with the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau. This is a great organization that practically all Laurel Highlands Tourism business belong, ....although that apparently was not the case with the former Hidden Valley Resort Management. In contrast the new management is having an open house inviting members on Nov 29th to tour the lodge and see graphic renderings of the master plan. I suppose this means that a master plan should be forthcoming before then.
Scott - DCSki Editor
October 28, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
I just posted a "News Briefs" story that includes additional information about Hidden Valley's new snow guns. These snow guns are very cool (no pun intended) -- state of the art, and buying 30 takes a sizable investment.

You can learn more about the new guns at:

http://www.technoalpin.com/en/solutions/fanguns/currentmodels/m18/

Wouldn't mind having one of these in my backyard!
snosnugums
October 28, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Scott:
Visited HV this weekend and saw 7 of the snow guns that you mention. One was a portable unit on wheels and the other 6 appeared to be tower mounted versions. Additionally, there was extensive activity laying new welded steel pipe which I assume is used for snow making water supply. The Buncher's commitment to new snow making equipment is impressive. Additionally, Parke Drive had been repaved, the ski area parking lots are being repaved and a new parking lot has been built for the "Outback Barn" (soon to be a John Harvard Brew Pub). Additionally, even though the golf course was closed for the season, they had folks blow leaves off of the greens and fairways. I walked the cart paths and the course looked ready for round at any time. THe ski lodge renovations and conference center renovations were also in progress. These folks accomplished more in two months than the Kettler's accomplished in the last 6 years. All I can say is keep up the good work!
Straight Shot
October 29, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
As an addition to the new snowguns (which are beautiful), the new 8ft Zaugg pipe-cutter should be in and there will be a groomer specifically just for it. A park bully is coming if it isn't already in and some rail and box features are also on their way. Centre ski and board from Monroeville is moving in to where Ski North used to be and they have soo much gear in there already that you can't even walk in the door. Very minimal painting outside seems to be left. The deck is finished. All the red awnings have been painted blue for HV's new colors. The front signs are being repainted to match the new colors of blue and white. If you have heard going on a "pub crawl," you will soon be able to make a "pub fall" at HV when you start at the where the Clock Tower is, fall down to where another deli/bar will be, and then fall the rest of the way to the bottom to Glaciers. Look forward to new rental skis and boards.

When I remember more from everything I've seen, I'll keep posting, but ti then, hope everyone else gets more info as well.
gizmosnow
November 3, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Annual mtg of homeowners is scheduled for 11/17.
The following Msg is posted on the hv foundation website:

10/29/2007

Representatives from Jack Johnson Company will be available after the Annual Meeting to make a presentation to the Homeowners. They will have available the first phase and a new Master Plan for the Resort.
Straight Shot
November 4, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
The installation of the snowmakers has started! There is one brand new Alpine Tech automated snowmaker at the bottom of Imperial. The other ones are still waiting but coming soon. All the chairs are off of the triple chair lifts and will be replaced with brand news ones for this season, making every ride on them quite a bit more comforting. All the parking lots have been leveled and ready for pavement. The main parking lot has gotten a small amount mostly on the driveway part of it where there was already but will be worked on more soon. Even the parking lot on the summit side has been leveled. The old portable snow-cannons have been sent away to be rebuilt and brought back which is another great sign. All of the exterior of the lodge has been finished being repainted except for the HV symbols. Tile floors are being installed in what was Munchkins and the rooms drywall in between there and Center ski has been finished. Glaciers has gotten a face lift with new carpet and all the bar counters going around the windows has been taken out. It also has received a new paint job like everything else. More options are in store for the terrain parks this year and I am waiting upon more information to tell everyone.

I'll be back up again working soon and checking out mroe stuff to post.
Taylormatt
November 4, 2007
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
I got a sneak peek/tour of the new ski shop yesterday. It looks awesome. All drywalled and modernized, looks much larger than it used to. Mike and Andy will rock that place with service and knowledge that's never been available up at HV or 7S before. Inventory looks great and might just be the best stocked shop in the Laurel Mtn's. All the shop needs is a name.
hockeydave
November 4, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I couldn't be happier for all of the homeowners who have endured the past 5 or so years @ HV. The previous owners seemed not to be very interested or cared about the state of the resort. It is so beautiful there... it would have been a shame had it gone under. If Buncher develops some terrain (area facing route 31), HV is going to be a great destination (having a John Harvard's Brewhouse @ the previous Dundee's location will definitely be a magnet for me).

When Buncher is finished renovating @ HV and if they are looking to expand, I hope they would look no further than 12 miles north (Laurel Mountain).
Taylormatt
November 4, 2007
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
I'm looking forward to JH's as well. I heard there will not be brewing on premises though. Hopefully they will be trucking up kegs of JH's brew from Monroeville to have on tap. It would be a shame if they only had bud and the regular offerings because the food's not *that* great, it's the beer that brings you to JH.
CRA
November 5, 2007
Member since 11/4/2007 🔗
1 posts
So is now the time to buy in HV?
Leo
November 5, 2007
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
Not a bad thought, is my guess. You have probably already missed a small bump in average sale price from the darkest of times, give or take 6 months ago.

However, even with that bump after Buncher closed on the resort, the gap b/w HV real estate and, for example, Springs, is still pretty pronounced. If Buncher is successful in accomplishing their stated goals, then there is still plenty of potential upside at the current values homes and condos are selling at.
gizmosnow
November 5, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
CRA,
I agree with Leo. The opportunity for meaningful appreciation in realestate values at hv is substantially greater than the risk of depreciation.

However, I think it is dependent upon your goals. If you are looking to acquire primarily for personal use (and you have already determined that hv fulfills your desires)than I'd recommend that, if you can afford it, go for it. In this situation, it is more important to evaluate the potential downside than the upside and I can't foresee that there is much risk of significant loss (of investment) at hv albeit a potential large gain is not a guarantee (but possible). However, if you can justify the cost based on the personal enjoyment you will receive-- go for it.((btw, when assessing the potential downside risk, i think the folks buying overpriced condos at 7S are taking a far greater risk than a hv investment)).

Now if you are thinking of buying strictly as an investment property the answer is less obvious and depends on many personal and market factors. (I've been thinking of acquiring a few additional 'investment' properties at hv myself and I am undecided at this point. Haven't yet decided if the risk/reward beats out other potential investment opportunities).
Straight Shot
November 5, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
If anyone is interested in some real estate there, I know a family who is selling their condo at the end of the lodge parking lot to move to a bigger home still there at HV. As I just said it is at the end of the parking lot in the second row of condos that over look Lake Helen. It is 3 stories with 2 bathrooms and I believe 3 bedrooms. Deck on the rear with a small wooded area before Lake View Drive. They are asking for $150,000 for it. If anyone is interested in it, send me a message and I will give you their phone number.
Straight Shot
November 5, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
I almost forgot to say that they put the rest of the snowguns (from the picture online) all the way up Imperial. Hopefully soon they will get more in for the ones going up Continental.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 5, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I am selling my 2 bdrm/w bath condo on Tanyard Lane and buying a townhouse. My wife and I really enjoy Hidden Valley and I think that the real estate at HV is still undervalued.
My condo is 100 feet from the slopes so it is very conveint for skiing. It has been renovated and is very 'mountainy'. PM me if your interested.
hockeydave
November 6, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I went to lunch today at John Harvard's in Monroeville and found out...

- JH will be transporting 4 to 6 beers up to HV (no brewing on site)
- JH are in the process of training the staff
- JH may be opening by Thanksgiving
Taylormatt
November 6, 2007
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Excellent. Now we'll have a good place to hang out after skiing & mtn. biking with good beers.
jb714
November 6, 2007
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
Ummmm......yeah. Sure sounds like an upgrade when compared to the beer that's currently available along Rt 31 coming into Bakersville.
Taylormatt
November 6, 2007
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Well, LMI does have Yun'zling, but that's as good as it gets.

Yun'zling is also at Wallats, but the burgers there rule after a ride and even after a ride, we're the best smelling people in the bar. I'll be digging the JH's craft brews.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 6, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Yun'zling, now that's funny but isn't it brewed over on the other side of the state? I've never tried a JH brew, do they have a good IPA?
Taylormatt
November 7, 2007
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
It is Eastern PA, but Yun'zling fits. JH makes a pretty decent everything from what I've tasted. IPA is usually one of the regulars in the brewing rotation.
bridire
November 7, 2007
Member since 01/18/2006 🔗
2 posts
I would like to know who is advertising my property ... it seems you know my number, could you let me know who you are please
Edgar3
November 8, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I see HV has posted pictures of the installation of the new snowguns on the mountain:

http://www.myhiddenvalleyresort.com/Snow%20Gun%20Installation%20Update.pdf
JimT
November 9, 2007
Member since 08/25/2007 🔗
11 posts
Is it me or do those Guns look ridiculously short? Once you add 30+ inches of snow base, the guns will be at eye level. Not complaining as these things look like they can pump out some fresh stuff, but just used to the taller towers. Anyone seen these in use at other resorts?
wolverine
November 9, 2007
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
The M18 snowmakers are portable and usually elevated on something else.
JimT
November 9, 2007
Member since 08/25/2007 🔗
11 posts
The pics in the link by Edgar3 and on the HV website show them being mounted on a small tower, but they still look short. Haven't seen live so not sure if it is just the camera perspective.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 9, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I was also thinking that they looked short. They would seem to be a hazard for skiers since they are in the middle of the slope. Then again if they are far off the ground, most of your snow gets blown into the woods. Hopefully, who ever is doing the design of the snowmaking systems knows what they are doing. I am sure that these guns will provide us with better snow and use less energy.
Scott - DCSki Editor
November 9, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Don't worry -- they're at the right height and the installers know what they're doing. The towers are taller than they appear in the photo, and that's the optimal height for these kinds of fan guns. The high-speed fans propel the snow outwards (with quite a bit of force), compared to traditional guns which rely on the kinetic energy coming from the compressed air/water line. You won't see fan guns mounted *too* high up.
snosnugums
November 9, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Hey Scott - why don't you do an interview with Buncher's, Bill Doring who is managing Hidden Valley's development. I read a quote in one of the local newpaper's the other day where he said something like "well we have been very busy doing a year's worth of work in 2 months". Based on my observations and being in the contruction business, I would say that I am quite amazed at what these guys have accomplished. They installed a substantial amount of new snow making piping along with those expensive snoguns. I would estimate that they have spend $2.0 - $3.0 million at least in the past 2 months. On 11/15, they are supposed to release some information on the master plan for the resort. This should be quite interesting. I have seen renderings in the ski lodge area. It showed replacement of some of the buildings as well as a small hotel overlooking the lake.
We're all dying to have a restuarant and bar to go to. I hope it is a smoke free bar. The Laurel Mountain Inn is ssssoooo smokey.
Scott - DCSki Editor
November 9, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Hidden Valley has been very proactive at getting information and updates to me -- just tonight I received an e-mail with a photo of their new groomer, which arrived this week. (I'll share that in a News Brief later this weekend.) You are right that they will be unveiling their master plan on November 15. Shortly after that date I expect to publish a lot of information about the resort's plans.

They are working really hard to get things ready for the season (it's not often that a ski area is performing major snowmaking upgrades in November!), but I will try to interview Bill Doring sometime after the master plan has been announced and things settle down. (If anyone has questions they would like asked, please feel free to send them to me.)

It's a fun story to cover when there's so much momentum and improvement underway, especially given how much angst there had been about Hidden Valley in recent years. I hope we will some day see a similar resurgence at Laurel Mountain, although I'm afraid the day may soon arrive to move Laurel Mountain back into the "Lost Ski Areas" column.
Edgar3
November 11, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Fyi Bill Doring did a good interview with The Daily American:

http://www.dailyamerican.com/articles/2007/11/03/news/news088.txt

Lots of good stuff, most of which has been covered on this thread. At least news to me is the new cafe that will serve breakfast (definitely needed)and that there will be a John Harvards "express" at the ski lodge in addition to the one at the outback park.

Can't wait to hear the master plan.
hockeydave
November 11, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
It will be very interesting to see what Buncher has to say on November 15th. It's going to be pretty tough to top what they have already done @ HV. Does anybody have any ideas what might be announced?
steelerfan
November 11, 2007
Member since 11/11/2007 🔗
3 posts
Hello All! First time posting, long time watcher. Does anyone know what time the meeting is on Saturday and the exact location?
jeffo4
November 12, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I am not sure about the 15th but on saturday @ 10am in the resort conference center is the hv owners meeting and buncher is going to be present to answer any questions
hockeydave
November 12, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
The Nov 4th article in the Somerset Daily American says that there will be an announcement on November 15th regarding the future direction of Hidden Valley.
Scott - DCSki Editor
November 12, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
That's right: The Buncher Company is holding a press conference on Thursday, November 15 at 11 a.m. to share its vision for the future of Hidden Valley. Look for an article from DCSki late this week.
drats
November 12, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
19 posts
I own a house on the lake I've been trying to sell...one house away from the slopes. Now that Buncher has taken over, people are actually looking at the place. I want to buy something smaller now that the kids have left home. The improvements around the lake area have been wonderful!!
hockeydave
November 12, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
The amount of economic impact Buncher has brought to the local economy (Somerset County in particular) is amazing in such a short time. Some people I know who are familliar with what's going on up there estimate they have already spent close to $10 million in capital improvements and upgrades. Real estate agents have to be salivating because they now can turnover properties at both Hidden Valley & Seven Springs. I am looking forward to skiing there this year (thereby avoiding the weekend demolition derby @ 7S) and playing golf next year. I have never played the course but understand it is a great track. The future looks very bright for those who ski and own property @ Hidden Valley. It will be interesting to see what future plans Buncher announces for Hidden Valley this Thursday. ;\)
Straight Shot
November 13, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
If nobody has seen yet, they have just uploaded a web cam from the clocktower lodge that looks over the main focus of the ski area. Hard to see much right now cause it is pitch black, but nice to check it out in the morning.
jeffo4
November 14, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
The cam is neat! you can control it for 1 minute and pan and zoom. We can now watch the improvements.
jeffo4
November 15, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
$1 billion and now the ground is white as well
jeffo4
November 15, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
check out the proposed hv maps on the dcski main page neat stuff
hockeydave
November 16, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
There is a podcast of the entire news conference held @ HV yesterday at the Somerset Daily American newspaper website... very interesting.

Would anybody hazard a guess what the vert would be on the Outback expansion?
JimT
November 16, 2007
Member since 08/25/2007 🔗
11 posts
Jeff:

Where is the map you mention. I went to DCSki main page and only found the old trail map which is not helpful.

Thanks.
Crush
November 16, 2007
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,000 posts
dude it will be great the Jack Johnson Co. did the remod of the Red Pines lodge last year @ The Canyons they made it really nice.
Scott - DCSki Editor
November 16, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
JimT: Click on the "cover story" on DCSki's home page ("Hidden Valley Charts a New Course.") That story includes a rendering of the new trail layout. You can click on the image of the trail layout to see a much larger version.
steelerfan
November 16, 2007
Member since 11/11/2007 🔗
3 posts
Does anyone know if thee will be a Alpine Slide type like they have at 7 Springs? I know they are getting into the Mountain Bike Rentals as well.
jb714
November 16, 2007
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
 Quote:
Would anybody hazard a guess what the vert would be on the Outback expansion?


As near as I can tell from Topozone.com, Rt 31 is just over 2300' where it passes the tubing area. I'm not clear from the proposed map where the lift would top out, but it looks like it'd be no more than 2800' at the highest - thus only 500' of vert.
hockeydave
November 16, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Thanks JB
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
November 17, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
A couple of HV questions:
-Two new quad chairs! Good news, but was there any indication that they would be high speed quads. If not, then neutral news.
-Anyone know if HV has tested any of the new snowmaking capability?
The Colonel \:\)
rdytooski
November 17, 2007
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
Does any one know if the metal laying in a long pile behind Sunrise & Sunset lifts are the new or the old chairs? If the old chairs any ideas on the status of new ones?

I was up last weekend and AMAZED what they have done in 70 days
jeffo4
November 17, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
It should be the new chairs and some more water pipe the old chairs were thrown away 2 weeks ago. Also web cam 2 is up on the HV site as are th artist renderings of the new facilities
imp
November 18, 2007
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
232 posts
the new guns ran Friday pm into saturday morining, high humidity and not very good temps. THey got fair product in spite of a few computer glitches that were quickly solved. they could not have made snmow with the old system because of the humidity.
quads high speed yes detatchable no

imp
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
November 18, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
If it is not detachable, then it is not "real high speed".
The Colonel
nic223
November 21, 2007
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Gaurd rail on Parke Dr. is being replaced today. Things are really starting to look good up here.
Edgar3
November 21, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
 Originally Posted By: nic223
Gaurd rail on Parke Dr. is being replaced today. Things are really starting to look good up here.


Great news. If there is any one thing that to me represented the neglect of prior mgmt it was that twisted guardrail.
jeffo4
November 23, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Hidden Valley is making snow!
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 26, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
In addition to receiving about 2" of natural snow, HV made snow starting Friday night into Saturday afternoon until the temp went above 30". They again made snow Saturday night.

Some new developments include:
1) An unnamed cafe where the old Mountain Munchkins child care place was has opened. They serve cappuchino, salads and paninni sandwhiches. There is a great veiw overlooking Lake George/Helen.
2) The ski shop has opened.

Construction continues on the new snowmaking which is making a muddy mess of the slopes.You have to break some eggs to make an omelet!!
Straight Shot
November 26, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
The metal lying behind the Sunrise and Sunset lifts is still the old lifts. The new chairs are sitting in the parking lot down by Lake George where the new snowguns wear initially sitting. Most of the rest of the new snowmaking pipelines have been set in place and are awaiting the rest of the new guns. Snow making was made over the front of the mountain on Rambler and Imperial and they were able to make quite a bit for the fluctuating weather.

A new park is being proposed for on Stingray underneath the Sunrise Sunset triples and will showcase some of the new boxes and rails that will be coming in in a few days. The original park will still be set up on Jaguar as usual. Other parks are being proposed for the other side of the mountain still and will be decided upon soon. A lot of activities are also being planned to besides on the slope stuff.

It's going to be interesting to see what all happens once Dec. 15 comes. I have overheard that they plan to have some snow on the hill no matter how warm it is on their opening date. And lately they have had soo many new things that they people doing the upkeep on the web-page can't keep up. Hopefully a good idea for them wood be to show the next set of guns and that come in and the rails.
Straight Shot
November 26, 2007
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
Oh, all new rental equipment is in too. They have all new Elan Skis with Dalbello boots and Atomic Snowboards with Flow bindings and Salomon boots. Everything looks beautiful and like something that even I (a picky product rider), would ride or ski on.
Prospector
November 27, 2007
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
I have been informed that Hidden Valley is planning to be open for skiing Friday, December 7 (possibly Thursday, Dec. 6).
SpringsRegular
November 28, 2007
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
153 posts
 Originally Posted By: snowsmith
2) The ski shop has opened.


The ski shop is managed by Mike. He used to own Center Ski in Plum, PA. No better ski shop guy in Western PA, I hope he can really make a go of it at the Valley.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 1, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Anybody up at HV this weekend. What is happening?
The Colonel \:\)
HV Owner
December 1, 2007
Member since 12/1/2007 🔗
3 posts
I was up walking around at HV and words can not describe the changes Buncher has accomplished there. The ski shop is phenomenal in its selection of ski and snowboard goods, but even better yet its service! A shop which actually knows and understands the stuff it sells and the art of boot fitting! They have all my business from now on. The Café service and food is great too and even has wireless internet. And to top it off has a great view of the slopes, which are getting painted white by the new Techno Alpin guns and SMI Pole Cats. One of the Snowmakers told me Buncher actually got all the old portables converted to Pole Cats, of which the last group just arrived back today! And if that wasn't enough, the new triple chairs are in and being installed! Here is a link to some pictures to help explain my amazement to everyone of what has been done and accomplished thus far. I'll bring my laptop next time to send pictures out sooner.












The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 1, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
An amazing transformation.
The Colonel
snosnugums
December 1, 2007
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Great photos, thanks for sharing them with us. As a property owner and a HV fan, I can't tell you how excited I am about this amazing transformation. I was excited about getting a new owner but they have exceeded everyone's expectations.
jeffo4
December 2, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
In addition when I picked up my season pass yesterday around 11 AM the clerk said she had made over 300 pass that day alone. Also the ski shop staff was vey helpful. I took my gear down for a preseason check up and the technician was telling me about a $45000 base machine that had just arrived. They spoke like someone who was planning for the long hual not a seasonal operation. They were able to make snow all weekend on the new and old equipment. They also confirmed the would like to have a soft opening on the 7th and a grand opening on the 15th

good stuff
skier219
December 2, 2007
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
This really is phenomenal news -- nice to see for a change!
Taylormatt
December 2, 2007
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Regarding the ski shop: I've dealt with Mike and Andy for years and there is no better in Western PA IMO. The Laurel Highlands are lucky to have them up there. Once word gets out on not only their inventory, but their stellar knowledge, tunes and service...it's bad news for other shops in the area. Really great people to deal with. I wish them the most success.
Leo
December 5, 2007
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
Does anyone know if Hidden Valley is planning to have some runs open this weekend? I think there were mentions of a "soft" opening this weekend, and was wondering if that was still a possibility.

Thanks.
jeffo4
December 5, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I called them today and the said the will announce on Friday. They have been running all of the lifts and making snow around the clock. They said they will put a hotline number on the website on friday as well
JimT
December 5, 2007
Member since 08/25/2007 🔗
11 posts
I received the same response today. They are planning to open with 50/50 probability due to a small glitch that is in the process of being resolved. That said however, the ski shop, and cafe will be open this weekend. The Brew Pub at Outback will open on the 15th.
langleyskier
December 5, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Anyone know a website for rentals at hidden valley? My friends and i are thinging about going somewhere the 2nd-5th of jan and that would be a viable option but cant find any info on their site

... by rentals i mean condo/house rentals
jeffo4
December 5, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
The best place is to call northwood realty at 8002282270 they will be doing the rentals for hv. The word is after 12-15 you will be able to due it through the main website. The other option is to hvfoundation.com and you can rent directly from home owners
langleyskier
December 5, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Thanks jeff.. ill give them a call tomorrow.

Also, how is hidden valley terrain wise? I have heard it really caters to intermediates. Is there any good advanced terrain? Oh and how are the lifts?... lots of questions... thanks for the help. I really want to check it out and give my business to them. I think its great how much the owners have invested in the place!
jeffo4
December 5, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
The lift lines are short and the speed is not too bad the longest ride is around 4 minutes. I am hoping the staff operating the lifts will be different this year they were a little suspect pereviously. The terrain is good for beginners and intermediates; very wide and not very steep but still fun. There are three or four nice intermediate runs and a couple of short steep"black diamond" runs they can be challenging but the fun ends too soon. It will be nice to see what is done with the terrain now that adequate snow making has been added and the workers know they will get paid. It is a great place to take a family or people looking to improve or just beginning to ski. Also on the foundation website you can see pictures of some of the rentals. The summit condos are probably the most convienient to rent they are on the crossover trail I hope you enjoy it
Scott - DCSki Editor
December 6, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Please see the following article I just posted, which announces Hidden Valley's plans for a "soft opening" this weekend.
chillybilly
December 6, 2007
Member since 08/15/2007 🔗
1 posts
For rentals a great place to start is Hidden Valley Foundation.
Their site is http://www.hvfoundation.com and just click on rentals to the left.
SpringsRegular
December 6, 2007
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
153 posts
Seems like a bit more than a soft opening, on the front page of the PG:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07340/839703-100.stm
Leo
December 6, 2007
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
It appears, though, that what Scott is posting is for this weekend, rather than their grand opening Dec 15.

I'm glad they're opening some runs this weekend, even if it is limited. Looking forward to getting some turns in.
jeffo4
December 9, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
The first day of skiing at hidden Valley showed a huge improvement in staff! No more drunk or sleeping lift attendants. I was skiing with my wife an two children under 5, The staff helped carry our gear everywhere as well as helping on the magig carpet at least 50 times. They have made huge mounds of snow to be spread before grand opening next week; but the rain this week may but a damper on it but the staff improvement was the most welcome change
HV Owner
December 9, 2007
Member since 12/1/2007 🔗
3 posts
I was up at Hidden Valley for their opening and wow what a change. The new owners seem to actually understand customer service. They actually had people walking around in red jackets to help direct and help the customer. I believe this is some type of customer service crew. The lift operators also have nice new uniforms, are presentable, and courteous. What an improvement. The resort even had hot chocolate and treats for those who came up on Saturday. The skiing was good considering the weather and limited terrain open, but the atmosphere now just makes it a great place to visit on the weekends to relax with the family. They even installed a new PA system to play music during the day, which sounds pretty good. I can not wait to see what the grand opening will be like. The John Harvard's is supposed to open next weekend too. Has anyone heard anything more about what is new to come?
JimT
December 9, 2007
Member since 08/25/2007 🔗
11 posts
I absolutely agree with Jeff. We were up this weekend and everything is awesome. Mike and Andy in the Ski Shop are Pro's with Customer Service an obvious priority. My kids and I were 12th in line for our passes and it took no longer than 10 minutes start to finish. Last year we were there 30 minutes and we were 2nd in line/ The Cafe is a great place to jang out and the food is good. Big plans for the Grand Opening. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. Can't wait for the rest of the mountain to open. Bravo Buncher!!
Taylormatt
December 15, 2007
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
 Originally Posted By: hockeydave
I went to lunch today at John Harvard's in Monroeville and found out...

- JH will be transporting 4 to 6 beers up to HV (no brewing on site)
- JH are in the process of training the staff
- JH may be opening by Thanksgiving


A buddy of mine called me from JH's tonight. He stopped on his way home from 7S to check it out. He said he was going to eat there, but the pitchers were $30. That's right, $30!

They each ordered a $6 draft and left.

I know HV wants to be the Fawn Valley to Deer Valley, but Jesus, $30 pitchers?!?!

I hope they change their tune real fast.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 15, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Welcome to Pennsylvania: We ski in our jeans...
maybe not too much longer at those prices!!
Seriously, anyone go to the HV grand openning today!!!
The Colonel \:\)
hockeydave
December 16, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I wonder how your buddy's experience going through customs was at the border? Those kind of prices for beer are akin to Canadian resorts (e.g. Whistler). I don't think a draft at the Monroeville JH's is $6 (maybe $5 tops). I know JH is a microbrewery, but $3 or $4 a draft should be max, especially when you're trying to court people to come in and try your offerings.

Every attempt to upscale the Outback area on 31 has failed, especially with the austere Laurel Mountain Inn a mile or 2 down the road. They might want to rethink their pricing strategy very quickly.
Edgar3
December 16, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Maybe Whistler can get away with $6 drafts, but at the end of the day this is rural PA just down the road from a gravel pit operation. I noticed that they paved the parking area in front (much needed), but other than that the building is just an old barn, now with new paint. Not certain what renovations have been done inside (anyone know?).

If they want to invest $1B and become the deer valley of the area, I'm surprised that the plan did not include knocking down this building and creating something that would provide a more dramatic impression along rt 31.

Maybe they can get a few people in ski season to pay these prices as they give the place a try, but if they want it to be sucessful all year they are going to have to compete for the locals with the Laurel Mtn Inn where drink prices are about as low as you will find anywhere.
WPABoarder
December 16, 2007
Member since 01/20/2006 🔗
22 posts
My family and I had a great time at the Grand Opening. Everyone was helpful and the lift attendents were a distinct improvement. Snow cover was good with all the rain we had and no lift lines. The alcohol prices didn't bother me. Then again I don't drink.

I was able to look at the Master Plan on the wall in the walkway between the old lodge and Clock Tower Building. I believe there were plans for Buildings along Route 31. From what I have heard at the Homeowners Meeting their priority was to improve the Ski experience first, which so far I think they have done. I am sure they won't be able to please everyone and I don't know that I would want them to add a bunch of bars and price them to compete with LMI. I hope they continue with the family orientation.

Also, the Fireworks were awesome!
jb714
December 16, 2007
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
I had hoped to check out JH's next weekend when we're up there for Christmas - but I won't pay $6 for a beer. I'll just continue to transport Bass Ale up from Virginia as I've been doing.

I do plan to ski there a few times this season, but I wont drink there at those prices.
jeffo4
December 16, 2007
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Yes the beer was expensive but I think that is to keep the locals away. They do not want to be a Laurel Mtn Inn or attract it's clientel I also think they want to discourage the drunk from frequnting unless he is rich "though the Laurel mtn food was far superior" I think this restaurant is just patchwork until the new outback is built. The master plans in the main lodge will show that everything is going to be torn down and rebuilt. The rest of the weekend went well though not well attended. The staff was great again and the fireworks were really comparable to a city's 4th of july show.
Edgar3
December 17, 2007
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Another article confirming Buncher's "strong" interest in Laurel Mountain:

http://www.tribune-democrat.com/local/local_story_349233334.html
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 17, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I had lunch at the new John Havard's Brew Pub. The food and service were good although a little more expensive than I am used to paying. I believe I was charged less than the menu indicated for the Hidden Valley Gold microbrew. The beer was very tasty. I believe the restuarant is operated by the Boston Culinary Group. They originally opertated Dundees before the Kettler's took it over last year. My first trip there back in 2004 I believe, they offered Vietnamese lettuce wraps on the menu. Who from the Somerset area is going to order these? As far as the new menu, if you don't like burgers then you may as well go elsewhere for a sandwhich because that's it for sandwhiches except buffalo chicken. After looking at the menu on the web for the Pittsburgh location, they seem to be proceeding cautiously with this menu since it seems to have a limited selection. I also did not notice much of a sign along Rte 31.
I was expecting more people for the 'grand opening'. Given that it is the weekend prior to the Christmas weekend, maybe everyone was busy taking care of Christmas stuff. The new Cafe overlooking Lake George/Helen is a great addition.
The fireworks were great. In fact that is the closest I have ever been to the actual fireworks operation. I walked down the Rambler slope to watch the display and I could actually feel the shock waves from the explosions. Awesome and scary!
On Sunday, I was moving into a new place. Nothing like carrying a mattress and box spring with a 40 MPH gust turning me and the box sping into a human sail. I must say the weather was brutal, 16 degrees with with white out conditions. I picked a great day to move. I really hope the Buncher's have a successful Holiday season because they did great job putting the resort on the right footing. Now if we can just get some cooperation from Mother Nature we'll have a great Holiday season.
hockeydave
December 18, 2007
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Check out the new trail map at HV's website under news & views... quite the upgrade compared to the prior trail map.
gizmosnow
December 18, 2007
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
What is interesting about the new trail map are some of the more subtle inclusions & revisions -- although some of these may be explainable to 'artists perogative'.

However, note the Continental and Wrangler terrain park. New slopes for '09-'10 season---specific timeframe, not just 'future'. But also, how the outback base area and north face base area are drawn--not to mention the general area where the current conference center is located. And, the way the roadways are drawn (possibly connecting outback to the main resort without having to go onto rte 31(?). again, some of this may be due to artists perogative and not really representative of true plans.
beniman74
December 28, 2007
Member since 11/5/2007 🔗
1 posts
Took the family to HV a few times over the past week and have nothing but good things to say about the resort. Excellent terrain for new skiers like my son. The lift attendants were very nice and it seemed like we got to know them as the day went on. Every employee I came across wore a smile and greeted us like they were an owner. I am not sure how HV was before but I can say that I will visit HV as many times as I can this year and I would recommend HV as a great family ski resort.

Just wish there was more snow and runs open.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 29, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Welcome, beniman74!
Glad to have you aboard DCSki. Tell us a little about yourself!
And,
Happy New Year!!
The Colonel \:\)
snosnugums
January 1, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Spent my entire Christmas vacation at HV. Not much terrain open but I would have to say that the snow quality and the lift attendants were excellent. The new loading conveyor at the Summit lift is pretty nifty. It sort of turns this quad into a 'cheapo express quad'. It is pretty ingenius... an express quad slows the chair down when skiers are loading (or departing)the chair. This device allows for easier loading, thus they can run the chair faster. My big complaint about this chair was that it stopped too often because beginners had trouble loading. This device seems to have solved this problem.
The Hidden Valley Cafe serves excellent pannini sandwhiches... and the price includes a drink and chips. They are quite large so my wife and I usually split one and get a cup of soup. The cappuchino is also excellent.
I don't understand why they can't get a trail report up on the website and I still cannot access the web cam. I would fire who ever they have developing the web site. They are not getting the job done.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
January 4, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I heard that Buncher has operating Laurel Mountain next year in the works. Supposedly you'll be able to add the option to ski there on you HV pass for something like $50. Of course that is just a rumor that I heard. I guess you'll also be able to buy a seaon pass to LM also. I understand that some investment in snow making for LM is needed. Given how much the Buncher has spent so far upgrading HV snowmaking, I hope they have the cash to do both.
As far as the future of HV skiing is concerned, if you look at the master plan, they are suppose to add two lifts serving the Outback - one which connects the North Summit and the Outback and one which serves the Outback only. This I beleive would be the best terrain on the mountain.
So if you combine the new HV terrain with the option to ski at Laurel Mountain, that is an awesome combination.
SKIHIKEBIKE
January 10, 2008
Member since 12/1/2007 🔗
4 posts
Hidden valley has updated their website looks great!
hockeydave
January 10, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Sure does. Buncher seems to do everything top shelf.

BTW, I think on this thread, some comments were made about the prices (food & beer) at John Harvard's at the Outback. My wife and I stopped by there last Saturday after skiing and the food, beer and service was excellent, even if it was a bit pricey.

I'm currently at Whistler and my nephew just paid $6.75 for a 12 ounce Coors Light. I never expected that imported bottled water from the States would cost that much.
snosnugums
January 10, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
I seem to have trouble with their webiste. I have never been able to access the web cam. And my work computer will not load the website. I assume there is some kind of firewall which prevents it from being loaded (I assume that the website it trying to load software or cookies onto my computer). Does anyone have any advice out there as to how I can solve this problem.

Notice that the trail map lists the vertical drop as 470'. Can you believe that the Kettler's used to list the vertical drop as 700 feet!!!!
rdytooski
January 12, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
We also where up from the Wednesday after Christmas to Tuesday. We skied at 7S in the misty rain on Thursday and then Saturday, Sunday and Monday at HV. Had a good time with the family, my wife played chase with our 6 year old and my father-in-law broke his back working with our 3 year old teaching him how to ski.As I hope my wife will be able to keep up with them (as she is far superior of a skier to me). Lift attendants where very helpful in assiting my 6 year old and me at the lifts. We ate at John Hardvard's for New Year's Eve dinner. Food was good. Service we best i think we have had in the past 4 years since going to HV for 7 or 8 years.
Beer was tasty. Buncher needs a big round of applause and standing O for what they have done in a short amount of time!!!!!

PS just looked at HVs cams and they are a blowin the white stuff!
Straight Shot
January 15, 2008
Member since 08/16/2007 🔗
53 posts
I just skied HV last night til about 930 and had about 7-9 inches of powder all natural away from the snow guns. I think with all this new snow and some activity from the guns being on, the main base all over the mountain will be restored.

I have to say though, 2 wednesdays ago when it got dunped on, myself and my friends skied through knee to mid thigh (I'm 6 feet tall I might add) deep champagne powder there throughout most fo the day and I was getting face shots almost the whole time too.
Edgar3
January 20, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I just skied HV for the first time under the new ownership, and yes what a difference a few months make.

The lodge is full or sketches of the proposed new lodge and trails. There was one sketch that I had not seen before and do not believe it is posted on the web site, which shows the entire master plan including the Paradise Springs development. Amazing. Includes things like some kind of base village at outback park, condo base area over by the base of the north slopes that looks as big as the proposed new lodge, a "commercial area" in bakersville along route 31, and a lake lodge over on the lake in bakersville.

I hope that the real estate slump and credit mess doesn't somehow delay the plans, especially as far as the ski resort is concerned. At the end of the day this is all based on the assumption that home buyers will buyers will show up with $$$ and if at some point that doesn't happen perhaps the plans may remain only that . There will definitely need to be some significant investment upfront as well just to get things rolling. Should be a very interesting next few years.
WPABoarder
January 27, 2008
Member since 01/20/2006 🔗
22 posts
Had a great time with the kids at HV yesterday. The terrain park features on Continental seemed to be well suited for the younger ones, and allowed us adults to be near by if not on them. (Me and the c box have some issues, but we will work it out next time I visit.) Very family friendly.
HVrider
March 3, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
12 posts
I have read just about every post in this thread. On behalf of the Hidden Valley staff, we thank you for your compliments on the improvements that has been done thus far.

I have not been there long, however I have known a few families for a while. I was recently hired on with HV and up till the begining of this season, I didn't know how to snowboard. Still never had a ski on on my foot to this day. However, I have gotten pretty good, in the past few months as I have been bitten by the bug....

I might have seen some of you around, but I am sure you have seen me. I am just known as "the moose". I am the guy runnin around with the moose hat. I am usually riding, or working in rentals, the terrain park during hours or helping setting the boxes and rails after hours.

If you guys ever see me, feel free to say hi!!!!
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
March 3, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Moose,
Welcome to DCSki. What are you planning to do after ski season?
The Colonel \:\)
HVrider
March 3, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
12 posts
Well, I am a boat mechanic for a Nautique dealer so as ski season winds down, wakeboard season winds up. My weekends are optional during the winter so it really works out for snowboarding and working at HV on weekends. Plus I usually stay over night with a friend at the top of the triples. I might be around HV a little more this summer though... Stay tuned for up dates.....
lmmlaw
March 3, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
18 posts
Question for the HV regulars - about accommodations. My husband and I are relatively new converts. We have come up with extended family groups for a weekend here and there the last couple of years. We had stayed in the condos in the Summit area the last two years. This year, we rented a house on Lake road, right next to Imperial (which, I have to admit, was much more convenient in theory than it was in reality) which ended up being a huge disappointment. Dirty, musty/moldy smell, inadequate linens, you name it. When skiing the easy hills - Rambler and Continental in particular - on the Valley side, you pass all of these beautiful homes. That is the kind of space that we need for our one big family trip, but I'm wondering how to go about finding out if they are rented out. After finding this year's rental online, I'm a bit afraid of being burned again. Any ideas?
OrionsBelt
March 5, 2008
Member since 10/11/2006 🔗
4 posts

You should get in touch with the home owners association. They keep a list of owner's who rent. I'm pretty sure you can get a look at the place up front if you like.
petalpusher
March 6, 2008
Member since 03/6/2008 🔗
4 posts
The homeowners foundation has a website, http://www.hvfoundation.com, that lists properties for rent by owners along with pictures.
rdytooski
March 6, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
So are we all ready for a great weekend at Hidden Valley?

If so are you purchasing next years passes for that great price?
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
March 6, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Thanks for the info....and WELCOME petalpusher to DCSki.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
The Colonel \:\)
HVrider
March 7, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
12 posts
 Originally Posted By: rdytooski
So are we all ready for a great weekend at Hidden Valley?

If so are you purchasing next years passes for that great price?


See you there!!! I got caught up at my real job this afternoon then I will be there. I will be there all weekend, either wearing my moose hat, or the moose costume. See you all there...

Plus waiting to see what happens with this storm that is coming up from the gulf.....
petalpusher
March 8, 2008
Member since 03/6/2008 🔗
4 posts
Thanks for the welcome. I've been "lurking" on the site for about 6 months & I was most impressed with all the HV info you guys had during last summer's sale. This site always had the most up to date & accurate info you could find anywhere. We're HV owners & have also just started skiing at an advanced age!!
(mid-40's).
rdytooski
March 10, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
So how many of us made it to the Spring Carninval?

Despite the lousy weather the on Saturday morning my kids had a blast. Hey you can't beat free ice cream and chips before lunch.

We have a great time and purchased our 4 passes for next year.

Hats off to the Buncher!!!
snosnugums
March 10, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
The weather on Saturday changed dramatically from fog to blizzard. By Sunday, the slush turn to groomed powder...not bad.

Sunday afternoon was very pleasant. The festivities were great, the atmosphere was festive and skiing was good. I look forward to next year and will be purchasing my season pass at the discount rate of $269!! Hopefully we'll get in a few more weekends,
lmmlaw
March 11, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
18 posts
We were there on Sunday as well. We're relatively new converts. I skiied in high school but not exceptionally well as I had serious knee issues, my husband never graced a set of skis before we met. We had gone a few times hit or miss over the past few years, never really committing to actually learning proper technique, etc. This was the first year that our son was old enough to get into lessons - he's turning 4 next month - so we eased our way in. Have gone to HV now 7 or 8 times this season and loved it. Can't really compare to how good/bad it was in the past, but I certainly have no complaints with the resort now. Our son had a fabulous instructor (Brandon - I highly recommend him for little ones) each weekend and we took lessons as well. Bit the bullet and bought equipment halfway in - what a difference! and got season passes for next year.

My only minor quibble is that they appear to no longer have a program for the little ones. Kids can't do ski school until age 7, and whatever they had in the past - Mountain Munchkins maybe? - seems to have become defunct. I would love to see them start or reinstitute a program like 7S has for the 4 - 7 year old set where they can do the full or half day program of ski/break/play/lunch. Hourly lessons add up for this age range, plus, I don't know about other 4yo's, but 1 hour of instruction isn't enough for mine, but mid-way through the second hour, he's liable to be making snow angels at the bottom of the slope.....

Anyway, I have greatly enjoyed being able to read so much on here about local resorts - we're in Pittsburgh so can make day trips to HV/7S, but may take a weekend away next year to explore some of the others I've seen here.
jeffo4
March 11, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Mountain Munchkins is still there I have used for my kids this year. It does however sell out becuase of limited spots 20 or so. If you schedule a week ahead you shouldn't have any problems
lmmlaw
March 11, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
18 posts
Thanks for the info - I couldn't find anything about it on the website. I'll have to call about this weekend!
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
March 11, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
What's the best route from DC to HV? With all the new stories about the sale etc. it may be an option for when my Shoe condo is rented (3-day weekends mostly)
hockeydave
March 12, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I70 to Breezewood (PA turnpike). Pa Turnpike East ~55 miles to Somerset exit. Follow PA Route 31 East about 11 miles... HV entrance on the left
lmmlaw
March 12, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
18 posts
My sister and BIL just made the drive from Arlington to HV a few weekends ago and made it in just under 3 hours.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
March 12, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
 Originally Posted By: hockeydave
I70 to Breezewood (PA turnpike). Pa Turnpike East ~55 miles to Somerset exit. Follow PA Route 31 East about 11 miles... HV entrance on the left


Hockey Dave - you head east on Route 31 you'll end up in Bedford. I think you meant to say "follow PA Route 31 west...".

One landmark I use is the Giant Eagle grocery store on Route 31 as you head out into the burbs of Somerset. It is 9 miles from the Giant Eagle to the HV entrance.
hockeydave
March 12, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Thanks for the correction Snowsmith... my wife's inability to give proper directions must be rubbing off on me. \:\/
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
March 13, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Same problem with the direction to take on the PA Turnpike, from Breezewood you go west.
The Colonel \:\)
Edgar3
June 5, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Things have become quiet lately.

Is anyone aware if they have started to cut the new trails?

Based on the pace of things last fall and winter, I would have expected there to be more activities announced for the summer. I get the impression they are still trying to get things into a maintanined and managable state.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
June 5, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
The last time that I visited was Memorial Day weekend. At that time I saw alot of snow making pipe being installed. I also walked the Outback area and noticed that the new trails had been staked out. I understand they are in the process of getting permits for cutting the trails. The old double lifts had been removed with exception of the lift poles.
I wonder if they are re-examining their plans given that the economy is heading south and the price of gas may affect the number of visits.
snosnugums
June 8, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Remember how we discussed how the old owner invested little in marketing Hidden Vally? Well the new owner seems to have a similar philosiphy....."build it and they will come".
Take for example the ski/bike shop and the Hidden Valley Cafe. First of all, who came up with these names (what IS the name of the bike/ski shop?). There's not even a sign on Route 31 indicating these businesses exist!
The Hidden Valley Cafe has great food, yet the place is usually empty. Why? There's no advertising what-so-ever.
Take a look at John Harvards Brew Pub, I doubt most people know it exists. How about offering coupons to get people in there?
The initial excitement over the new web site has been replaced with sleep and snoring. The web site hasn't really changed since the winter.
Maybe they hired Keith James from the Kettler's. He was your basic do nothing? They need to get a creative youngster in there who knows how to market the place. Who ever is doing their wed site must have went into a coma. How about getting us excited about what's going on at HV? How about putting the restuarant menus on the web site. How about putting photos on the web site showing the progress of the new lift construction? How about an old car show. A concert or two?
With all of the great things going on at HV, let the world know about. I am excited about the new lifts, the new snow making, the future plans, etc. But the rest of the world needs to know about this. I want you guys to make money!
Edgar3
June 9, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I noticed they do at least have a nice new sign along rt 31 close to the glades pike winery. This replaces the canvas things they had before.

However, I do agree with you that they could be doing much more to bring people in. On an average weekday the lot is overflowing at the Laurel Mtn Inn ust down the road even though their food is nothing special, while John Harvards usually has an empty lot. I was uncertain if it as even open (no cars tends to not attract customers).

Why: Their prices are too high and nothing has been done to get the ball rolling.
hockeydave
June 9, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
In Bunchers defense, summer is traditionally slower at any resort in the East and Mid-atlantic. Also, they have overcome a great deal of negative inertia sucked out of the resort because of years of neglect. Just be glad they are upgrading the winter amenities (snowmaking and lifts); I'm sure in due time, the summer activities will get better (I heard the golf course is in great shape). Without them, who knows what kind of delapidated condition HV would be in right now. Remember, they have been there only a short 9 months.
Taylormatt
June 9, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
I've played that course plenty over the years. I rode up there on Sunday and yeah, the course is the best I've seen it look, ever.
snosnugums
June 9, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
No doubt about it, they have turned the place around from a service and condition aspect. However,for this to continue, people have to come to HV and spend their money. Several weeks ago I went to John Harvards at 10:30 PM on a Saturday night...it had closed. How can you not keep a restuarant, a brew no less, open past 10:00 o'clock? There has been no marketing for this place. How about sending a coupon to homeowner's and local residents offering a free dinner or discounts. If the place is any good, people will come back. The HV Cafe is empty despite the great food that is offered... no advertising, no sign on Route 31. The web site got off to a great start and has fallen asleep since then. If you doing something good, let people know about it. I want these places to be successfull, I want Buncher to be successfull and I certainly want the ski area to be successful. Now, I don't want another 7Springs, but I want want enough people to show up so that the Buncher's are successful.
Maybe they have big plans and what we have now is just an interim condition...a transition if you will to a an even better product.
Edgar3
June 10, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I was just at John Harvards tonight. Apparently they have made requests with the developer for more signage including billboards on the turnpike. Seems like they know what needs to be done, but it is just a matter of doing it.
snosnugums
June 15, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Went to John Harvards today for dinner. My wife and I were the only diners in the entire restuarant at 6:00 PM on a Sunday?
The salad was great, the lobster bisque was great, the service was very good, however this is the second time I ordered a burger there and the meat was like rubber.
If you can't get a burger right, it's time for management to look at what's wrong.
I say kick out the Boston Culinary Group and get somebody in there who knows how to run a successful restuarant operation.
rdytooski
June 19, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
Any idea why the chairs are off of sunrise and sunset lifts?
imp
June 20, 2008
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
232 posts
basic maintance, both will have the bullwheels worked on, bearings and such for the first time in years..
they are laying out the tower bases for the new lift.

imp
hockeydave
June 23, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
July 2, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I hear that John Harvards is now closed on weekdays; the lift construction proceeds and new snow making facilities are being installed as planned.
As far as John Harvards is concerned, I have not been impressed with any of the restuarant operations that have been run by the Boston Culinary Group. How can you not have a clientele at a brew pub at 10:30 PM on a Saturday night. The marketing for these restuarants in non-existant. How is Buncher going to have a successful restuarant if they don't do any advertising or marketing. The wed site is sorely lacking also in this area. The menus are not even on the web site????. Come on guys.. there's more to running a resort than selling real estate. You guys are doing a fantastic job of upgrading HV ...now you need to let people know about it. Place an ad in the Pittsburgh Magazine (Wisp has an ad and so does Nemacolon). Give out coupons for a free meal in the restuarants, put a sign up on Route 31 telling everyone about the HV Cafe and the Ski/Bike shop. HIRE A MARKETING DIRECTOR
Come on guys...tell everyone about the good things your doing!!!
WPABoarder
July 2, 2008
Member since 01/20/2006 🔗
22 posts
If John Harvard's is closed weekdays it is news to me. I was just there the other day and it was open. You would think after all the coverage on the Presidential primaries, everyone would do some simple fact checking. I also understand that a person has been brought in from Boston Culinary to help with some changes over the next month or so.

I have seen several ads for the golf course so far. I also just heard a couple radio spots for the Christmas in July sale that the Sports Shop is having this weekend. It was actually cute, a little different than the usual ads you hear.

However, I can understand why they aren't spending big $$$ on advertising at this time when they still have all the construction activity at the resort. While not attractive from an astetic perspective, but to a skier or snowboarder it looks like the Mona Lisa in progress. Wisp and Nemacolon advertise in the Pittsburgh Business Times hoping to attract the more affluent customers, but these resorts are in a much better condition at this time.

I think they have owned the Resort for around 10 months, starting in a hole. One can only imagine what they have gone through during this period of time. They seem to be focused and have their priorities in order. So I assume they have a marketing plan for the resort when they are ready.

My experience is that the best marketing tool is by word of mouth. They certainly have my voice.
snosnugums
July 2, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
It's good to know that there are some radio spots. I mentioned in a previous post that I visited John Harvards on Sunday at 6:00PM and we were the only diners. That was the day after I went to JH to have a beer at about 10:00 PM and it was closed. I went to the Laurel Mt Inn which was packed (with chain smokers). It is great that HV has banned smoking in the bars. Like the other posters, I just want to see them do well. I have been dissapointed with John Harvards but I love the HV Cafe as does my family. I am so happy to have these guys as owners that I would hate if they gave up because they are not making any money.
As far as marketing, I just don't want to see the place languish like it did under the Kettlers who did little marketing. Perhaps you are correct, they are waiting to get their house in order before they have an aggresive marketing effort.
Maybe they can re-activate the old HV TV station.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
July 3, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I was told by a friend that he went there on a weekday for lunch or dinner, and it was closed. Maybe it just looked closed since there weren't many cars there, not sure. Glad to hear it is open and changes are proposed. Frankly, I think the place may not be salvagable since many folks have already formed an opinion about it, but I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. As the place gets developed I am sure the restuarants and their locations will change. The have plans for a new commercial areaa behind the old fire house. I am happy that they are the new owners and wish them success.
Leo
July 3, 2008
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
This is just my two cents. For those who have followed the HV threads going well back to before the sale to Buncher, I am an HV skier, home owner, and supporter.

With that said, all of my JH experiences have been poor. The menu is limited (my wife and I are vegetarian) to the point where there really is not anything for us to order. What we have ordered or had wait staff agree to make for us has been sub par. And even though I don't think it is the best restaurant ever, the JH in Monroeville is good. So it puzzles me why they have so much trouble replicating that at the HV location. Maybe it has something to do with Boston Concessions, who never did a good job with anything at HV.

A poor restaurant isn't going to do good any where. HV, 7 Springs, or Pittsburgh. There are too many alternatives for a poor restaurant to succeed. Take the Out of the Fire Cafe in Donegal as an example. They have done well b/c they have a good product.

Tied in with all this, in my mind, is the lack of momentum with respect to year round activities. I know Buncher has their hands full getting the resort back to some base level of acceptability, but again, look no further than 7 Springs bike park. That is the future. Two years ago, I was in Whistler in the summer and I said, this is the future of a 4 seasons resort. Given the terrain and population here, 7 Springs has come much closer to attempting that than HV. They are only minutes apart....people aren't going to go to HV just to be altruistic b/c they feel good about what Buncher is doing. I am more than willing to give things a chance....it has been less than a year since they closed on the sale. But if homeowners or resort owners or whomever expect the resort and restaurants etc to be crowded and do well then they need to give people a reason to be there.

Okay. I have rambled enough. I feel like this post ended up more negative than I meant it to be. But hey, what's the old expression?? Strike with one hand, draw near with the other. If you are still reading, have a happy 4th!!!
jeffo4
July 4, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I too agree JH has been awful I am hopeful theye are using an outside company until renovations are done then properly operate the restaurants. I think everyone wished that we would have instant ammenities at HV but it will take time. Outside guest will first come for the skiing then the four season activities. Once the hotel and other features are ready it will still take a year or too to gain a loyal group of customers. I think the Buncher folks already know that and are willing to wait. In the meantime let's hope the restaurant improves.... I went to 7S for dinner and the 4 tables around our were all from HV so the market is certainly here
Leo
July 9, 2008
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
Ok, I stand corrected:



Pic from the new bike park being constructed at HV.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
July 14, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Went to lunch at the "Out of the Fire Cafe" on Donegal and the food was excellent. The place was busy. Keep in mind that John Harvards and OOTFC are on the same road (Rte 31). Once folks try a restuarant and they are not happy, they are not likely to return. That is why I suggest some coupons.
I had breakfast at Mulligans and it was fine. Nice being able to have breakfast without leaving the resort.
I see construction happening in many places: snow making piping, new lift, sewer in Bakersville. And they announced the construction of the new North Summit condos (ones that were originally started by Kettler). This should be starting soon. Other stuff is coming>>>>>clearing of new slopes in September; North Summit mini-base lodge; new single family homes on the golf course.
Went to JH on Saturday night @ 10:15 and the place was closing. The guy said we'd like to stay open, but everyone goes home early. My grandma has a more exciting night life in the extended care home she's staying in. Well, it is a family resort, but it never used to be this dead. Maybe they could add strip tease.
Scott Bender may make some changes. I am sure the Buncher's have a lot of irons in the fire. I think Boston Concessions is only temporary. They don't seem to understand the market in this area.
jeffo4
July 18, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
HV has golf Cams now can north summit cams be far behind?
HVrider
July 20, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
12 posts
Well, Things are moving along at HV. We took a ride up this weekend, and saw a few things that caught my eye.

Of course we all know the new water lines for the snow making. What good are new water lines if you have nothing to do with the water... Well, Buncher has again shown its dedication to help keep the best conditions for skiing. Sitting in the lot are 40+ TechnoAlpin M18 snow guns and a couple of the M12's. This is in addition to the ones they purchased and implemented last year. I would expect the new guns to cover the back side of the mountain, and the top of the front face, but I am just guessing....

Heres a pic of the guns if you don't already know what they look like. This pic is NOT at hidden valley, just a random pic of the gun

Also the two double lifts, Blizzard and Lightning, are completely removed and some of the super structures for the new quad that will replace these two, are up.

I didn't have a cam so I couldn't get any pics, but things are definitely moving along up there.


Cheers to Buncher and the crew up there for doing what needs to be done. This season should be better than it has ever been in years....
David
July 21, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Wow, this has been a mainstay thread around here. 27 pages. Over 265 posts. And over 100,000 views. That is a TON of views.
nic223
August 4, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Edgar3
August 5, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
More management following Scott Bender from 7S to HV:
http://activerain.com/blogs/rwagner

Edgar3
August 18, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I was at HV this past weekend, and the area is one big construction zone with contracters coming and going. A few things to report:

- They have apparently ripped out the main walkway by the ski shop and ticket office.
- There were some trucks in the woods above outback park; Perhaps starting to cut the new trails?
- All the new snow guns on the mountain are an impressive sight. On their web site that they claim that they now have the largest automated Technoalpin system in the US.
- They are actively laying sewer pipe from Lavansville along route 31 to service the adjoining development. As I drove along I was impressed at the distance they will need to go, and the investment this must require. Definitely good signs of commitment to the long term plan.
Leo
August 18, 2008
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
Does anyone know if the new bike park is open? And if not, when?

I am assuming they will announce that it is open, once it is, on the website.

Any info on the bike park or updates would be appreciated.
Domino
August 18, 2008
Member since 10/17/2006 🔗
6 posts

It's not "officially" open but I rode it yesterday. A group of about 8 made a couple of attempts. Novice riders in our group (of 4). I could make the 1st tabletop but not the 2nd. Bike shop said they are still trying to open this year but slow going with trying to complete during free time.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
August 18, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I spoke to one of Buncher's head honcho's back in June about the new Outback slopes and he said that they had scheduled to start clearing the trees for the slopes in August but added that given the endless permitting processes that they have to go through, it may not happen until September. So maybe they have the permits in hand to clear for the slopes. Maybe this winter, we'll be able to hike up and ski down these slopes after we get a big dump.
I was told by the ski shop manager that Buncher hopes to open the slopes by early November and they thinkt they can do it with the new snow making equipment. So last year they stayed open until the 2nd week of April and if they open in November, that would mean a 6 month ski season! So we would only have to suffer through 1/2 the year with no skiing.
Taylormatt
August 20, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
 Originally Posted By: Leo
Does anyone know if the new bike park is open? And if not, when?

I am assuming they will announce that it is open, once it is, on the website.

Any info on the bike park or updates would be appreciated.



They have shuttle rates and rental rates on the website along with shuttle hours. I'm assuming this means it's open. I'm going to try to check it out this weekend.
jeffo4
August 25, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Another employee score for buncher. It seems the web and graphics designer from 7S has also followed the management to HV
Edgar3
August 25, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
The local realtors are talking about the possibility of a water park at HV. Seems very early stages or just rumor. If you recall there were plans for a water park at 7S which seemed to die around the time the Nuttings got involved and the slot license was killed. Havn't heard much more about it since at 7S, and stands to reason that with 7S mgmt now at HV that such ideas might convey. They would do well with a park that is indoors so as to provide year round attraction.
snosnugums
August 25, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Quite frankly, I could do without a water park. I think a water park belongs at Seven Springs. I don't see a water park fitting in with the new gated Paradise Springs community either. A water park is kind of, well....tacky. Who's going to shell out $800k for real estate at Paradise Springs while a tacky water park is next door.
snosnugums
August 25, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
The Hidden Valley website has posted a message concerning the closing of the bike trails on the Outback side of the mountain. Apparently they have started clearing and constructing the new ski trails and need to close the trails for safety reasons. This is exciting news. They are serious about developing new ski terrain. According to their plan, the lifts and snow making will be constructed next year for the 2009/2010 ski season.
Big Dawg
August 26, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
7 posts
We were up this weekend and talked with some employees, Heard talk of a Mountian Coaster (much like the one at WISP)going in on the Outback side along with the new runs.
snosnugums
September 4, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Visited HV over the Labor Day weekend and found much activity going on.
- Still installing the new quad lift, the new snow guns and new snow making piping
- sewer and sewer pump station construction on going along Route 31
- clearing started for the new Outback slopes and the new maintenance buidling
- Summit condos under contruction
- all brick pavers on the ski lodge plaza were being replaced
- ski shop added K2 to the ski brands that they sell

I cannot imagine how much money they are spending but it is significant. Looking forward to this winter.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 5, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Remember when we got excited because a company named "Sunburst Hospitality" supposedly closed the deal to buy HV. I don't think we could find a better owner than Buncher. No owner is going to be perfect and we're not always going to be happy with Buncher's management, but, what they are doing to improve the place is exactly what I would have done. Bravo!
hockeydave
September 6, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
The amount of money they're pumping in w/o substantial ROI (at least for the time being) shows the amount of confidence they have in Hidden Valley (and themselves). I would estimate they have already spent between $20 and $40 million on new snowmaking, groomers, a new chair lift, various infrastructure, golf course maintenance, etc. Being a cabin owner in Laurel Mountain Village, I can only wonder what might have been if Buncher would have acquired the rights to operate Laurel. Y'all should be very thankful for what they have done at HV.

As a side note, the John Harvard's in Monroeville, PA has closed. I'm not sure what that means for the John Harvard's at the Outback area. I know they got their beer from that restaurant.
Edgar3
September 6, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I was at John Harvard's at Hidden Valley this past week. You can see lots of work being done in the Outback area in preparation for the new slopes. Also of note:

- They plan to start a weekend Brunch by ski season. (should be successful since bfast has been lacking in the area)
- It was mentioned that it is in the "5 year plan" to demolish the existing building, and build a new building fronting Rt31 that would be further back from the road, allowing for better parking in front and more direct slope access in the back.
jeffo4
September 26, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
It appears that JH is gone. The HV news letter says a new Pizza/ Italian Sports bar-ish. Establishment is opening on Oct 6
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 26, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I heard the JH in Monroeville went out of business. Thus, the beer supply is gone for the brewpub. To be frankly honest, I did not think the beer was that good and it wasn't cheap. If they're going to have pizza and pasta, they will be competing with the Italian Oven, 9 miles down the road.I think they need to rename the place, because JH does not have a good reputation among HV home owners. It sounds like they're on the right track. Now they need to make sure that the diners are happy and they spend some money on marketing these places. With the Bush economy heading way south, it could be challenging times for all resorts. Real estate is not moving so they need to make money on the ski, golf and food operations.
Has anyone been to the Outback area to observe clearing for trails. If so, please post your observations.
hockeydave
September 26, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
What truly amazes me after reviewing several pages of this thread is the amount of complaints about Buncher and the services provided. Hidden Valley was on the cusp of becoming another Laurel Mountain Ski Area/Laurel Mountain Village prior to Buncher stepping in. The transformation has been remarkable and nobody in their wildest dreams could have imagined what they have accomplished in such a short time. I guarantee they are currently losing their shirts up there with the amount of $$$$ they are pumping into the place with very little return on investment (currently). The golf course is nearly back to country club conditions after years of neglect, the ski area has a new state of the art snowmaking system, new charlifts, the decaying infrastructure is being rehabbed. Real estate is moving at 95% of the asking price. All of this in ONE FREAKIN YEAR!!!! Be thankful. You folks who own property are very lucky that these people stepped in to save what once was a sinking ship. Nothing wrong with constructive criticism, but give them a chance to learn & grow. They will. Everyone benefits with Buncher being at Hidden Valley.

By the way Snowsmith, your keyboard must have misfired with a prepended "B" and an appended "h" when you typed "Bush economy"; I'm assuming you meant to type "us economy". I'm sure you don't want to give one man credit (GW) for a GDP of $13.81 trillion, which is still numero uno in the world. wink
jimmy
September 26, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
HA hockeyDAVE he been grindin that axe wherevr he posts. I'm getting a kick outta Dodd and BARNEYfranks' indignation over the whole mess they helped start when they turned the community reinvestment act into an entitlement program, just sayin.
Edgar3
September 27, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
If this is true, would be sorry so see JH's go so soon. Thought their beer was good, even if overpriced. Maybe there is something to be said for a re-start with a lower cost structure.

Not to be taken as a criticism of Buncher because I believe that overall they are doing an excellent job, but in the case of JH's there certainly could have been more promotion, specials, and other things to build a following. It seemed like JH's was just a temporary thing, which may in fact have been the case. Will be interesting to see what is done any differently if there is a change of venue.
gizmosnow
September 27, 2008
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Been a long time since I signed in although have lurked alot...looking forward to the start of ski season.

Snowsmith...can see where they are taking out trees on north face for new slopes but couldn't get close enough to fully assess. They were laying the pipe for new snowmakers and with all the 'ditching' mud and machinery moving across Tracker and the top of North face, I was unable to get up close.

Re: JH, I'm thinking Buncher did the very best available to them. Afterall, JH was/is an established restaurant. I don't know that it was Buncher's primary responsibility to promote JH. Buncher gave Boston Concessions (who already had the nearby JH in Monroeville) the opportunity to operate a JH at HV and I think it was primarily JH's responsiblity to promote the restaurant. As far as Buncher goes, what better choice did they have? They had never run a ski resort before nevertheless a startup restaurant. Boston Concession was at hand with the JH option and it was probably the only quick solution available to them. I would hope that Boston Concessions suffered the majority of any loss associated with the failed attempt and not Buncher.

I had heard, by the way, that among the many key employees that came to HV from 7S is the former Manager of Helens Restaurant. Hopefully that bodes well for future eateries at HV.
fishnski
September 27, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Thanks DC Public Rep Jimmi....4 more years of Bush is just a smoke screen of 4 more years of Dem controled Gov't!! Ole Barney Frank always seems like he is speaking with somthing in his mouth ..Doesn't he?..Dudd..I Mean Dodd can kiss my hard working (censered)!....Oh I'm Sorry ....Hidden Valley...Thanks be to God!!!...Ever hear of a couple of MTNs in WV that would Make more Sense??!??
fishnski
September 27, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Mann..I can't leave this alone...Hidden Valley???!!!..We are trying to get a couple of MTN's in WV developed that would be twice as big as HV...We have way to many hills in the Mid Atlantic zone...Hills..Hills...Geeeze..Where is the Support of a REAL Ski Area???

Hidden Valley Reminds me of the current Problem...Another bail out...There are tooo many slope side owners that need help...BOOO...HOOOOO!!!
fishnski
September 28, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
That was too harsh!..Sorry..I'm rethinking the HV Bailout comment.It was to no fault of any of the owners of Real estate up at HV that the place went under..They don't deserve to be left hanging without a resort...Please accept my apology..
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 29, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Fishnski - while I'll agree that HV is a mole hill of a ski area compared to Vermont and places out west, it is really not that much smaller than say Canaan.
If you could share some of that North Carolacci herb you been smokin' related to the "2 new ski areas in WV" we could all have an even better fantasy that a geological upheaval actually causes 10,000 ft mountains to appear with the ski terrain in place. Those ski areas have about as much chance of happening as a new ski area in NC Outer Banks where you keep your fishing boat. Not that I am happy about that, but it ain't going to happen so be happy with what the great spirit has given us deprived Mid-Atlantic skiers.

As far as your buddy Bush, he's done such a fine job that I think we should change the constitution so we can have him around for 4 more years. By then we'll have so much debt, we'll be owned by China and all of his rich oil buddies will have their hands in our pockets (which will be empty). When he was elected the national debt was $ 4 trillion. It is now close to $11 trillion. Maybe he can get it up to $12 trillion before he leaves office...triple the national debt in 8 years...wow that would be impressive. Yes sir, a fine job (kind of like being kicked in the testicles).
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 29, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Gizmosnow - I have nothing but admiration for what Buncher has accomplished in one year. I think Boston Concessions never understood the market in the HV area. I don't mean to sound like a complainer because I am very happy.

I visited the cleared area for the new ski trails and I am excited! They clearing extends to the top of the hill for the existing Charger and Outback slope making these trails at least 1/3 longer. The 2 new trails that were cleared remind me of the Gunnar trail at Seven Springs, except a little shorter. They start off with a short,steep section at the top, flatten out a little, then come to a steep pitch followed by a flat area and finish off with a steep pitch at the bottom. One of the trails seems to have been partially cleared on one side suggesting it could be partially gladed. These trails will definitely be the most challenging and interesting trails at HV. I just hope that the economy does not affect their decision to go ahead with completing the expanion for the winter of 2009/2010.
They have accomplished alot in only one year. There was still lots of activity all over the hill. New steel snow making pipe being installed, completion of the new quad lift, new snow guns being installed, new brick pavers in the plaza at the ski lodge. John Harvards is being revamped as an italian restuarant from what I understand. There is a rumor that the old disco in the ski lodge will be converted to a sports bar. I talked with employees at Mulligans and John Harvards and they are complaining that the restuarants aren't getting much support. The residents need to support these facilities or their not going to have any.
jeffo4
September 29, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I think people will support a restaurant that puts forth a little more effort or is open when part timers get there. We arrive at 1000 or later most fridays and nothing is open. That leaves only saturday to eat at hv. Hopefully the new pizza place will deliver that should add additional business without alot of cost. I also think they should add a convienience store that we can depend on. I have also heard of a midnight madness (ala mad river mtn) rumored for friday nights has anyone else heard this or has it been tried in the mid atlantic?
petalpusher
October 2, 2008
Member since 03/6/2008 🔗
4 posts
I agree with the restaurant comment, a little more effort is necessary. Breakfast is not worth the money at the cafe or Mulligan's. We eat at LMI at least 3X/month if not more. We would love to stay at HV for dinner. I am not complaining, just stating a fact. I think Buncher is doing a fabulous job & I really appreciate their effort & would be more than happy to support their endeavors whenever I can.
hockeydave
October 3, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I can't speak for the value at the cafe or Mulligan's because I never ate there, and being a vegetarian, I'm probably not qualified to comment on what John Harvard's had to offer (love the Pale Ale though). But remember, this is a resort, and in most cases, you will pay more for everything from food & beverage to real estate.

Hopefully the new restaurant that Buncher opens caters to people who prefer quantity over quality because that's what Americans, and in particular, people from Western PA, want.
jeffo4
October 3, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
The pricing isn't the problem. It was the inability to make edible food. I was once served a ribeye as a strip, a rw hamburger, and my daughter recieved a grilled cheese cooked only on one side. We ate there at least 8 time and never had an average meal. the cafe however has been good. If there is decent food the convienience factor will out shine the negatives. With HV having less than 10% permanent residents you have to make your money on the weekends including being open when people arrive. What buncher has done has been first rate and i am sure they will be able to run a successful restaurant. Boston was just a play that looked to make sense but didn't pan out. If they have a decent restaurant working by ski season we will all use it
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 3, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I was surprised that no one commented on the description of the new ski trails. These trails are going to change your perception of HV as a ski area with minimal challenge. While they may not be Jackson Hole level challenge, they do have some steeps on them and I am excited about the variety they are going to introduce. They also seem to have more vertical than any of the current terrain on the mountain. If the finish the stump removal and fine grading this fall, we may be able to ski on them if we get any big dumps.
Food is secondary to skiing.
scootertig
October 3, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I've said it before, but I really like Hidden Valley. We're planning to go there at least once or twice this year, and skip Seven Springs entirely... I hope that the new trails are accessible (and open) at some point this season!


aaron
jeffo4
October 3, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I agree we are all looking forward to the skiing but HV needs the year round serivices to be a profitable four season resort. That will sell the real estate that Buncher is here for
nic223
October 8, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
The new menu has been released at John Harvard's. Menu looks to be a better suit for the mountain. Pizza prices are reasonable as well as the sub prices. The new name has not been announced yet. Also they have instlalled 3 new flat screens. The expansion of the bar area is also looking great.
Edgar3
October 9, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Wish I could get more excited about Pizza and Subs as the resturaunt fronting the resort, but I guess it all comes down to what they do and how well they do it. The Uno's at Deep Creek is a good example of a moderate fare place that is done well, and serves as a hub for the resort and is the kind of thing they need.

I spoke to some people at the resort who are definitely in the know, and it seems like they are trying to balance the desire to get people to drive into the resort, with the reality that Route 31 has the visibility. Unlike 7S, HV is spread out with different areas. My take is that they will have a higher end resturaunt in the lodge as part of the new Hotel. Also note that they cut back the cafe in the lodge to just weekends. Suspect they would do better with weekday breakfast and coffee at the Outback area where they could get more traffic. Also, would be better with something more recognizable and resort worthy. Would love to see a Caribu Coffee there.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 9, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
The problem with these restuarants is that they are not marketed. No advertisements, no coupons, no dining specials, minimal e-mails for enticement, no signs on Route 31 for the HV cafe, etc. Of course recently the Out of the Fire Cafe has been doing well via word of mouth because everyone is HUNGRY for a good restuarant that is reasonably priced and they provide that...well done. A restuarant cannot survive on HV residents only. It must attract tourists, locals and anybody else who is willing spend the cash. That is what is going to make a restuarant successful and of course good food.
rdytooski
October 9, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
So doing some digging back in the web archives i found an old Hidden Valley website with prices @ $200 for the season

http://web.archive.org/web/20010605060841/www.hiddenvalleyresort.com/index.html
rdytooski
October 10, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
Website change
The have moved the "Live Camera" from the back of the ski lodge to over look the Outback park
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 10, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I cannot access streaming video from my computer at work...not allowed under company policy (uses up too much bandwidth). Thus I have never seen this webcam.

Old HV webiste was very interesting!
gizmosnow
October 10, 2008
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Heard from a neighbor that a mtg was held for prior year employees. Scott B. spoke about alot of programs in works for upcoming season:

-If mother nature permits, open in November with free skiing
-Discount skiing in December till Christmas
-Learn to ski packages for families
-Significant increase in advertising, PR and special events planned for this season
- New Ski School Director, who comes from 7S.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
October 11, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Who will be ski school Director?
Taylormatt
October 11, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Bob Kuban is the SSD.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
October 11, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
I'm glad to see he's still moving up. He'll find some old Laurel folks on staff.
gizmosnow
October 11, 2008
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Taylormatt --- if I remember correctly, aren't you an instructor at 7S?

Is Bob looking to bring any 7S instructors with him to HV? I understand there is a PSIA Examiner at 7S (Jim?) and heard a rumor that this season he may be putting on some programs at HV as well. Don't know if these would just be programs for the ski school itself or things that would be of interest to all of us.
Taylormatt
October 11, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Sorry, I can't speak for Bob and his plans.

Once things are finalized, I'm sure he will (or someone from HV will) let everyone know what's up.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 13, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
http://www.hiddenvalleyresort.com/WhatsNew.aspx

HV added this link for their website regarding all of the new stuff for 2008/2009. How about skiing for $20 mid-week (Mon - Thurs), 4 hour flex tickets, etc.
Also says the ski school is now called "Wintersports U."
jeffo4
October 16, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
John Harvards has officially been changed to the pub at HV
jeffo4
October 23, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
They are hanging chairs on the new quad snow in forecast for next week it's just around the corner
Taylormatt
October 23, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Yep, we are calling for lake effect flurries sunday night into monday morning here.
snosnugums
October 23, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Assuming the weather pattern holds for a while, we could be skiing by Thanksgiving.
I heard that the new Pub at Hidden Valley is doing well. I'll have to give it a try the next time we are up there.
Chad
October 24, 2008
Member since 12/12/2000 🔗
270 posts
hey just looking at the hidden valley website...

http://www.hiddenvalleyresort.com/Rates.aspx

free lift tickets in november? when does hv typically open? $20 weekday lift tickets? count me in.
hockeydave
October 25, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
These rates are definitely an enticement to get skiers to try HV, at least once. With all of the improvements (snowmaking, lifts, infrastructure, etc.) made at HV, I think those who haven't been there in a while will be pleasantly surprised .

The deal at the golf course this summer (weekdays after 2:00PM - $25 for 18 holes cart & green fees) was one of the best bargains in Western PA. The condition of the golf course was outstanding every time I played there (5 times) this summer.

Give Buncher credit for making every effort to make skiing/golf affordable, at least for the time being.
Edgar3
October 26, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I was at HV earlier this week. If the pub was open, it was hard to tell since there were no cars. They still have John Harvards signage, although there was an addition of a tackey plastic sign of the kind you would find at a used car dealer in the parking lot. I just don't get why they would spend millions on updating the resort and then front it with a POS sign. Come on, get some quality signs and dump the canvas ones as well.

So I proceeded to Laurel Mtn Inn where the parking lot was packed, and I hoped to enjoy thier cheap drinks with the new PA resturaunt no smoking laws in place. However, was disappointed to find that somehow they are getting around this by just installing a patio door between the resturaunt and the bar, so the bar is as smokey as ever. They must have divided into 2 establisments, one the bar and the other the resturaunt. Hope the new Pub at HV bans smoking.
nic223
October 26, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Edgar

Maybe you should spend some more time in Hidden Valley establishments and you would know that all HV establishments do not permit smoking! Furthermore, How can criticize an entity that you know nothing about....
Edgar3
October 26, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
OK, fine so my oversight as to not knowing that no smoking would be allowed at the new pub as part of some prior policy.

The signs are a separate issue. Nic223, do you like the canvas and the recentely added plastic used car sign fronting the resort?
nic223
October 26, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Agreed!!! The signage is poor.
But, you and Snowsmith need to start giving credit to the resort for recognizing that John Harvards was a flop and willing to make drastic changes to improve their image in the food and bev. business. Also you may want to stop by the pub on a Fri. or Sat. night to see how many more people are eating and drinking at the pub. There have been more people at the pub the last to weekends than what John Harvards had on their busiest weeekends ever.

You guys are like CNN reporting all the negative sh**!

Whatever happened to the "glass is half full"

Just think where we would be now a year later without Buncher.
nic223
October 28, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Wtae is calling for 2-4 inches over night in the Laurel Highlands. Lets hope this just the start of a good winter.
GGNagy
October 29, 2008
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
447 posts
Looks pretty and white this morning. Looks like the new lift is turning... for testing! They had one of the control panels open. Other workers over by the double/triples.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 29, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Nic223 - I think Buncher's is doing the right thing in pulling the plug on John Harvards. Quite frankly, I was surprised that the concept did not do well. I thought a brew pub would be accepted in the area. However, the prices for beer were too high, there was minimal marketing for the place and food quality just wasn't there. I don't blame the Buncher's, I blame the Boston Culinary Group. It's time to replace them with someone that is forward thinking like the Buncher's. Or perhaps they can start their own restuarant businesses. They've only owned the place for a year and they have accomplished more in a year than I think anyone else could have. I hear the HV Pub and Grill is doing well. I have not been there yet, but I have been too busy to do much of anything lately.
I am excited about skiing this winter...those dangerous old double chair lifts are gone and we have a shiny new quad. Snow conditions should be outstanding with all of the new snowmaking equipment. We sort of have a new trail, Road Runner, which should be open more since this was a natural snow trail and it now has snowmaking. Some new trails have been cut and they look very interesting for winter 2009/2010. These trails will elevate HV more into the class of Wisp. And speaking of Wisp, I can now obtain a one day free lift pass and half price lift passes through out the season on Sundays and Weekdays. This is an impressive list of accomplishments for one year in business!!! grin I can be patient about finding the correct niche for an HV restuarant.
gizmosnow
November 3, 2008
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Well, some hopeful news for all W.PA skiers!!

Two local (Pittsburgh) weather forecasters just issued their Winter Weather Forecasts for W.PA and the two forecasts were surprisingly similar and very encouraging:

Overall, both predicting below avg. temps and above avg. snowfall.
Both calling for warmer Nov. & March however, significantly colder and snowier Dec. and Feb.
One is calling for a somewhat colder and snowier Jan as well while the other is calling for an early Jan thaw (but then a return to below normal temps and above avg. snowfall).

I'll take it!
hockeydave
November 4, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
It seems recently there is always an early January thaw, so that forecaster is definitely not sticking his/her neck out on that call.

I am guessing both forecasters spun the same chuck-luck wheel to come up with their forecasts. I place ZERO credibility in their predictions since most can't even get a 48 hour forecast correct.

Back on topic, I am looking forward to skiing HV this year with all of the additional snowmaking. And the weekday rates are great. I just recently bought a snowboard and HV is a great place to learn.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 4, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Hockeydave -don't spoil our parade. We like to think that Innaccuweather can see the future. And they weren't too far off last year. What's up with Laurel Mountain. I was hoping to ski there this year.
scootertig
November 4, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Any idea when HV plans to open for the "free November skiing"? I'm hoping it's by Nov 20, but obviously the weather has to play nice for that to happen.

Have they set/announced a "no earlier than x" sort of date yet?


aaron
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 4, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
They said season passes cannot be picked up until after 11/15. So maybe that's the day?
Leo
November 4, 2008
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
I am not aware of any "no earlier than" date. I assume it will be completely weather dependent as to when they think it makes sense to crank it up.

I can tell you this --- the new guns and lift are quite a welcome site. The runs that they had the new guns on last year were consistently some of the best man made snow I have ever skied. At this point, they have almost all of the mountain covered with those babies. As long as it stays pretty cold this winter, conditions should generally be good, regardless of how much natural snow we are blessed with. Don't get me wrong, lots of fresh snow would be great...but either way, if it's cold, we'll be good to go.

Since they had more time to prepare for this winter, I am hopeful that they will be able to do more with at least one real (i.e. made out of SNOW, not dirt) half pipe, some table tops, etc. I am optimistic. It's been said a thousand times on this forum already, but the change that has taken place in 14 months is almost unfathomable.
Edgar3
November 4, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Is anyone aware of the specific plans for the lifts next season in the Outback area? The trail map posted on the web site illustrates one "future lift", while the trail map posted on-site at the bottom of the lifts clearly shows 2 future lifts.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 5, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Nothing is happening with Laurel. If you want to ski there this year, you better have touring equipment and be prepared to poach your runs as Laurel will be locked and gated.

Because of the economic slow down PA is already cutting its budget. No word yet on funding for Laurel but those funds could now be in peril.
jeffo4
November 7, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
HV has an additional ski cam on the website. It is not fully operational but could it be for the summit side?
ovrkild
November 10, 2008
Member since 11/6/2008 🔗
9 posts
Hidden valley started making snow tonight
Leo
November 11, 2008
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
Sweet...I love the aggressiveness. There are certainly some above freezing day time highs in the forecast, but nights should be cold and really in the 10 day for the mountain there are plenty of days that will stay near or below mid 30s.

Should we start taking bets on when they will open?
jeffo4
November 11, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I bet they will try to open both sides with good snow for day after thanksgiving
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 11, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
http://www.hiddenvalleyresort.com/pdf/snowmaking.pdf

Check the link above. They indicate that they want to be open by Thanksgiving and you can ski for free in November.
David
November 11, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Wow, that's a heck of a deal. And only $15 bucks from Dec 1st through the 23rd...
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 11, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Buncher really impresses, they know how to roll out the new Hidden Valley. I sure hope the weather cooperates and the folks that show up ring in the season with an enthusiasm that fore tells a snowy winter. I'd love to ski there with my family over the holiday. It's been a while since I attended an opening day.
ovrkild
November 11, 2008
Member since 11/6/2008 🔗
9 posts
here's a pic 30s before shut down. despite how it sounds on the site the guns that were running was apart of last year's installation. (not like it matters) [img]http://s3.supload.com/free/DSCN0238.jpg/view/ [/img]
David
November 11, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Gotcha

Edgar3
November 12, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
You can see them installing the loading conveyor for the new lift today on the webcam. Great to be able to see things taking shape.
jeffo4
November 15, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I was at HV today lots of activity and buzz from insiders is that opening day should be this saturday if the weather forcast holds. Amazingly the little bit of snow they made earlier in the week is still there. I am not sure if the water supply can feed all of the guns at once but if can the place can be ready in a very short time.
Taylormatt
November 15, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
With the weather forecast for the next 14 days being 30's for the high in PGH and teens to 20's at night...I have a suspicion this just might happen. If nothing else, it would be a great promotion for HV. Even if it's only 1 or 2 runs and maybe a few rails/boxes at the bottom area.

For HV to turn the lifts a week before 7S, even if it is only on the weekend, would be huge for them.

Either way, we're skiing within 2 weeks here in WPA.
rdytooski
November 17, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
Hidden Valley is running the guns!!!!!!
ovrkild
November 18, 2008
Member since 11/6/2008 🔗
9 posts
makin snow on continental, upper rambler and bobcat right now. I heard the opening date is the day after thanksgiving(at least that's the goal).
jeffo4
November 18, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
The staff in the ski shop said they think they will be able to open on this saturday. It is setting up to be a good winter
lmmlaw
November 18, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
18 posts
So, I was using the second webcam and wondered if they moved the magic carpet, or if I just remembered it being more towards the middle of the tail end of Bobcat. We have a now-4yo, and spent a signifcant amount of time in that area with him last year! It got so congested, that I think it would be great if they moved the carpet over (and . . . hope against hope, upgraded it so it moved a bit faster than molasses!). While the kidlet happily graduated to the lifts by mid-season, I know we'll be starting back out on the carpet this year.

We had a heck of a battle this morning convincing him that he really *cannot* wear his ski boots to daycare. Opening day cannot come fast enough in our house.
Leo
November 18, 2008
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
There is also a winter weather advisory for Westmoreland county for this afternoon (Tues) with as much as 6+ inches in the mountains.

We could have freshies on Saturday. laugh
gizmosnow
November 18, 2008
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Immlaw --- Yes, they did move the magic carpet to the side of the slope and, I believe, they may have also extended it higher up the hill. Not sure if they sped it up any.
langleyskier
November 18, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
I might make the trip up there for opening day if they do open with free lift tickets!! Who ever thought of a free opening day in november is a genius! I have been meaning to try out the mnt and this is a perfect chance!
Taylormatt
November 18, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
They are also calling for a Clipper to come through on Friday.
scootertig
November 18, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Jana and I are planning to head up there on Saturday... First turns of the season (unless I manage to make it to Whitegrass on Thursday, which still may happen), and for free, no less!

I have never skied before December, so this may put me on my way to break 20 days this year... Maybe I'll shoot for 40?


aaron
Taylormatt
November 18, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
The rumors have been flying, but I've heard no official word of either resort opening this weekend. Both are targeting Friday after T Day. An 11/22 opening will just be a bonus that we might find about on Friday morning.
jeffo4
November 18, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Sure are a lot of people feverishly working at HV finishing the magic carpet extension and wiring the new loading carpet. Anyone know if the guns on the summit side are on yet?
Taylormatt
November 18, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
nic223
November 18, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
They are making snow on Continental and Riviera right now. They also have the portables set up on Rambler. Temps. look good for the week.
jeffo4
November 18, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Does anyone know if they have the water pressure to runn all guns at once?
nic223
November 18, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
I would think so with all the new bigger lines that were installed this summer. I am not positive though.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 18, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
The word from the staff on mountain today is that the 28th is the target day. Darn, I was all set to come up this Saturday. I hope condition remain good for snowmaking and they open this weekend.
ovrkild
November 19, 2008
Member since 11/6/2008 🔗
9 posts
Originally Posted By: jeffo4
Does anyone know if they have the water pressure to runn all guns at once?

no i just left and there was rambler bobcat and Continental 1 on thunderbird running with all but 2 pumps (that aren't ready yet)
nic223
November 21, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Just had to post nothing to keep this post on the first page. I can't remember the last time this post was not on the first page.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 21, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Forcast for next week is more snow. Next Friday should be outstanding. We had a mini blizzard this afternoon for about 10 minutes. Looking at 7Springs webcams this afternoon, it looks very snowy!! This is the best early season conditions in my lifetime.
hockeydave
November 22, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Based on the extended forecast, my guess is that HV will have the entire ski area open next Friday. I hope they would reconsider their decision to close the area for skiing during the week (Dec 1 - Dec 5). It would be nice if they opened during the day on the 5th (Friday) and maybe even the 4th (Thursday). I would gladly pay the $15 December lift ticket price just to avoid what I suspect will be big crowds on the free skiing weekends.
nic223
November 22, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
They have not started to make snow on the Summit side yet. All the blowers are making snow on the entire front side. It appears that there will be a great base for opening weekend. The other thing that I noticed is that the chairs are not on the Summit quad yet.
jeffo4
November 22, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
If the summit was not open after all the natural and another week of cold weather that would be really disappointing. I also noticed nothing had been done for tubing at the outback park. I think the early cold and snow caught everyone off guard. I would think if you were going to offer free skiing you would want to show the whole resort. maybe they want to leave people with a reason to pay and return by leaving part closed? Regardless it is better than last year
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
November 22, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
I suspect the fact that the chairs are not on the Summit Quad probably has more to do with that area not being open than anything else.
The Colonel smile
snosnugums
November 23, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
While they certainly have accomplished alot, scheduling doesn't seem to be their fortae. I believe that the new skier services building at the North Face is also not done. This kind of weather is going to make it more difficult to complete the construction. I hope the new lift (does it have a name...they haven't updated the trail map yet)will be open on Friday. Those old singe speed double chairs were the worst lifts I have ever ridden. I am glad they made the replacement of those lifs there first priortity. There should be enough natural snow to ski the trail under this lift.
jb714
November 23, 2008
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
How big of an effort is required to install the chairs on the cables? We're probably talking about 100+ individual chairs that needed to bolted on, inspected, etc; followed by test runs and so on. To me that sounds like too much to accomplish between now and Nov 28 - perhaps that's the main reason for the shutdown Dec 01 thru Dec 04.
jeffo4
November 24, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Has anyone notices the piles of snow on the webcams? They appear to have plenty to spread around. Does anyone know if they started putting the chairs back on the summit quad?
Leo
November 25, 2008
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
I was up there Saturday. They have plenty of snow on the front side. My guess is they are leaving it in piles for now to preserve the snow better....but grooming would presumably start soon since they are opening Friday.

I am not sure how much of the weather we had down the mountain yesterday (rain) they would have had on the mountain....but I would say on Saturday there was 10-12 inches of natural snow on the ground as well.

We are supposed to get hit again this afternoon through tomorrow and up there I would expect that additional accumulation could be in the 8" + range. So conditions should be great for Friday.

It was also nice to see that both the sport shop and pub at HV were very busy Saturday.
nic223
November 25, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
The winter weather advisory has just been upgraded to a winter storm watch. Looks like we will have the best November opening weekend that I have seen. Here is the link. By the way we have already recieved 6-8 so far.

http://www.weather.com/weather/alerts/lo...TP&etn=0008
jeffo4
November 26, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
HV has new snow report on front page
jeffo4
November 27, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
It looks like the Valley side at HV will be in the best shape in years. There is a crew of groomers out right now on imperial and cobra has large piles to spread. I would bet the 17-30" snowcover on the website is way underestimating the amount of snow on the ground. The chairs are not on the other quad for the summit side I'll bet they are giving people a reason to come back by not opening the whole place.
jeffo4
November 28, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Check out the lines at HV Free skiing caused ungodly lines. They had pass holder lines but had to abandon them b/c free skiers tore them down You are lucky to get a run an hour in.
hockeydave
November 28, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Yep Jeffo4, looks absolutely insane up there (via WebCam). Just checked out the webcam at 7S and it doesn't look too busy at all.

Great idea to get people to come to HV, but after today, they might have to rethink the free lift ticket strategy. I can't imagine its too fun doing 1 run per hour. I, for one, will avoid HV until they start charging $$$ again.
BoarderChick
November 28, 2008
Member since 11/11/2008 🔗
1 posts
It wasn't bad if you were there early. Some nice runs were had before it got really crowded, but who's complaining when it was free. They did appear to be a little unorganized. I would have thought they would have been better prepared for a large crowd.
hockeydave
November 29, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
jeffo4
November 29, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Good post Hopefully they made money on the rentals and food The rental return line was back almost to the double lift so i would guess they did. The have people putting out lift line stakes now so hopefully pass holders will be able to ski today. They also added some terrain fetures it will be interesting to see what the crowds are like today
jeffo4
November 29, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Today went much better the pass holder lines kept waits to 5 min or less most of the time. The resort responded well to the lift line traffic problems. It would be great if they keep the pass holder lines all year.
hockeydave
November 30, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Just curious, did anybody who's never been to HV or hasn't been there in a long time go this past weekend, and if so, what do you think of the new & improved version of HV?
jb714
November 30, 2008
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
I did ski HV on Friday, and I'd like to share my thoughts.

First, let me say that I learned to ski (in the '70s) at HV, and I used to love the place. Back in the pre-Kettler days it seemed to have a more laid-back, low-key atmosphere when compared to 7 Springs. So, I would absolutely LOVE to see Buncher be successful at HV.

We arived at HV at about 9:30 Fri morning (wanted to arrive earlier but we could not get our 16 year-old moving). We need to rent a snowboard for her, and the rental line was simply unbelievable - she and my wife were in the rental line for more than 2 hours. My youngest daughter and I skied while we waited for them to finish the rental.

I would estimate that we spent roughly 30 minutes in the lift-line for each run. The 'policing' of the lift-lines (i.e., prevention of line-cutting)was virtually non-existent. As noted in other posts, the pass-holder-only lines were totally ignored, with no visible attempt by management to enforce.

When my daughter finally got her rental board, she came outside to find the horrendously long lift-lines. At that point, she and my wife were not in the mood to wait in more long lines. So we returned the rental board (with a full refund), and we left HV.

The employees of HV were all very friendly and helpful, but it was painfully obvious that HV was very poorly prepared for the crowds that the free tickets attracted. My wife and I did speak to a very helpful customer-service rep who was gathering feedback from various folks - like all of the employees we encountered, she was very helpful and courteous. I also sensed that she was a little frustrated with the problems that resulted from the poor preparation for the crowds.

One very positive thing that I noticed was the quality of the snow produced by the Techno-Alpine guns seemed a cut above the snow from the HKD guns at 7 Springs. It seemed to feel more like natural snow - more carveable, and less 'grainy' than at 7 Springs.

Again, I would really love to see HV return to it's days as a successful ski resort. But I fear that many thousands of skiers and boarders had a poor experience on Friday.
Chad
November 30, 2008
Member since 12/12/2000 🔗
270 posts
Originally Posted By: jb714
Again, I would really love to see HV return to it's days as a successful ski resort. But I fear that many thousands of skiers and boarders had a poor experience on Friday.


this is too bad. i was there for my first time ever saturday and had a great time. the lift lines were certainly longer than i am used to, but we never waited more than 20 minutes for a ride up. between noon and 4pm we made a couple of runs on the bunny hill (magic carpet) and and probably five more off the chairlifts.

the sun was out, and the snow was in great shape. for us it was a fine way to kick off what is hopefully a long, snowy season.
jeffo4
November 30, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I was there both days and the learning curve by the resort management was amazing. Saturday went so much smoother. This morning they had all lifts open and running at 8:45 and opened both triples from the beginning it seemed to help the flow. I think everyone was surprised by the sheer number of skiers. I heard Laurel mountain inn ran out of alot of there food by 6pm b/c of the HV carryover crowd. The HV pub was certainly busy when we went for dinner
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 30, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
You know, lines were long, the new quad was a little hinky on Saturday.Think about it, the lines to get on lift were shorter than an average wait at Disney. The ski was blue and sunny, the snow was great. The crowd was patient and, did I say the snow was great?

HV staff learned a lesson and skier got a taste of skiing the way it used to be backmin the day of double chairs and surface lifts.

Thanks to the Buncher Company for inviting us out so we could all shake off the rust.
snosnugums
November 30, 2008
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
I skied HV Friday and Saturday. I found the season pass holder lane and most of the time the wait to get on the lift was very short for me. Unfortunately they abandoned the season pass holder line for the quad on Friday about mid-day due to the huge crowd. But they kept it around for the triples. On Saturday, they not had the season pass holder line but they also had HV staff policing the "season pass holder only" aisle. In the 7 years I have skied HV, I have never seen even 25% of the crowd that showed up on Friday. The word "free" is a powerful draw. The ski shop did an incredible business. We had lunch at the HV Cafe on Saturday and it was busy but we did not have to wait long for our well prepared panini sandwhich and soup.
The snow conditions were very good, especially considering it is only November. They a still trying to catch up getting lifts and terrain ready for the winter. The old double lift could not be run (and they sure could have used it ) because it has not been inspected. Additionally, the Summit quad still does not have chairs on it.
I had many conversations with lift riders. Many said they had not been to HV before or had not been there in many years. Despite the long lines, I think the Buncher's won over some new customers. Hopefully they won't be too succesfull...I liked it better when the crowds small. grin
rdytooski
December 2, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
Does anyone know if they are working on getting summit side open?
nic223
December 2, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
As far as I know yes. Hopefully the temps. will cooperate for snowmaking.
jeffo4
December 2, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
The guns were running most of the day on the valley side and forecast look good for making most of the week.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 2, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
As of Sunday, there were no chairs on the Summit lift. I assume they had too much going on to get this work done. Not sure when it is on their schedule. Hopefull before the Holiday.
ovrkild
December 2, 2008
Member since 11/6/2008 🔗
9 posts
started snowmaking on cross over trail and wrangler(angels elbow) today. and there are some chairs on the lift.
gizmosnow
December 3, 2008
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Snowblowers were on all night on Tracker. Heard that the reason Summit lift not yet ready is because had to get maintenance vehicles past/underneath bottom of lift for construction of maintenance shed --- therefore, could not work on hanging chairs. However, alternate access/road to new shed now complete and will be working on getting lift up and running. Conditions look great again for this coming weekend.
hockeydave
December 3, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
And from the sounds of the local weather guessers here around the Burgh, Mother Nature may help quite a bit.
lmmlaw
December 3, 2008
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
18 posts
Anyone else have the annoying problem of the HV website freezing up when trying to download the trail map as a PDF? I have tried to get it with IE as well as FireFox, and every time the computer freezes and I have to back out.
rdytooski
December 3, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
Just tried it on a PC with IE and had no problems
jimboc
December 3, 2008
Member since 03/30/2004 🔗
260 posts
yes!! - its never loaded for me regardless of browser
rdytooski
December 3, 2008
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
I have posted it on ftp site that we use
ftp://ems.impactunlimited.com/out/HV_TrailMap.pdf
it will be there for 24 hours then automatically removed
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 3, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I have never been able to access the web cam because our computer administrators do not allow streaming media. Does anyone else have that problem. I asked HV if they could add a still picture access like 7Springs, Wisp, etc. Not sure if they will be doing it or not.
nic223
December 4, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
They are blowing on the Summit tonight. With cold temps all day tommorrow hopefully the will have some runs open over there this weekend.
BushwackerinPA
December 5, 2008
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
who else is going up?
jeffo4
December 5, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
The HV website is teasing the summit may be open as well for free skiing.
Edgar3
December 5, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Has anyone heard if HV is still on track with all the plans for next year?

I have been very impressed with them thus far doing exactly what they said they were going to do. Next year plans were very significant with a new lift in the Outback area and breaking ground for the Hotel/ lodge expansion. Just hope that the economy does not cause any pause since these things really would get them to critical mass. Has anyone heard if everything is still on track?
jeffo4
December 5, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I think most things are on track and they are probably better off that they bought when they did. Building costs will be much lower therefore selling costs can be lower and not over inflated as some other areas. They had to make the ski area improvement regardless and they have already cut the new trails. The prime real estate will be on the new slopes. I have a property at HV that has appreiciated so I would be in line to buy another ski in ski out unit. I think most current owners at HV are in simillar situations with their current properties and would buy the new properties allowing new people to buy their old properties at much less than at 7 springs.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 5, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Last years trail map noted that the expansion was for 2009/2010. The new HV brochure just says 'future slopes'. It would seem that any prudent business would have to reconsider a major expansion like this given the current economy. I am sure the intent of the new slopes is to sell real estate in the new Norht Summit village that is proposed. This village is the center piece of the new HV development. With the real estate downturn, you would think that the construction of this real estate would not proceed.
While I for one would hope that the new slopes and lift will happen next winter, I would not be surprised if it is delayed.
If you haven't checked out the new slopes, I believe they will change the perception somewhat of HV as a mountain that lacks challenge and slope variety.
Leo
December 5, 2008
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
276 posts
Personally, I think Jeff04 is on the right track. Their timing turned out to be good. Building costs are down. Labor costs should go down some as well as more people compete for fewer jobs.

As far as some of the big ticket expansion items go, by the time they are done (i.e. 2, 3, 4+ years), the economy will most likely look very different than it does today. I would rather expand in a recession and finish expanding at the end of a recession than expand during a boom and finish expanding at the start of a recession.
jeffo4
December 11, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Looks like the change to snow has occurred hopefully it amounts to some decent amounts. The groomers are out. Does anyone know if the summit snow held up through the rain?
Edgar3
December 11, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Fyi here is a link to case study by TechnoAplin of the installation at HV, with lots of feeds, speeds and interesting stuff. Looks like HV is being positioned as a premier install!

http://www.isr.at/downloads/download_3973.pdf
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 11, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
I wonder how the HKD equipment compares to the Techno Alpin. I will say the snow quality with the TA's is more like real snow and the slopes are less icy. If you believe everything in this article, these guns sound like they are superior to some of the typical snow making equipment we see. Say good bye to the banks of huge compressors and all that compressed air piping. Remember the old tripod mounted guns with the water and air hosed attached. I used to watch the snow making crew adjust the air/water mixture by having the artificial snow fall on their coast sleeves. They would then adjust the mixture until the 'flakes' look right. They would have to do that for each gun. It would take many hours to get the snow making going on one slope. Then later they would come back and make adjustments. Now they can control all from a computer!
Impressive!
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 11, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
I haven't been to Seven Springs yet this season so I can't compare. I will say that the snow quality at Hidden Valley on the first free Saturday was excellent. I agree with snowsmith, the consistency was much more like natural snow. How is it now after a thaw/rain/freeze cycle? I would think that would be the great equalizer as far as snow quality.

I've heard this is the largest TecnoAlpin installation in the country. This could be the most efficient system on the market with the added bonus of excellent snow quality.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 13, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Did anyone else notice this anonymous note (below) posted in the DCSki "Comments" section. Unfortunately I would suspect that this poster is not the only person thinking this way. However, politics is always stronger than common sense, etc.
The Colonel smile and I do not pay PA taxes!!!
Jobs - posted by PA Taxpayer
Today at 6:14 pm
If the other resorts in the area are having a difficult time hiring people, how does adding another ski area create more jobs when there currently are not enough people wanting to work in the industry to fill the existing jobs. I know Seven Springs has to resort to hiring foreign workers.
With a $1.6 billion projected deficit this year, I can think of many more worth while projects that will benefit many rather than spending hard earned taxpayer money on a facility that will benefit a few seasonally.

If it is a worthwhile project, I am sure Seven Springs is willing to foot the whole tab, which seems to be the case if they are planning on relocating the old Gunnar lift
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 13, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Well, the PA Taxpayer is entitled to his opinion but simply stating that the Springs must hire foreigners does not prove the case. Laurel was fully staffed with PA residents when last was open.
nic223
December 13, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Wanting to work is the key phrase! The jobs are available but people are not willing to work. We might as well blame that on GW too.
Arabian Horse
December 14, 2008
Member since 12/14/2008 🔗
1 posts
I worked at 7Springs....Got to talk extensively with the foreign workers...It is by far cheaper for the resort to hire them and work them long hours...... for the little pay of 7 springs...To the workers it was a lot of money...but they were exhausted.... Still they always remained nice to everyone....They would work in 2 different departments in a day and night...I thought they were being taken advantage of by supervisors they had, and the resort itself...Still they remained nice...Lesson learned here...Nice people are what you want at a ski resort...But treating them badly doesn't matter...always a new group...different country next season...Money will always come first in a Seasonal Business.....I know Scott Bender...I shouldn't say any more for fear of revealing more....
fishnski
December 14, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
1st time poster..The Colonol will be Contacting you Soon! Welcome to DCski. You are an Arabian Horse Fan..Good Guess huh?

Foreign Workers work across the world as Temp Workers & are involved in many Different types of buisnesses..They do work hard & long but usually get to keep most of their pay due to free or very cheap Room & board. Look at the Cruise Ship industry.The Money they make is worth a lot more in their respective Countries so they are happy with the deal & nobody forces them to come here or there to work....if anyone wants to feel sorry for someone feel sorry for the low paid American worker that has American Bills to pay!...I bet it would only take a 1 to 2 dollar increase in lift ticket prices to make working at a local ski area by locals an attractive option.All the Jobs in this country that are the ones"Americans don't want to do" should have a minimum pay of $15 bucks..heck, if it is that hard make it 20 min an hour...we should have the option to make money off of our Back the same way folks make it with their brains!...this is the most Liberal thing you will hear from me...

PS one of the reasons Mcain lost was when he said no American would pick lettuce at his farm for $50 an hour...yeh right!
Edgar3
December 14, 2008
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Wonder if 7S would agree to not hire foreign workers at Laurel Mountain and provide living wages for American workers?
If we are really to believe the logic of the politicians that this is somehow this will be a good jobs generator, then it would only be right to expect that the jobs generated are indeed for Pennsylvania Taxpayers, not for foreigners paid cash under the table.

I am also in agreement that there should be a significant lease term with penalty for early termination, to ensure that the taxpayers are protected and recoup their investment.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Edgar and "fish",
Many resorts use foreign labor during their bushiest season. Wintergreen does, Snowshoe does, and I am sure there are many others. I do not believe the workers are "paid under the table". They are in the US on temporary work permits. Usually their biggest surprise is the cold weather since many are from the far east, or the Islands.
In most times, Americans are looking for year-round employment. I recognize that the current financial environment might change the thinking of some, but they would leave the resorts in a heart beat for better longer lasting work. This would cause chaos at the resorts, hence the reliance on foreign temporary legal workers.
Keep in mind that the ski business employment requirements come at a time when most younger people are in school or college and not available to work, as is not the case for summer resorts.
AND A BIG DCSKI WELCOME, ARABIANSKI !!!
The Colonel smile
gizmosnow
December 14, 2008
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Getting back on track....
Skied HV this weekend and the snow condition were ideal, as was the weather. Spoke with a man on the chair today who said he had skied 7S on Saturday. Said the conditions at 7S were good but not nearly comparable to the excellent snow at HV...even some bare spots at 7S and not one to be found at HV. I figure it must be the M18's.
Prospector
December 14, 2008
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
I am so impressed by the ski conditions this weekend at Hidden Valley. It is amazing the extent of the slopes available, the base existing at this time of the year already, and the good grooming.

Gooooood stuff !!!!!!
hockeydave
December 14, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Yep, skied HV Saturday for a few hours and the conditions were great!!! Haven't been to 7S yet, but, IMHO, the quality of snow and grooming at HV is now setting the standard of the two Laurel Highlands resorts.
Scott - DCSki Editor
December 14, 2008
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Just a quick note on the use of foreign labor at resorts. Throughout the recreation and travel industry (be it ski resorts, amusement parks, etc.), companies have programs that hire foreign workers on a seasonal basis. This is especially true in seasonal industries, such as the ski industry. These workers are usually college students, and while they're not getting paid six-figure salaries for their temporary work, it presents an excellent opportunity for them to visit the United States. You'll often find students from South America working at U.S. ski resorts in the winter, as it corresponds to their summer break.

They are not getting paid "under the table"; they are here on a temporary work visa and get paid the same salaries as other seasonal employees. Often, room and board is included as well, especially in areas where the housing market is outrageous (e.g., Vail). It is not a bad deal for them, and it also helps these resorts as well, as it is difficult to find qualified people who are willing to work for only 2, 3, or 4 months out of the year. It is not the case that these companies go to foreign labor to save money (in fact, these programs can cost them *more* money than hiring local labor); it's simply an approach they have to take to obtain adequate staffing levels in a highly seasonal industry.

Disney has one of the largest programs of this kind, and on a "behind the scenes" visit a couple years ago, I was able to meet with many of the students and speak with the person in charge of the program. Students in this program even have their own building at EPCOT Center where they can gather, play games, etc. These can be very competitive programs to get into.

At most ski resorts, the seasonal jobs (running lifts, food service, hospitality, etc.) are staffed by a combination of foreign students, local students, and sometimes retirees. There are much fewer full-time, year-round positions that would create local jobs, although there are some, and a ski resort tends to spawn a local industry, providing additional jobs (restaurants, hotels, ski shops, etc.)
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Scott, is it possible to move the posts concerning foreign workers at 7S and Laurel Mountain funding to the Laurel Mountain thread?

In case you don't, I'll add my thoughts here. To object to funding for Laurel because those jobs may go to foreigners misses the full economic impact of job creation. Do these workers buy goods and services, pay rent, pay taxes. If the answer is yes then you begin to understand the spin offs of job creation. Does this spending support other business thus employing more people and adding further to the tax base. I would like to see American citizens get jobs here. I hope that the nearby communities benefit the most in employment gain but to say the funding shouldn't be forthcoming because it benefits foreigners is just plain bigotry. This is a calculated political statement designed to play on irrational fears. I wonder if this is the beginning of a concerted political campaign to kill funding for Laurel.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,104 posts
Hopefully this is not part of a campaign to kill the funding for Laurel, but if it becomes one it will be difficult to argue against. We have all been there when our position is correct, but the spin doctors with partial quotes, etc. can hammer out an argument that keeps the opposition rocked back on their heels. I doubt that PA is going to cut all funding for parks, community economic enhancement, etc. One can only hope that as the amount of available funding shrinks that our elected officials keep some sort of balance in the funding made available for all projects without sacrificing events such as reopening LM with a public/private partnership.
I suspect in PA it is really up to the local politicos to be on top of the issue and yell the loudest. I wonder if 7Springs has an escape clause in there buying of the assets from Somerset Bank that would allow them to back out if authorized state funding fails to materialize.
The Colonel smile
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Colonel, as I understand the deal, Seven Springs owns the assets, no backing out if the State doesn't come through with funding.

You're right about the role of local politicians. Funding was added to the capital project budget because of politicians on the local, county, and state levels worked to make it happen. Our e-mail and letter writing campaign and the dedicated group that met Rendell in Somerset helped but the local pols did the heavy lifting. They will be the ones to save funding.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
I was at the Springs yesterday and the HV today and the conditions were better at Hidden Valley. The snow on Cobra this afternoon was really nice.

Sorry I missed you hockeydave. My boy and I decided this morning to hit the HV. We left about 2 to get back to watch the Steelers D hold off the Ravens long enough for Ben to figure out how to find the end zone.

To all you Ravens fan here: cry
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 15, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Unless you're a Native American, we all came hear from other countries. That's what makes this country great. The fact that that we're all of bunch of imports, mogrels and mutts and we make this country work is truly an amazing thing. Anyone who says anything else is just a narrow minded hypocrite in my opinion.
By the way, I have not seen any foriegn workers at Hidden Valley.
liketoskidad
December 15, 2008
Member since 10/19/2007 🔗
18 posts
I also was at Hidden Valley yesterday and it was a perfect day. The only questions was why were more of the slopes not open as it looked like they had good snow cover. Upper Comet was closed but looked like it had complete cover as was Jaguar and the right side of Stingray was also skiable.

One more pat on the back for Hidden Valley is their WEB Cams. They make 7 Springs cams look like your looking through a foged window. Come on 7 Springs let's get with it.
hockeydave
December 21, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
On a completely unrelated topic, I have a question for people who ski Hidden Valley. I have skied Hidden Valley maybe 20 times total in my life and I still can't remember one slope or trail name there. On the other hand, I can name all of 7S trails and slopes (I probably skied there 40 or 50 times). Maybe its just me, but should the car names they use for the slopes be replaced with something a little more "ski-like"?
Taylormatt
December 21, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Not sure, but I can tell you that the snow there this weekend was out of this world good. Amazing considering the rains we had this week.

I don't care what the names are, the snow does the talking and it's been nothing less than spectacular every day this year regardless of Western PA weather.
ovrkild
December 21, 2008
Member since 11/6/2008 🔗
9 posts
i do admit the trail names are dumb. alot of the snowmakers still use to old name and couldn't tell you where some slopes are, such as wrangler is angel's elbow tracker is called cross-over comet is straight shot and voyager is mile long. buncher really should look at the old trail maps and change them back.
jb714
December 21, 2008
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
Quote:
buncher really should look at the old trail maps and change them back.


I started skiing HV back in about 1976ish, and the trail names have been constant since then - Buncher has not changed trail names, if that's what you're implying.
nic223
December 21, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
Keith James the wonderful marketing manager in the Scanlan era was responsible for the name changes. We may need to start using more foreign car names for the future slopes.
ovrkild
December 22, 2008
Member since 11/6/2008 🔗
9 posts
Originally Posted By: jb714
I started skiing HV back in about 1976ish, and the trail names have been constant since then - Buncher has not changed trail names, if that's what you're implying.

no. i mean the names from way back. the ones the old timers use
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 23, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,340 posts
Does anyone have an idea about what slopes will be opening for the Holidays. They've had almost 3 days of non-stop snow making for the Summit area.
nic223
December 23, 2008
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
I have not heard anything yet. They should have enough snow to get the main slopes on the summit open.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 23, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
North Summit was closed today but snowmaking in progress as was the case on the valley side. Broken water line has been the problem on the North Summit. I dunno when all the mountain will be open. Conditions today were nice considering last weeks rain. Thanks hockeydave for meeting up. I had a great day chasing you down the hill. You're good skier, better than you give yourself credit. (There's your opening, if you catch my drift)
hockeydave
December 23, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I had the pleasure of skiing the front side of the hill today with Laurel Hill Crazie... North Summit wasn't open. Weather was good, the condition of all slopes was excellent and the company was fantastic. If anybody wants to thoroughly enjoy a day of skiing with a true ski enthusiast (and a helluva skier) but more importantly, a real gentleman, get LHC as a skiing partner. (Sorry Rob, I had to let the dirty little secret out that you're really a great guy wink ).

If the North Summit opens and the weather doesn't spoil it, it should be great skiing at HV over the next several days. Again, I may be a broken record, but those new Techo-Alpins snowmakers are awesome.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 23, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Dave, we must have posted at the same time 'cause you missed the opening I left you. So we don't fall into a love fest here, I'll just say kudos back to you, great company and great skiing with you. I know some of you HV regulars know hockeydave and I'm sure they'll agree, Dave is a great skiing partner, overly modest about his fine skiing skills and just plain good company. Ok love fest over, time to hit the tuning bench.
Crush
December 23, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,000 posts
Originally Posted By: hockeydave
... those new Techo-Alpins snowmakers are awesome.


they are aren't they! we (me + g/f) were there last weekend (I love the condo we rented- walk to the slopes!!) and it was all good. saturday was overcast but i had a blast .. plus sorry screw all the snowtime hills (liberty,white-a$$,round-barf) but those $15 tixs @ hidden valley were perfect - and i returned the fav by spending lots of money on food and drink. btw that "john harvards" place isn't called that anymore - it's just the hidden valley bar and grill - o'tay i guess we had decent food there and jd shots are $7 - err maybe that was a double i haven't worked that part out yet.
Taylormatt
December 24, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
How did I not see you Rob? I was there all day.
BushwackerinPA
December 24, 2008
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
skied there again last night. the snow is much better over there than springs.

now let hope they seed some bumps runs on the right side of imperial or something.
GGNagy
December 24, 2008
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
447 posts
I've been trying to decide which to go to on saturday after visiting the folks in the 'burgh. I think my decision has been made. HV it is.
hockeydave
December 24, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
You missed Rob because you didn't spend enough time around Glaciers. The Sierra Nevadas were awfully tasty.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 24, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,838 posts
Matt, I buzzed the line up but didn't see you there. Dave and I spent most of the day on Imperial and Cobra, the rest we spent in Glaciers, ok we did ski Continental once and that other steeper face, Jaguar(??) a few times.

Maybe you didn't recognize me 'cause I finally got a new jacket from Steep and Cheap. That old blue shell is retired to garage and work duty.

Josh, too bad you weren't out earlier, I could have kept up with you....maybe.
Taylormatt
December 24, 2008
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
I was on Imp and Cobra from 2-4 in a lesson. The rest of the day, kind of all over. I probably went right past you and didn't see you.
jeffo4
December 31, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I don't know if anyone esle is in the HV area but we had some wild weather this morning around 4 this morning it was 54 degrees it is now 7:15 and the ground is completely white
BushwackerinPA
December 31, 2008
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Originally Posted By: jeffo4
I don't know if anyone esle is in the HV area but we had some wild weather this morning around 4 this morning it was 54 degrees it is now 7:15 and the ground is completely white


with some extremely hard snow underneath the half inch of new snow.
snosnugums
January 11, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
I have not been able to get up to HV recently. Can anyone provide a trip report or their experience with the conditions. Did it rain today.
What is with this weather. I am so sick of rain!!!!
gizmosnow
January 11, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Yesterday (Saturday) was a complete bummer. Went to bed on Friday with predictions of significant snowfall and received nothing but significant freezing rain and some rain throughout the day on Saturday. Conditions, which started out excellent in the morning, deteriorated as the day went on. By evening, everything (at least that I was on) was covered with a thick coat of ice. During the day, would come in with half inch of ice coating on helmet, googles and coat after a couple hours of skiing. However, by the time I went to bed, temps had risen to about or just above 32. I'm hoping the groomers were able to take advantage and get everything back to shape before temps dropped to the low 20's again -- where they are right now. Also, there is a new coating of snow on the ground which occurred sometime since my dogs needed out at about 6am. Don't know for sure what the slopes will be like but hoping for the best and at least the freezing rain is gone.
jeffo4
January 11, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I would also add they were making snow on most of the unopened terrain. Outback looked ready maybe the weather changed their mind about opening. I would bet with the weather forecast for this week they will be 100 percent open for next week. you can also start to see how the new slopes will tie in there looks like a really nice uphill extension on charger.

The snow was great from 9am to noon until the rain spoiled it
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