Interesting News, Future Skiing In Canaan Valley
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The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 1, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
I had been waiting to post this until I posted pictures and TR from Snow Luau. Not sure when that will be so...
I spoke with folks at CV Lodge about the ongoing competition for a new lease to run the park and ski area. Three companies were mentioned as potentials: Intrawest, Guest Services (current lessee) and some company from GA or SC. However, the folks I talked with indicated that major improvements to the CV Ski Area were a part of the requirements for the next lessee, including replacing snowmaking pipes, more snowmaking capacity, and expanding snowmaking to the slopes to the skiers left of the main slopes. Go Intrawest!!!!
On Sunday, as the slopes cleared from the retreating crowd for Snowy Luau is spoke with an older gentleman sitting behind the ski lessons desk. I asked if he knew of improvements planned for TL next year, in particular was there a "high speed" in the works. He said he did not know what was planned. The mini hotel is under construction at the base of the main chair (to skiers left). Future plans call for some other trails on the Twister side, more snowmaking and another lift. When...who knows. He surprised me by adamantly not favoring the addition of a high speed chair at this time. First, the cost of $2M+, but I countered with suggest the lift prices move upward, perhaps $5 or $10 to pay for the chair. Second, he felt a high speed chair would clog the mountain with skiers, plus limit beginner access to the bottom part of the mountain. I suggested a high speed with a mid station as I have seen out west. He countered "on only 1000 feet of vertical?". Third, and this I had no counter for, the mountain infrastructure (parking, lodge, food service, et al would have to be expanded before installing a high speed and thus more crowds.
That's it, some good, some bad, and some hope.
The Colonel \:\)
teleman
April 1, 2008
Member since 07/8/2005 🔗
145 posts
Intrawest would be the worst possible scenario for the valley.

Intrawest is bad for skiing, ski towns and the environment.

I can only hope Intrawest ends up like the American Skiing Company.
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
April 2, 2008
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
840 posts

agreed, i don't need a high speed lift at tline and i really don't want more hard-to-maintain trails over by twister to serve real estate that I won't buy, and sucking valuable snowmaking away from the rest of the resort.

I would rather the money be spent on a separate chair to the mid-station since so much of the main chair traffic seems to need that, and some wisp-style snowmaking. And the lodge needs to be bigger I guess, though I have not had a problem there.

At Canaan, I don't really need any more trails either, just a little magic carpet to get me up to the lifts :-) !

signed, curmudgeon.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 2, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: teleman
Intrawest would be the worst possible scenario for the valley.

Intrawest is bad for skiing, ski towns and the environment.

I can only hope Intrawest ends up like the American Skiing Company.


Can you elaborate? Whistler is pretty good...
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skier219
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Knock Intrawest, but SS was the only game in town for reasonable skiing (enough to justify a 4.5 hour drive to me) through mid January. Both TL and CV limped through the early season with weak snowmaking efforts. I don't want to see CV and TL spoiled by improvements, but I would like them to be good ski areas. I'd like to be able to ski there more frequently, not just when we get a powder dump (which was rare this season).

In a good season, TL and CV can get by with the way things are. In a tough season, it becomes very obvious to me that they are lagging behind the other ski areas. I say this as a consumer wanting to spend ski dollars every few weekends with my family and friends.
jimmy
April 2, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Sooooo, Craig where you skiing this weekend \:D ???? I'll be at Timberline.

I'm old and my memorie int so good anymore, when did CupRun open for this season? Correct me if i'm wrong but Off the wall opened on Jan 4, the drop on jan 20. When did lower shays revenge open this year oh yeah maybe it'll open next year.

Pagamony that's a good solution with a lift that goes up to the top of maybe winterset, you could actually ski the hole lower mountain from there, think of all the traffic that'd take off of the thunderstuck triple; the only way they could replace the Thunderstuck lift with a quad, fixed or high speed would be to cut down a bunch o trees and that would eliminate the UNGROOMED trail known as thunderdraft, NO WAY i say.

The main reason the Thunderstuck triple takes so long is it stops an average of three times per ride up; reconfigure the loading area so it's easier to load. Make the Silver Queen an experts only lift again put up a sign of Doc holding his hand out about 48" high, like at Kennywood, that if ur not "this" tall u cannot ride this ride.

Colonel if you'd have asked the older gentleman behind the ski school desk how the season went he'd have told you the same thing he told me, that they broke their record for skier visits this season. Must be something to like. Don't get me wrong i haven't drunken the koolaid i can complain about tline with the best of them but a high speed quad is a waste of money on that hill.
kwillg6
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
Don't expect too much at t-line with the building of the slopeside hilton. Somebody thinks they can make a lot of $$ by having a slopeside up graded bunkhouse. The difference between the hilton and the bunkhouse appears to be private baths for each room. Suppose they'll charge more for slopeview.
I just wish they had a lift over between the drop and OTW for experts only. A poma would do. I hate the runout on sally on a windy or crowded day. Don't really need a high speed there either. I agree w/ jimmy on that. They could change the main triple to a quad and increase their uphill capacity by over 15%.
I used to think that the shoe was superior to everything but having it as my regular mountain for 6 years with crowds, no parking, crowds, no off piste, crowds... T-line is a breath of fresh air. Wonder how many other mountains will have slopes the quality of OTW and the drop open in April?
skier219
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
OK, I have good comebacks to *some* of your questions (which is more than I normally do):

 Originally Posted By: jimmy
Sooooo, Craig where you skiing this weekend \:D ???? I'll be at Timberline.

I'm headed to Alta for their last week of regular operation, since winter is still in full steam out there. I will think fondly of all you guys and gals water-skiing at TL though! ;\)

 Originally Posted By: jimmy
I'm old and my memorie int so good anymore, when did CupRun open for this season? Correct me if i'm wrong but Off the wall opened on Jan 4, the drop on jan 20. When did lower shays revenge open this year oh yeah maybe it'll open next year.

Cupp was open when I went on Jan 4th, Upper Shays a couple weeks later. Can't argue about lower Shays, but they weren't lacking for expert terrain by that point.

I don't want my main point to get lost -- when we were deciding where to book trips for a family group of 6, with all skill levels involved, TL did not have the variety of terrain nor the number of trails needed to make it a worthwhile trip. At that point SS had well over 40 trails open covering the whole range, and many lifts to give us some options and ways to deal with crowds. I would have preferred to go to TL but it was not looking like a good option for us. There have been other cases like that as well. We didn't choose SS because it was the best option, but because it was the only reasonable option at the time. I continue to be mystified why it works out that way. This is not the first time that TL couldn't earn my dollars under some very basic criteria.

I do think that if somebody serious -- Intrawest or not -- came in and revamped CV, it *could* be a wakeup call for TL (notice the use of could). CV is a gem of a little ski area, and it would only take some modest improvements to really make it into a great ski area. It has limited terrain and vertical, so I doubt anyone is under the illusion it would turn into Snowshoe. But it could be a Silver Creek type of place. They have the pieces and are ripe for a tuneup. That in turn could potentially create local competition for TL.

I thought TL was wonderful on a weekday with fresh natural snow, and I can say the same for almost all the local ski areas. But on a busy weekend, it's frustrating to wait in long lift lines and ride a slow lift for only 1000 ft vertical whether it's TL, Wintergreen, SS, etc... TL is among the worst on days like that, and it sticks in my head more than others. There are really no options or alternatives for dealing with crowds. Whether it's a new lift, better loading procedures, etc, they could stand some improvement.
kwillg6
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
Is now a good time to say "BRING ON TORY AND ALMOST HEAVEN?" ;\)
jimmy
April 2, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Atla, good choice, u've bin there enough this year to qualify as a regular. I get your point about terrain variety at Snowshoe, specially for the greenish blue skiers in a group.

Colonel i think you hijacked your own thread, in the original post no less. Canaan Valley........ it is interesting that something good may happen there. Last time we skied there, prolly 4 seasons ago we parked down by the beginners area and rode that lift to get up to the main area, no magic carpet required. Their snowmaking sux but it is a fun place to ski. Maybe if they found someone to take the concession that knew something about skiers and running a ski area they could bring it back; it's about dead from what i saw this season almost past.

Question?? What improvements would you make there if you were the sucessful bidder?
SCWVA
April 2, 2008
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
 Originally Posted By: skier219

I'm headed to Alta for their last week of regular operation, since winter is still in full steam out there. I will think fondly of all you guys and gals water-skiing at TL though! ;\)

.....Cupp was open when I went on Jan 4th, Upper Shays a couple weeks later. Can't argue about lower Shays, but they weren't lacking for expert terrain by that point.

.......


When's Alta's closing date? BTW - Thanks for rubbing it it, you lucky dog.

Hhmmmm...expert terrain? If Knot Bumper or Lower Shays aren't bumped up, SS has no expert terrain. They ruinned Choker when they cut off the steepest part a couple of years back. \:\(

For east coast family trips we head to VT. Even Okemo (think lots of blues) has better terrain, ski-in/out lodging options, and lower prices than SS. SS is overated. Thats coming from someone who has skied 10+ days/year at SS for the last 20+ years. I haven't skied SS for the last two seasons, because of the lack of terrain and the prices.

I have upped the # of days in the Valley.

But don't listen to me, I suck at skiing. Some day I'm gonna take a lesson.







tgd
April 2, 2008
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
Make the Silver Queen an experts only lift again put up a sign of Doc holding his hand out about 48" high, like at Kennywood, that if ur not "this" tall u cannot ride this ride.


Come'on jimmy, my 46" tall daughter can out-ski most of the > 46" tall skiers at Tline (damn, she'll be outskiin' me soon)! Anyway, most of the Boy Scouts are too tall. Maybe they shouldn't allow you on with Timberline rental equipment - they could play it up as a liability thing.

BTW, I'll be surfin' Tline Saturday too.

Tom
skier219
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
SCWVA, Alta closes their regular season on Sunday 4/13, but they reopen the following weekend for a Fri-Sun bonus (without lodging from what I can tell -- last night I saw for booking was 4/12). They are up to 613" total snowfall for the season, with a 156" base, and it's still snowing every couple days. We may gripe about closings here in the mid-A, but it will be really tragic for Alta to close with so much snow and such good conditions. Basically, they are only going another 1-2 weeks past our mid-A closing dates. A lot of western resorts are closing down this weekend or next. It's nuts I tell you!

So Choker used to go all the way up to the lift I presume? I never knew that. The Sawmill trails were open in early January and pretty bumped up -- a fair substitute for Choker and KB I think. None of it is super tough, of course, but I'll take what I can get.

I agree SS is expensive for what you get, which is why I did so many Alta trips this year. For the $$, it's a better value to me (even better than driving to VT actually). Now, when I ski with our family group, I don't have much choice -- they are not able to travel to New England or out west due to other constraints, so SS is the best option. I'm probably going to discourage the group from going to SS next year.
skier219
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
Atla, good choice, u've bin there enough this year to qualify as a regular.


Alcoholic, Altaholic, it's all good \:D
crunchy
April 2, 2008
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: skier219
Basically, they are only going another 1-2 weeks past our mid-A closing dates. A lot of western resorts are closing down this weekend or next. It's nuts I tell you!


yeah but the real difference is there is enough snow that even when the lifts stop running, people will still be skiing at alta and elsewhere well into may/june or maybe even later this year! \:\)
teleman
April 2, 2008
Member since 07/8/2005 🔗
145 posts
What is good about Whistler?

If I wanted a Disney experience, I would just go to Orlando.

I'll take Alta, Wolf Creek or Loveland over the Intrawest real estate resorts, any day.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 2, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Originally Posted By: teleman
I'll take Alta, Wolf Creek or Loveland over the Intrawest real estate resorts, any day.


You would. But many others would prefer the marketing offered by Intrawest, and even though you may feel vehement against it, many, many people are looking for the standardized feeling that they get from Intrawest and their resorts. Their opinions are as valid, and considering that one of the principal reasons why the International Olympic Committee chose Vancouver as the site of the Olympic Games was the presence of Whistler, I think others value Intrawest's approach too.

Although I like Vail, Aspen, Lake Louise and Banff as destinations, same as Stowe and Sugarbush, I am very partial to an Intrawest location because:

1. About the only resort developer that makes the car obsolete. I like that aspect. I may have to drive there, but once at my place, I don't want to see a steering wheel next to me until I have to leave.

2. Grooming if I want it. I like groomers. So do many people. They're there if you want them, in mass, at Whistler and any other Intrawest resort. And enough rough terrain if you want it.

3. Back country and bowls: Whistler and Blackcomb have about the most accessible bowl structure in North America. Nothing wrong about accessible backcountry. If you don't want to take the chair up to Harmony Bowl, you're welcome to hike. All a matter of choice.

4. Sheer size: Whistler/Blackcomb is without a doubt the largest snow park in the continent. No other resort comes close in size and scope. And even with the huge size of the resort, there are plans to develop the other side of Whistler to the West. It would dwarf any ski terrain on the planet.

5. The Village: Yes, it's Disneyfied. But it is central, easy to walk, everything is there, and people like it. I can go to a rowdy bar at Monks Cafee and five minutes later be shelling out $400 a plate at Araxis. I like that choice. And if I want a $2.00 wrap, I can have that too at Whistler. All within walking distance.

6. The shopping. Yes, Vail and Aspen have better shopping. There are no Prada stores at Whistler and Ferragamo is still unknown at Snowshoe \:\( But still, the synergy of the shopping experience is unique. Whistler is about the only place that carries the full line of Legend outfits from Spyder. Most other resorts carry the cheaper Quest and Victory lines. Beat me up but I want to go to a place where I can buy fashionable clothes.

7. The life style. May have to do with Disney too, but Intrawest, to its credit, has done tremendous marketing research and they simply want to answer the demand from a family oriented, upscale clientele. Nothing wrong with that.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
April 2, 2008
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,367 posts
I may be wrong about this but I believe Alta closes (and perhaps many western resorts that are within National Forest land) because they have an agreement with the NFS to close by a certain time. Of course it may not make economic sense to stay open anyway, but the NFS requirements related to wild life may be the reason for the early close.
teleman
April 2, 2008
Member since 07/8/2005 🔗
145 posts
I guess I am not the customer that Intrawest is marketing. The average Intrawest visitor spends an average of only 2 hours per day on the snow. I go to the mountains to ski in real snow until the lifts stop spinning; not to shop or spend my time on groomers.

My primary objection to the Intrawest philosophy is the excessive development that is not sustainable and in the process of proving an experience for the wealthy they are scaring the plant.
JohnL
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
My primary objection to the Intrawest philosophy is the excessive development that is not sustainable and in the process of proving an experience for the wealthy they are scaring the plant.


In a pretty fragile ecosystem.

I also enjoy it when a ski vacation doesn't remind me of life back at home. When the base of a ski area becomes a mini city, complete with the same restaurants and stores as found in DC, I feel like I haven't left DC. (Though I get the feeling I eat and shop at different places than Lou.)

But if Whistler/Blackcomb does install vertical hopscotch, I may have to go back there soon.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 2, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Craig, great that you are going to Alta again. Wish I could join you. Please try to get the "Wild Bunch" patch I mentioned previously.
Not sure why, but Alta always closed around the middle of April. I think it is from a lack of local and especially long distance interest. Alta is like a mini climate at the end of a box canyon. There can be great skiing still at Alta while the trees are green and the golf courses open in Salt Lake City.
For those that like to ski later, Snowbird is nearly always open into May, and weekend after that.
As for Intrawest and Canaan Valley State Park. We have gotten way off target here, and bashing Intrawest probably has no relevance to this topic. If Intrawest is chosen to manage and run CV Lodge, Park and Ski Area, they, or whatever company is chosen, will not be able to "build out the place", destroy the ambience, etc. This is after all a state park. They certainly have the expertise to run a first class ski area, improve snowmaking, have great instructors, better rentals, etc. They certainly know how to run and keep up great golf courses. And they have expertise in managing mountain lodges and hotels. All this is good for CV and we skiers. Now if they were to buy Timberline, and, say, try to build out the skiable terrain between TL and CV as was once proposed by ASC, then all bets are off, but I would guarantee that whatever was done would be first class. Bottom line, Intrawest knows what it is doing and generally does it first class. While I fault them for not increasing the ski terrain at Snowshoe, I have heard of environmental problems that have slowed down the progress. Hopefully we will see more slopes built soon. What I would really like is to see the master plan and what it entails (albeit subject to change). Enough about SS and Intrawest.
As for TLine, I like the idea of a first step improvement of installing a mid mountain chair, and eliminating the mid station on the present lift. This still won't completely reduce the number of beginners and low intermediates from stopping the lift fairly often since they can ski green and blue from the top. Some of us seem to want TL to be an expert skiers area, some want more efficient lifts (me still), some want bumps (don't do them for fun anymore, but agree some should be available), some want more terrain park features, some want, some want,...
Bottom line, the skiing experience at TL must be attractive to the most customers if they are to get the money to make improvements in their infrastructure to be able to serve the new customers, and attract even more customers. Even when there are lines at the bottom of the lifts I have rarely found TL slopes crowded. If they were to move more people faster to the top I still believe it would improve the on-slope experience. I think a nice balance would be to take their two DD slopes, Drop and Off The Wall and allow one to bump up and groom the other providing a steeper experience for all seasoned skiers. When there is fresh snow some trails, or at least part of a trail, should be left ungroomed for all to enjoy. Those that like skiing freshies should not expect all trails to be ungroomed, and those that prefer groomed should not demand all slopes be groomed. To be an all around skier one needs to experience both. And we all have to keep in mind that ski areas far from the metro areas must cater to the traveling ski family or individuals if they want to survive. Younger slopers that don't mind jumping in a car and driving for 6+ hours to/from a ski area do not pay the rent, especially during the week.
For me, what the overall experience is like at a ski area location is important. I no longer ski dawn to dusk, so I want to enjoy hot tubs, outdoor heated pools where snow covers your hair while you swim, a few shops, good places to eat (both cheap and more expensive), and most importantly, ski where the customer is treated and made to feel like he/she is important, and ski area employees, like those in any service oriented industry, should always remember it is the customer that really pays there salary.
I have rambled enough. Lots of food for thought.
The Colonel \:\)
David
April 3, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Speaking of Canaan Valley. I was looking this morning and like this pic, so I thought I would post it. Doesn't really have anything to do with the thread topic, then again How good of a job do we do around here at staying on topic??

Timberline looks to be holding things together pretty nicely considering the weather we've had lately.

Canaan Valley looks to be doing really good too [/sarcasm]
crunchy
April 3, 2008
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: The Colonel

Not sure why, but Alta always closed around the middle of April. I think it is from a lack of local and especially long distance interest. For those that like to ski later, Snowbird is nearly always open into May, and weekend after that.


USFS lease and its part of the elk migration path. I think the Bird is partially privately owned.
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