Hidden Valley - the Future?
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snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
February 12, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
I don't know if anyone noticed that the trail maps have been modified to remove (2009/2010) from the description for the trail expansion. I wonder if they have place the expansion on hold. They cleared the trees from some of the new slopes. But the real cost is in the snow making and new lift.
Also, I noticed that the Future Plans for the expansion of the ski lodge and the community are no longer shown on the web site. I wonder if they are putting all of new development on hold given the current economic conditions. I don't think they have sold any of the new North Summit condos. Who ever is building them is taking forever.
They have spent a ton of money improving the ski area and I believe it is paying off with new customers. Maybe they need to start seeing some return before they spend more money.
scootertig
February 12, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I'd rather seem them do it the right way, and stay afloat, rather than rush through it and fall apart...

Not that they asked my opinion, of course!

aaron
Leo
February 13, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
So, the silence is deafening.

If you go to the "press room" on their website you can still find one of the original press releases from when they bought the place. It talks about future plans, but isn't too specific. As far as I know (though admittedly have not looked too recently) the artist's depiction of the future base/lodge/village is still hanging in the hall b/w the sales office and the clock tower.

I don't know what Buncher's expectation was for crowds, but I have honestly been pleasantly surprised this year, especially given the economy. Last Saturday was the largest non-holiday weekend crowd at HV going back to the old Kettler heyday, circa 1995 or so. With that said, crowds do not necessarily translate to real estate sales, which I know nothing about. If they truly have not sold any of the N.S. condos, that is not good, considering that real estate is allegedly what makes most (particularly mid Atlantic) resorts tick these days.

Whatever the case may be -- I continue to be impressed and hope that they remain committed to their long term vision for the resort.
BushwackerinPA
February 13, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts

you guys going to be up the valley this weekend we should really meet up.
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gizmosnow
February 23, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
From folks I've spoken with, haven't heard any indication that they are to significantly delay expansion plans due to the economy or otherwise. However, it wouldn't be surprising if they were to 'quietly' drag their feet on development of the new lodge/condo --- they never really established 'hard' timeframes for this multi-year project anyhow.

I have also heard that they are investigating the feasibility of developing townhomes/condos above the beginner slope (on the right as you are going up the magic carpet). This may be intended as a smaller short-term project to pursue in lieu of moving ahead immediately with the new lodge.

I am holding out hope that, regardless of their real-estate development plans, they will move full speed with the addition of the new slopes as, I've heard anyhow, that they are pleased with skier turnout this season. You have to think that they would be anxious to proceed with any project that is likely to increase skier traffic as a valuable prerequisite to additional real-estate development.

I did notice on some of the Trail Maps they replaced "2009/2010" with "Future" Expansion. But, there is at least one Trail Map on display inside the lodge cafeteria that still shows "2009/2010 Expansion".


And, BTW, also heard that the Kettler house on Imperial Road has sold. The Kettler-era at HV is know officially and completely ended.
Leo
February 24, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Thanks for the update gizmosnow.

I would think that what you have said about the resort being pleased with skier days has to be true. Skier turn out this season has been really good. Somewhat ironically, of the last three weekends, President's Weekend was the slowest. I am guessing the average person figured why pay more when I can go the weekend before or after. B/c those two weekends (Feb 7-8 and Feb 21-22) were amazingly crowded.

I am also happy to report, that while they did not ever get around to building a real half pipe, the park has progressed very nicely.

The new double hit table top this weekend was built correctly and finally had a "reasonable" amount of landing ramp. I'd still go for about ten more feet of downhill landing area if I had my druthers, but the design/physics on the new table top were spot on, which was nice. Congrats to the park crew. I don't know if they were learning on the fly or if they are finally getting the resources they need, but the difference in the park b/w the beginning of this season and now is night and day.
Taylormatt
February 24, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
If anyone has ever thought about becoming an instructor, we are conducting tryouts for the 09/10 season this weekend the 28th & 1st as well as March 14th & 15th. Register in advance by calling WintersportsU (XT 308)or in person at 9 am Saturday, be ready to ski at 10 am.

Existing instructors from other areas that might be curious about WintersportsU are invited to join in as well.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
February 24, 2009
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,855 posts
It's good to hear that things are still on track. I've been to HV more times this year then in all days skied I've there in the last decade. Buncher has done great things and the customer service is first rate.

Matt, I'm sorry I haven't run into you yet. I even caught Bushwacker giving a lesson and all the old Laurel Mountain cronies at line up. If I had known I would be laid off from my real job for so long I would have given instructing another shot, especially if there is a need for mid-week instructors, weekend would still be tough due to family commitments and my own skiing priorities.

About the hiring clinic, are you guys looking for experience or looking to train? How long will the clinic run, what kind of time commitment for the day? Should a prospect buy a lift ticket? In my case, do you guys need mid-week instructors for evening shifts. I learned that there is no sense in wasting my time or the staff's time if the resorts needs doesn't match the time I know I can commit.

I hope to make some turns with you and some of the old Laurel crowd. I've always been up with friends and family and the last time I got down to the desk, everybody seems to be gone.
guyforget
February 24, 2009
Member since 01/20/2009 🔗
24 posts
For me, HV's challenge is going to be keeping their lift prices out of the "close enough to 7Springs prices to make me just want to go there" range. Ill admit that their $20 weekdays have lured me in several times this year when I didnt want to pay $41 @ 7S. From Morgantown theyre both 1.5 hours way, so the $$ is the real factor in the decision. Some weeks I dont mind $41 @ 7S, some weeks I favor $20 and the difference in price makes the difference in terrain easier to overlook. If HV was $30 - $35, it wouldnt be a tough decision to make to spend the $41 @ 7S. Will the new terrain be worth an extra $10 in lift prices?
Taylormatt
February 24, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
The tryouts are for new hires. I assume we will start training/shadowing any new hires this year in preparation for next season. For experienced instructors, it will be more like a PSIA update type of thing. Ski with Bob, interact with the rookie candidates, check out the terrain, new snow making, the ski school, how it works, etc. Basically, experience a team that's fun to work with again, run smoothly, etc.

Lift tix will be provided just like any normal try out session and I believe we are skiing 10-3 each day. If you have other questions, give Bob or Heather a call with regards to his mid week needs. I'm only familiar with the weekend needs since I'm PT.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
February 24, 2009
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,855 posts
Thanks Matt, I'll consider the possibility but if by some huge stroke of good fortune Laurel gets open, you'll know where I'll be.
Taylormatt
February 24, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
I don't know about LM man. I have this gut feeling it's still a few years away and it won't be opening under 7S when it does finally open. Just a personal gut feeling, no facts.

7S certainly isn't going to spend what's needed to make it right, especially in this economy. Gunnar chair at LM? Need I say more?

Come out and ski with us one of the 4 days at least. It costs you nothing and might spark a little interest again...or not. Either way, no harm, no foul. Tell anyone you're still in contact with from the old LM days or even anyone thinking instructing might be of interest. It's going to be a good time. Skiing with Bob is ALWAYS a good time and everyone walks away improving their skiing in some way, shape or form.
snosnugums
February 24, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
A few observations:
- A HV employee told me that they have already sold twice as many lift tickets as they did last year.
- The restuarants are much busier this year
- It has been a fairly good weather year despite the many rain events
- I haven't seen the snow guns roaring for a while. Although they seem to have a substantial base on the main trails.
- I was hoping that they would make more snow on Road Runner. This trail is a welcome addition.
hockeydave
February 25, 2009
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
With respect to HV, Buncher has put in place a first class operation. I truly hope all of their investment pays off. With golf season approaching, I would encourage the golfers among us to play the HV golf course. It was in great shape last year and the views on some of the holes are truly breathtaking, even for Western PA. The after 2:00 PM weekday special ($25 for 18 holes and cart) was a bargain. Hopefully, they will offer that special again this year. I took advantage of it several times last year.

With Laurel, my wife, our dogs and I took a walk over to the lodge last weekend. We confirmed what several ski patrollers at HV told us; 7S is storing tables and chairs in the upper part of the lodge. Quite a large investment on their part just to use the lodge as a storage facility. However, I agree with TaylorMatt; I would be shocked to see Laurel open anytime soon, although several people still believe it will open for 09-10. If it wasn't for the foot-dragging state bureaucrats, Laurel probably would have been opened this past year by Buncher.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
February 25, 2009
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,855 posts
Dave, long time no post. Did you get to Utah, oops. I was to find an instructor for you, my bad. If you haven't headed west yet I can still make a quick inquiry.

Re: Laurel, it all depends on State money. Maybe a few million has Laurel's name on it from he stimulus package. At any rate, funding now would cause a big political maelstrom.

We must ski together again soon.

Buncher would have had Laurel open last season, I know it. Tom B was waiting for the nodded from the DCNR right up to the big media event unveiling the new HV in November '07.
gizmosnow
March 16, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Drove down Gardner yesterday and noticed that crew was clearing trees at the Summit, just the other side of the tennis courts as your heading towards Somerset. Also, lots of pink flags. Anyone hear what's up with that?? Maybe they are adding more Summit Condos but that seems like it may be premature as they haven't finished and sold the others as yet.
casey
March 23, 2009
Member since 11/21/2005 🔗
37 posts
We were at HV over the weekend and noticed "future expansion" was off the signs of the new outback expansion and 2009-2010 was back on. Also, they seem to have installed a new magic carpet at the tubing park. Does anyone know what that is for?

On another subject, talked to a long time skiier and pass holder at 7 springs and he told me that this was the worst season ever for skiing. All ice and alot of bare spots. He skiied HV one day and said the conditions were far superior.
Taylormatt
March 23, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
The magic carpet is for the tubing park, to replace the old tows.

7S's season was abysmal due to the lack of snow making this year. Their decision to get rid of the diesel generators for electric killed them. All they blew was water and ice, very little snow even in the coldest of temps.

I skied there this weekend both days since goosebumps had bumps and the over all coverage of the mtn was so thin it was ridiculous.

We left at 1 on Sunday because there was no longer snow to get to the lifts, only water and rocks. You could see through what you were skiing everywhere else it was so thin.

The snow making at the Valley this year was literally unbelievably excellent. Add the better grooming technology and we were skiing good conditions even in the middle of the horrid freeze/thaw cycles we got this year. Meanwhile 7S was crushed ice on glass at best.

I've never been blown away by fake snow and grooming like I was this year. It really was that good. I'm now spoiled.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
March 23, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
The signs and trail maps were changed some time ago regarding the projection for the trail expansion to be 2009/2010. You will also notice that the renderings of the new resort development also disappeared. I would imagine it was some lawyer's idea based on some poor slob sueing a developer somewhere because all those things shown on the rendering weren't built.\
I asked someone in HV management about the trail expansion and they said it was currently under debate.
I skied on Saturday and Sunday and was surprised at how good the snow surface was in the morning. By the afternoon, the warm termperatures turned it into slop. I am very surprised that 7Springs closed this past weekend. They seem to have troulbe keeping snow on the mountain this year. And I heard many skiers complain that there was alot of ice.
HV did maintain good conditions for most of the winter. The expansion, if it happens will give us some challenging alternatives since I am sure that most complaints from avid skiers such as us would be that HV lacks challenge.
I would like to note that my season pass only cost $269, so I would say that it was bargain.
gizmosnow
March 23, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
IF (and that's a Big IF) they are planning on opening the new slopes next season I hope they would announce it (soon) in conjunction with announcing pre-season season pass prices as I think it can make a significant difference in the sales. It would be an unfortunate missed opportunity (IMO) if they proceed with the slopes for next season but don't tell anybody until late summer or fall when folks have already made the decision to purchase a season pass at another resort.
Leo
March 23, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Am I misreading casey's post or does it say that the sign is back to saying 2009/2010 regarding the new slopes?

That's my interpretation of the post, anyways.

HV had a great season and I believe their investment in snow making and grooming is paying off via word of mouth -- no amount of marketing can ever replace friends telling friends.
jimboc
March 23, 2009
Member since 03/30/2004 🔗
260 posts
Was there this past weekend for the free skiing offer. Great time skiing in a t-shirt. Snow was real nice for about 1/2 the day. They still have a bunch of snow left on a few slopes.
Taylormatt
March 23, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
My best guess is the renderings were pulled down because the plans are being redesigned to simplify the footprint/cut out the gingerbread and reduce building costs. The idea is to carry on, but figure out how to do it a little less expensively as construction costs have soared since the initial design almost two years ago. They simply need to trim some fat off the design. Nothing to worry about.
casey
March 23, 2009
Member since 11/21/2005 🔗
37 posts
Yes, the sign is back to saying 2009/2010.
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gizmosnow
March 23, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Actually, re: the sign:

The sign that had been in the plaza, kinda by the ticket windows, had been changed to read "Future slope expansion". There were two signs inside the lodge (one in the cafeteria above the windows, one in the general vicinity of the Clocktower) that had never been updated and always read "2009/2010". These two signs were just not as noticeable as the one in the plaza.

I still would NOT read anything into these signs regardless of what they currently indicate. Buncher has to be reevaluating their plans and timetables given the current economic climate. I'm hoping they view the slope expansion as an 'investment' in building skier traffic and future demand for condo's whenever they may come.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
March 24, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Actually, I am in the engineering and constructio business and construction costs have dropped dramatically. This would be the best time for them to build the slope expansion from a cost standpoint as long as they competively bid the work. We have received as many as 26 bids on relatively small projects where we would normaly receive 4 or 5 at most. Contractor's are hungry for work.
If you have the cash and can wait for the long term return, building the slope expansion now could result in cost savings.
We'll know if the slope expansion is going to move forward as soon as the season passes for next season are advertised. They have invested lots of money in this place and I would doubt that the ski area would generate the kind of returns that they are looking for. These guys are real estate developers and that's where the money is made.
That said, I often wonder how Snowtime does it. They run ski operations with minimal other income.They have to make enormous amounts of snow in the banana belt to keep the slopes skiable. And they seem to make money since they are always re-investing in the resorts. What ever they do to make money, HV should emulate.
GGNagy
March 24, 2009
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
450 posts
Next year is the winter olympics. To have the opening of new terrain coincide with a time when people are being inspired to pursue winter sports would be a "good thing".
casey
March 24, 2009
Member since 11/21/2005 🔗
37 posts
With as much money and effort that the buncher group has put into HV, now is not the time to slow down or there initial investment would be wasted. Many people are disgusted with SS and they probably could capture some of that market with the expansion. They need to continue as planned. The more amenities they offer, the more there real estate will be worth.
And as snowsmith said, costs are greatly down.
snosnugums
March 24, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Let's say they decide to go ahead with the expansion. So they decide to raise season passes by $100. And let's also assume that they sold 2,000 season passes last year and with the slope expansion they add another 500 season passes. Perhaps a bit optimistic but the result would be that they get another $250,000. I would imagine that a lift costs at least $2 million and the snow making may cost another $2.5 million. So in the short term, the increased season passes would not come close to paying for the expansion. Now perhaps you may have a significant increase in lift ticket sales, so that could offset the investment. The key to this expansion is that it is tied to a whole new resort village on top of the mountain. The real estate sales will be where the real money is made.
I would think that this recession may usher in an era of austerity. I think many resort real estate investors are going be looking for more modest size homes instead of the huge McSkiMansions that have been built during this period of credit excess. We shall see. I urge any of you to hike the new trails. They appear to stretch the vertical drop since the base area has the lowest elevations of any area in the resort. If they can get more the 500 feet of vertical, it will definitely change the perception about the resort.

_________________________
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Leo
March 25, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
I know it was an optimistic projection on your part, but investing $2 - $2.5 million for a $250,000 revenue stream is a pretty good deal from a business standpoint. That's an annual 10-12.5% return.

Of course, that is a REALLY simple look at the issue (installation cost of new slopes/lift vs. projected increase in revenue). You would have additional snow making and grooming, more employees, etc etc etc. All of which would result in additional expense to the resort.

My guess is it is going to happen sooner rather than later. But that's just my guess.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
March 25, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
I believe what he is saying is that is $250k of GROSS revenue, not profit!
Leo
March 25, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Originally Posted By: snowsmith
I believe what he is saying is that is $250k of GROSS revenue, not profit!


I know, that's why I referred to it as revenue stream, not profit.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
April 3, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Anyone heard any news on the season passes for next year or any rumors regarding the ski terrain expansion?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
April 10, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Anyone heard any news on the season passes for next year or any rumors regarding the ski terrain expansion?
gizmosnow
April 10, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Snowsmith, in this case I fear that 'No news is NOT good news.'

It is hard to understand why they would not be selling 09/10 Season passes by now. I had gone into the sales office a couple of times near the end of the season and was first told that they would probably be selling next season passes by the weekend of 3/14 and then by the weekend of 3/21. Can't imagine why they wouldn't at least pre-announce sales and prices on the website even if, for some reason, they were not yet prepared to process orders.

I hope I'm wrong (re: No news is NOT good news). You never know -- maybe they are holding out on season pass announcements until some major decisions are made and it is still possible these decisions will be favorable??

You have to wonder what Scott B. and his crew are up to? They did an incredible job running this past ski season but it doesn't seem like they can all keep busy running (just) the golf course until next winter?
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 11, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Any chance the Buncher folks are experiencing problems from the financial downturn?
The Colonel smile
gizmosnow
April 11, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Sure, this is a possibility. I had heard UNCONFIRMED and NOT necessarily reliable rumors that the Buncher Charitable foundation's 'holdings' had substantially declined in value. Don't know precisely how Buncher is structured but my understanding is that the Buncher 'commercial' enterprises (i.e., HV) exist primarily to fund the 'charitable' enterprise --- it is a privately held company and can't guess the extent to which the 'charitable foundation' portion can dictate to the 'commercial enterprise' portion what they can and cannot do.
Edgar3
April 11, 2009
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I had read recently about a commercial real estate project in Pittsburgh that Buncher had pulled out of. Do not recall the details, and of course one should not read into things in that there could be completely different circumstances.

With that said, if they were definitely planning to go ahead this year at HV you would think that they would say so. It's not like uncertainty or any pause in the momentum they have built thus far helps them.
gizmosnow
April 11, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Actually, this is just a vague recollection but, I think Buncher pulled out on a deal to purchase the (PA) State Office Bldg in downtown Pittsburgh earlier this year. And, if I remember correctly, they sited the poor economy as the reason. I do recall reading an article in the local papers about that.
jeffo4
April 11, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I would think if they had money problems they would rush to take the money for passes
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 11, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
He appears too classy to get pass money in advance if there is the slightest chance the wheels won't turn as smoothly next wintee.
The Colonel smile
casey
April 12, 2009
Member since 11/21/2005 🔗
37 posts
I really think you are all overreacting. We were up there this weekend and they are still working on the slopes. they are building new condos and have another spot across from the golf course cleared and staked for something else. They have also put a new magic carpet on the tubing slope. Maybe they are waiting to announce season pass sales when they decide if they are going ahead with the expansion. I do agree that a loss in momentum is not good for them.

On another subject, why are they closing the Pub and Grill? I heard they are going to tear this building down and for now open the restaurant in the lodge. Any truth????
snosnugums
April 12, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
There are alot of issues that must be resolved here before they can make an announcement on season passes. It's not just "should we expand or not?". They would have to build a new lift, a new snow making system and a new snow making water supply pump station. This brings up, 'Are the lifts available?' 'Can we get permits in time?' How long will it take to get the lift delivered? Can we get new Techno Alpine snow guns and delivered in time? Etc. Etc. They have alot of issues to resolve before they can decide to move ahead with the expansion. I would think that they then need to see what all this would cost before they set the season pass price. I don't think this is bad news, this is good business. There are alot of interelated decisions that need to made and it is not only dependent on money but also on timing, construction schedules, permitting issues, etc.
As far as the Pub and Grill, I heard that the Boston Culinary Groups' contract is up at the end of April. Maybe the restuarant is closing because BCG is out. That of course if purely speculation. I don't think they generate enough business this time of year.
If that were my place, here is what I would do:
- the building is an old Amish barn. I would gut the interior and open up all of the beautiful Amish post and beam work. I would then install a wall of windows on the backwall overlooking the slopes and old trout ponds. I repaint the exterior from that dingy gray color to barn read. I would then serve Italian food. Pasta is inexpensive. Throw in a few grilled items. Then actually advertise the place offering two for one meals to get people in the door.
Hell what do I know. My only experience is being bus boy in a spaghetti joint when I was 16 yrs old. Never the less, I think the way the building is used is a lost oppurtunity. The interior decor does not feel like a mountain resort. There is no roaring fire place an no great view of the slope.
And finally, I think the fact that we haven't heard about season passes is good news.If they had decided no to the ski expansion, they would have released the season passes weeks ago,
hockeydave
April 13, 2009
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
All you have to do is look at the restaurant 1 mile down the road (Laurel Mountain Inn) to serve as the business model for the Pub & Grill. Serve lots of mediocre food at a low price with cheap booze. You'd have no problems packing the place. If you don't want that type of clientele, then closing for the Summer is appropriate because they won't get that much traffic with the place as is.
Leo
April 13, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
I tend to agree with casey and snosnugums.

You can tell ski season has just ended...and like junkies looking for something to keep them going, people are reading WAY too much in to things right now.

Maybe they need time to analyze the results of this past season. And then they might want to slightly tweak their short and mid term plans, which I would hope are dynamic. But I have seen nothing that would indicate that they are suddenly going to veer off course with their general plans.

As snosnugums says, this seems like good business to me. I would rather wait a few weeks, or even months, to purchase my pass for next season if it means I get to make that purchase with full and fair (and well thought out) disclosure of their future plans.
gizmosnow
April 14, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
First, let me say that I would definitely NOT read anything negative into the fact that they pulled out of the purchase of the State Office Bldg. in Pittsburgh (since I am the one who posted that). That may have been an astute business decision given the economic environment and as a result of due diligence --- I'm sure they have backed out of many potential opportunities over the years.

Second, I certainly am not predicting doom & gloom for HV as I continue to believe Buncher will do great things for HV over the long term.

IMO, it is legitimate, however, to speculate on whether or not the economy and other factors have changed their original plans, for example, delayed their plans to open the new Outback slopes by next ski season. (After all, that is part of the fun of participating in any forum).

Now, here IS some potentially meaningful information: Just drove by the Outback and there is a big banner on the side of the bldg proclaiming "Building For Lease." Notice on the door of the Pub says 4/11 was their last day of operations and "thank you for your patronage." Says they hope to see 'you' soon at a new restaurant at the ski lodge. Signed by all the employees.

I have to wonder; "...if they are planning on the new slopes for next season, would they be leasing out this bldg?"
Edgar3
April 14, 2009
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Good info.

Re: what they do with the Outback Barn, re leasing it or tearing it down, or something else, they will still need some way to conduct the tubing business. So if they expand the slopes this year or not, they will need to have some services presence in the Outback. So maybe shouldn't read anything into this re a sign of going forward with slope expansion.

Sounds like they have come to the conclusion to focus their resturaunt activities at one place, and that is going to be at the lodge. Suppose this makes sense, especially if they move forward with the lodge expansion/hotel plans and would want to have a full time resturaunt there. Who knows, maybe this is a sign of the lodge plans moving forward??

Have heard that the lodge plans are "awaiting permiting".
Leo
April 14, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Originally Posted By: gizmosnow
IMO, it is legitimate, however, to speculate on whether or not the economy and other factors have changed their original plans, for example, delayed their plans to open the new Outback slopes by next ski season. (After all, that is part of the fun of participating in any forum).


Touche. Good play, sir.


Any one have any summer updates? Are they actually going to open the mt. bike "park" this year? Any plans to build any downhill mt. bike trails? Anyone played the golf course yet??
snosnugums
April 14, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
The leasing of the Outback building would tend to indicate that Boston Culinary Group is out. Given the economic environment and the past performance of this property, I cannot imagine anyone is going to be beating down the doors to lease the place. Just recently, the restuarant up the road, Ladels went belly up. The Laurel Mountain Inn does well with the locals, but it has been for sale for about a year. The owner wants to retire.
Quite frankly, I thought the Boston Culinary Group sucked. The did absolutely nothing to market the restuarants with exception of advertising to the HV residents and resort users. The food was mediocre at best. Of course they operate the snow tubing operation and a snack bar in the basement of the Outback barn. Hopefully the entire building is not for lease. That would be a bad sign. I also heard a rumor that they were think of moving the snow tubing to the golf course. It would seem odd that they spent the money for the magic carpet at the snow tubing area only to move the whole shebang to the golf course.
I had spoken to several restuarant employees who complained that the Resort had plans to close the Outback and move the whole restuarant up to the new 'Yukon'. The concern was, 'if you can't get patrons into the Outback on busy Route 31, how are you going to get patrons into the resort'.
I'm starting to get less optimistic about the whole thing. Why would you want to expand a ski area in this economy. I also heard that they may install the lift but not the snow making?? I think they plan to make a decision by the end of April at which time they plan to make season passes available for next ski season. This is all speculation and rumors of course. I guess that's what this forum is for. No news allows us to use our imagination.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
April 15, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
If the unbelievably slow contractor who is building the Summit Condos ever gets them done and they can open a model, they may sell some of these. If they start seeing some return on their investment, maybe they will go ahead with the expansion.

From what I have seen, the contractors that they have hired to build the maintenance building and new North Summit ski lodge don't know what the word 'schedule' means. The Empire State Building was built in a year. The HV Maintenance building may take longer. If they use the same contractor for ski expansion, it won't be done until 2011. Maybe that's the issue?
Frederick1
April 15, 2009
Member since 04/15/2009 🔗
3 posts
It has been a long time since I have posted. I had to create a new account since I forgot my password and what email account the password resent went to. Although, I have been reading everyone's comments almost daily.

I skied at Hidden Valley twice this year during January. Although Buncher has done a wonderful job on upgrading the lifts and snow, I found myself bored by noon. No steeps and no mogul fields. I found myself saying "its January, it's been cold, why don't they have the North Summit diamonds open or some mogul fields ready to go. These are things that I believe they need to have open and ready to roll to compete with 7 Springs North Face. The North face of 7 Springs was open.

The North Summit expansion is key. Get the North Summit complete. Hopefully this will provide some steep runs. I am concerned that they are going to build more real estate, build a new lodge and keep making all these updates but people won't come because it's boring.

In addition, there is nothing better in the world than skiing the North Face at 7 Springs and than hitting up the Foggy Google. The character of 7 Springs with all the wood logs is awesome. I want to see how Hidden Valley is going to match up? I am not impressed with the cement block wall they are using for the North Summit lodge. It looks like Sheetz. They should have built an awesome wood/log/cedar lodge.

I want to see Hidden Valley succeed, but I am already starting to get a little nervous about the direction.

These are just my thoughts and I have no invested interest in either resort. I am just a customer and at this point I would still continue to go to 7 Springs even with the higher ticket cost.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 15, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Frederick1,
Welcome back. Be sure to take the "08-09 Sliding Poll" before this weekend.
The Colonel
snosnugums
April 15, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Frederick, welcome back.
I agree with everything you said. I have walked the trails that they cleared last fall and they will definitely add challenge to HV. But you must consider that HV is more of a family resort and it is also less crowded than 7Springs. Skiing at 7Springs on a weekend can be scary. During the week, it is great. Another option you have if you have an HV season pass is you can ski at Wisp. More HV season pass holders need to take advantage of this. Of course, I am always amazed when I talk to yins 7Spring skiers who have never skied anywhere else than 7Springs. Some never even knew Timberline existed? I digress.
HV could have made snow on the Charger trail which is short but steep. That would have helped. They did make a fair amount of snow on the Thunderbird trail and allowed it to get bumped up.
Unfortunately, the recession has slowed the expansion of many businesses, including the resort busines. We'll see what happens.
GGNagy
April 16, 2009
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
450 posts
Originally Posted By: Frederick1
In addition, there is nothing better in the world than skiing the North Face at 7 Springs and than hitting up the Foggy Google. The character of 7 Springs with all the wood logs is awesome. I want to see how Hidden Valley is going to match up? I am not impressed with the cement block wall they are using for the North Summit lodge. It looks like Sheetz. They should have built an awesome wood/log/cedar lodge.


Mmmmm Sheetz. Maybe they could replace Boston Culinary Group. A Schmuffin before first tracks, Wrapz for lunch and Ciabatta Bing, yer fed for the day. Local company too. Ski up touchscreens!
Taylormatt
April 16, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Originally Posted By: Frederick1


there is nothing better in the world than skiing the North Face at 7 Springs




I don't mean to sound like a dick, but dude, you need to get out more.
David
April 16, 2009
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Oh my....
Taylormatt
April 16, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Sorry, forgot to add the smile
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
April 17, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
I guess Frederick won't be posting anymore. Remember, once you type it and sent it, you can't get it back. eek
jimmy
April 17, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Originally Posted By: Frederick1




In addition, there is nothing better in the world than skiing the North Face at 7 Springs and then hitting up the Foggy Google.




I like teh Foggy Goggle wink .
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
April 27, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Update-4-27-09
I visited HV this weekend, here is an update:
-I hiked the north Summit area and found extensive work in progress for installation of new lighting and snow making. The Voyager trail looks like it is being widened.
- an employee told me that the new Outback expansion was going forward in a limited fashion. Supposedly, they will install the lift but no snow making this year. The snow makiing will be installed next season?
- they had no idea when the season pass information for 2009/2010 would be published. THey said they were constantly be asked about the season passes and had no information what so ever?
- No news on the restuarants. Many residents were talking about this issue.
- No one knows if Boston Culinary Group is coming back, including Boston Culinary Group. Their contract expires April 30.
- Golf course is open and doing well
- The North Summit Condos will finally be completed in May?? (Hooray!). Resort Furnishing is supposed to be supplying the furniture for the model.
- 11 real estate closings in the first quarted of 2009 (28 last year)
- Contract approved for the new landscaping company that will be doing the landscape maintenance and cleanup. They are from the Pittsburgh area. Litchenfels is out.
Leo
April 27, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
I was up there Saturday as well.

Here's what I can't figure out. After a great mt bike ride over in the Fire Tower road area, my brother and I came back to HV hungry for some dinner. It was approx. 7 PM. I called the number they used to list for the "Pub" figuring maybe it had moved to the Yukon since that was what I heard. No answer. So I call the main line and the person who answers (and is very polite) says, "Mulligans is the only thing open. And they close at 5." Mind you, as stated above, its already 7 PM.

So my brother and I went to LMI for dinner. And it was packed. And half of the people in there were in golf attire, so I can only assume they came from HV. So there are people at the resort who want food and beer, they apparently have no choice but to drive down the road to LMI to get get it. Strange.

Otherwise, the resort looked good. The golf course looks to be in nice shape. I ran into long time residents who have skied at 7S the last 4 years and they told me they're coming back this year. So word of mouth is still getting out there. I just wish I could get good food and beer on a Saturday evening without having to leave the resort.

Sorry for the rant.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
April 27, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
I agree with your rant concerning the restuarants. If you have been to the "Out of the Fire Cafe", the place is always busy. Great food, nice atmosphere. The way I see it, a restuarant has got to have something to attract people...like great food. But that is always not the case. Look at ChuckeeCheese, for example or these other themed restuarants. Other draws are spectacular view or architecture (water views like Harbor Place in Baltimore even though the restuarants are tourist traps). Another draw is marketing...why would someone go to Eat-n'-Park or Hosses Steak and Sea if wasn't for the marketing (and cheap food). How about those coupons you get in the mail for Ruby Tuesdays (we went there the other day becuase we had a coupon ...the wife loves coupons!!).
How about if they even market the resort by having wine tastings, concerts, antique car shows, mountain bike competitions, chili cook-offs,etc.These things would bring people to the resort who would then eat in the restuarants.

They have marketing people who just aren't very creative. If you have a good product you have to tell people about it and entice them to try it, by God! wink Didn't we talk about this same subject when the Kettlers were the owners. The Bunchers have invested lots of money in the place, now they need to spend some money on marketing!
Frederick1
April 28, 2009
Member since 04/15/2009 🔗
3 posts
Don't forget about weddings....people will occupy the lodge and will need a place to eat.

And for the record: The North Face and Foggy Google being the greatest was in direct reference to Skiing and Apres in the Mid Atantic.
gizmosnow
April 28, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Originally Posted By: snowsmith
They have marketing people who just aren't very creative.


I was sitting here as my wife was bugging me about why I think HV is not yet selling next season passes (as her brother and others keep bugging her because they don't want to miss out on preseason discounts). Decided to catch up on some DCSKI posts, read this comment, and a light bulb went off (in my head, that is).

Began to think --- maybe they are trying to be TOO creative: What if you want to sell passes less expensive than 7S but you don't want to give away the store???

Maybe you wait till after 6/1, when 7S passes go from $379 to $579, and then you list your passes for, maybe, $479 (or even $379).

Have absolutely NO inside info suggesting that this is their strategy but, they do have an experienced mgmt/mktg team and, according to some posts here at least, they do have a good idea of their expansion plans for next season so, I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't want to make at least some announcement re: next season passes.

Then, this thought popped into my head and I figured I'd share it.
snosnugums
April 29, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
I am predicting that the season passes will be introduced on May 1. And I also predict the price is going up. I have no basis for these predictions.
I heard that snow making and lighting will be installed on the Outback and Charger slope this summer. I have only skied on the double black Charger slope two times since it is currently a natural snow trail
As far as restuarants go, Ladels shut down. The rumor I heard was the landlord wanted to increase the already high rent and they said no.
snosnugums
May 3, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
Originally Posted By: snosnugums
I am predicting that the season passes will be introduced on May 1. And I also predict the price is going up. I have no basis for these predictions.


The quote above is mine. The only part that is correct is " I have no basis for these predictions". Not sure what they are thinking but I sure hope that it carries some good news with it.
Edgar3
May 7, 2009
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
See that HV is now offering free golf!
http://www.hiddenvalleyresort.com/HVGolfFree.aspx

Makes sense to me; If they are not booked at certain times then run this kind of promotion to get people to come out, see what a great course it is, and perhaps drop some $ on other things. Also speaks to that they view the free ski offer last year as a success.

Now if the same creativity could be applied to a resturaunt, ....but first they need a good product in that category. Suspect that they know that and something is underway.
Frederick1
May 7, 2009
Member since 04/15/2009 🔗
3 posts
I still think in order for anything to work that they need to draw more people to the resort during the off seasons. People aren't going to go to the spa, go to a new restaurant and buy real estate if there aren't major activity draws to get people there. I haven't seen any posted events or planned festivals on the web site as of yet. 7 Srings has events and activities posted through September already.
Leo
May 7, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Originally Posted By: Edgar3
See that HV is now offering free golf!


I played yesterday afternoon and managed to get in 9 before the rain started.

The course is in great shape already -- the greens are coming in nicely and the fairways are in pretty good shape for early May. The bunkers were also in amazing shape considering the amount of recent rain.

I am fairly certain they still have availability for this promotion next week -- go check out the course if you have the chance.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
May 8, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
I agree, they need events to draw people in. They did some during the ski season. I am hoping that they get a new restuarant operator who reopens the Pub. It just needs some marketing savy like what they are doing with 'free golf'.
hockeydave
May 9, 2009
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Maybe a Saturday night outdoor concert on the slopes would be cool. But with that comes the issue of losing the family friendly atmosphere (i.e. drunks). Also, with Seven Springs having all kind of events, there's only so many people to go around. Tough call. How do you full and part time residents feel about having a quiet summer or would you rather have some activity on the weekends?
jeffo4
May 9, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
As a part time resident I would be happy just to have a reliable restaurant that is open all the time. I think to do that the need a successful hotel and to do that i think it will take some extra events. I don't think it would bother many residents if it is a busy place all year round. Most of the homes would not be affected by traffic or noise if most things are at the lodge
jeffo4
May 18, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Season passes are on sale 299 no mention of new terrain
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
May 18, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Also no mention of reciprical privaledges with Wisp. Lot's of other percs though. I know they are still working on new snow making for the Summit side. But I have not been up there since Early April, so I have not seen what progress has been made. I assume that the delay was because they were assessing the expansion plan and the costs associated with that. $299 for a season pass is still a pretty good deal.
But I don't think they can truly compete with Springs until they put in the new trails which will offer challenge similar to the North Face at 7Springs. Hopefully, when the economy turns around and all of the billionaire bankers and Wall Street types have been made whole by the Government, then we'll see new trails.
SwissMountain
June 26, 2009
Member since 05/18/2007 🔗
66 posts
I agree with snowsmith regarding the expansion. I am not sure how much they can since they run into state/federal land with a wetland protection area.

Seven Springs has in my opinion the best expansion option in the East....think about WhitMountain greater western. 1,200 vertical. I guess could be on of the bigger ski area in the East.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
June 29, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
1,200 feet of vertical? I doubt that. Little terrain in the Laurel Mountains has that much vertical. You would have to show me a USGS Map or similar to prove that they will have much more than 800 feet of vertical.
Hidden Valley is stuck with the mountain that they have so, if they can get 500+ of vertical out of the new terrain, I would be happy.
rdytooski
June 29, 2009
Member since 11/16/2005 🔗
40 posts
We were up this weekend. We had lunch on Saturday at Mulligan's. Nice to see that they have expanded the menu. We had brunch on Sunday at Clock Tower. I would have to say it was the best food at HV in several years. We thought the crafts where a bit pricey. Whats up with the big swan in the lake? See you again this weekend
GGNagy
June 29, 2009
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
450 posts
The only way 7 springs could get to 1200 vertical would be to build a slope from the banks of Lake Tahoe all the way down Neals Run almost to Indian Head Road. Such a run would probably also be about 4 times longer than Gunnar. The last 400' of drop would occur over 3/4ths of the run as well. So, something like Gunnar+2x(lost boy). With run out like that, North Summit at HV looks like a nice sustained pitch. smile


I still say the best thing HV could do, food wise, is a Sheetz at the Outback on in the North Summit lodge.
gizmosnow
June 29, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
For what it's worth, I did hear a rumor(?) about a week ago --- from a 'reasonable' source, though--- that the Outback bldg. has been leased to an investor group planning a(nother) restaurant, probably italian.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
June 29, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
That building is such an architectural disaster. They need to gut the place to expose the old Amish barn, knock out the entire back wall and replace it with windows overlooking the lake and ski slopes and put some trendy restuarant there which will excite people to go there. Boston Culinary Group never heard of the word 'marketing' and on top of that the food was mediocre. I hope this group is local and understand the area. You cannot rely soly on Hidden Valley guests to make money.
jimmy
June 29, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Originally Posted By: GGNagy


I still say the best thing HV could do, food wise, is a Sheetz at the Outback on in the North Summit lodge.


laugh laugh
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
June 29, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Originally Posted By: jimmy

laugh laugh


MTO grin
jimmy
June 29, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
and a couple o hop devils
Edgar3
July 20, 2009
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Things seem to be very quiet, especially compared to last year. Has the economy put everything on hold?
Anyone aware of the status is on the Outback lift/new trails; Is it definitely off the table for this season? What about any restaurant plans?
hockeydave
July 23, 2009
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Given the pace & amount of improvements made over the past 2 years, I think its justifiable to put a few of Buncher's other planned upgrades on hold for a while, at least until the economy improves (hopefully very soon). I may be able to post more about their plans in a month or so.
Leo
July 23, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Hey Dave...how's it going? So you will have some inside info for us?

I could be wrong, but I believe their original intention was to break ground on the new lodge/base area this spring (2010) and I would be very surprised if that does not happen.

The other big ticket item that it would be nice to see, but that there is no reason to rush in my opinion, is installation of lifts and snow guns on the new trails as well as continued trail expansion.

Slow and steady usually wins the race -- and based on Buncher's tenure thus far, I see no reason to expect anything other than continued improvements and hopefully expansion of ski terrain.

Anyone have any info on what their early season pass sales have been like? I think the best pricing ended 7/1, so they should have had a reasonable volume of season pass sales prior to that date.
gizmosnow
July 23, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
I would think their ability to sell the new Summit condos may also play a large role in their upgrade timeline.

BTW, I drove past the new maintenance facility a few weeks ago and it is hugh - -it would seem large enough to support a much bigger mountain and operation than currently exists. A confirmation that their plans, at least at the time that they initiated that project, were BIG.
liketoskidad
July 23, 2009
Member since 10/19/2007 🔗
18 posts
I guess I just don't get it. Every fall I wait with excitement for the announcements from all the ski areas around North America and especially locally on their improvements for the new season. Here's my feeling about the whole "What's New" thing.

Could care less about new rental equipments as anyone that skies more than once a season has their our own equipment.

Could care less about some new burger shop on the hill. If your eating you're not skiing.

New kids ski school - Who cares that was 40 years ago.

New lodging - If you're that concerned about what your room looks like your not spending enough time on the hill or in the Bar.

New Tubing Park - Give me a break that for all the people that are too fat and out of shape to try on a pair of skies.

TO A TRUE LIFELONG SKIER THE ONLY IMPROVEMENTS THAT MATTER ARE NEW SLOPES, MORE VERTICAL OR FASTER LIFTS. EVERYTHING ELSE JUST DOESN'T MATTER.

So Hidden Valley - Get those new lifts in and open those new slopes as soon as possible. That's what get sme and my friends there more often.
Leo
July 24, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
liketoskidad:

I like your passion.

I don't know how much you have skied HV historically and/or in the last few years. But, if you have skied there a reasonable amount over say the last ten years, you would have to admit that Buncher has made marked improvements over a pretty incredibly accelerated time frame. The new snow guns (which it took them ONLY two years to cover almost all of the existing terrain with) are in my opinion the best in the area if not maybe the best available any where.

The new trails they cut add some vertical on the North Summit, though vert drop is by far their biggest limitation. Unfortunately, I believe the App Mountains are shrinking, not growing, so I am not sure how much more vert they are going to get even if they keep expanding East towards Koosier (which actually would add some steeper terrain, though not much more vert).

Do I wish the current North Summit lift was a high speed quad? Yes. Do I wish the lifts stopped less often? Yes.

At any rate, hope to see you on the slopes (and in the bar) this winter, because at the end of the day it is skier days and $$$ spent that will allow them to continue expanding and improving.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
July 27, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Originally Posted By: liketoskidad

TO A TRUE LIFELONG SKIER THE ONLY IMPROVEMENTS THAT MATTER ARE NEW SLOPES, MORE VERTICAL OR FASTER LIFTS. EVERYTHING ELSE JUST DOESN'T MATTER.
So Hidden Valley - Get those new lifts in and open those new slopes as soon as possible. That's what get sme and my friends there more often.


Spoken like a true die hard. Some of my ski fanatic friends eat their lunch on the chair lift.

I recenlty hiked the new terrain expansion. It is definitely the best terrain on the mountain. They have even cleared what appears to be a gladed area.
Unfortunately, I believe the economy has killed the expansion for this year. I have asked repeatedly to various Buncher employees what the plans are and no one has a clue. I think Buncher is one of those old fashioned companies that like to keep corporate communication secret. They haven't even announced what improvements they are implementing this year. If you walk the slopes, I see new welded steel snow making pipe being assembled, new snow guns installed at various locations, new lighting,etc. Why they are not marketing these improvements (especially when they put the season passes on sale) is a mystery to me and many other folks. Their marketing guys seems to be in outter space some where.

I look forwarded to skiing this year at HV. I think the new improvements that they seem to be implementing (what ever they are) will further improve HV as a ski destination.
SO WHY DON'T THEY TELL EVERYBODY ABOUT IT???
jeffo4
August 24, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
It looks like (via webcam) they may be adding a loading carpet to the triple lifts has anyone heard anything about that?
SkiBoarder
September 8, 2009
Member since 05/22/2006 🔗
44 posts
We were at HV this weekend and were talking to a local realtor. He said that the HV staff were expanding some slopes by adding glades. We walked over to Cobra and on the right side, facing downhill, the woods are cleared of small brush and low limbs. Definitely adds some challenge to the slope. Not sure where the other glades are being put in by the staff. It definitely looks like some slopes will now have glades.
Leo
September 8, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
SkiBoarder:

Thank you for the update. That is really good to hear. That's a good example of a relatively low cost improvement that can be made to address one of their biggest issues -- lack of challenging terrain.

I'll be curious to see if they utilize snow guns to try to get some cover in the woods, or if they rely on natural snowfall, which obviously has had its limits in recent years.

Either way, glad to hear it.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
September 8, 2009
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,855 posts
Thanks SkiBoarder. I heard the same from an employee but I haven't been there to see the new glades but I've been told they are relatively tight and closely spaced compared to other local gladed runs. I don't know if they will blow snow in there intentionally but I'm guessing that there will be some blow in from the current snow making.
snosnugums
September 8, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
I noticed the clearing along Cobra also. I also hiked the future slopes and one of the slopes appears to have a gladed area. The trees are fairly widely spaced. The future slopes, when they open, will really add some interesting skiing to HV.
I noticed quite a bit of work going on. They were working on lifts, I saw new snow making pipe laying on various North Summit slopes ready for installation. I also checked out the new maintenance facility... very impressive.
It looks like the long green slope (Mile Long Trail??) is being regraded. Looks like it's going to an interesting season.
Taylormatt
September 10, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Originally Posted By: jeffo4
It looks like (via webcam) they may be adding a loading carpet to the triple lifts has anyone heard anything about that?


From what I understand, no. It did kind of look that way, but it's not. They are building new, updated lift shacks for the older lifts.

I'm stoked about the new glades though.
Edgar3
September 10, 2009
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Hopefully any new lift shacks will reflect the design in the illustrations created by Jack Johnson as part of the HV master plan. If I recall those showed some nice rustic stone lift buildings that would set HV apart from the outhouses that litter other mountains in PA. Was disappointed when the new lift was installed last year just had a basic wooden building that did not reflect the drawings; Such a noticable location...and so easy in the grand scheme of things to make it look good.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 11, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
An architect's pipe dream illustrated with computer rendering software. I have never seen a stone masonry lift shack. Now if you were to complain about the bland architecture for the North Summit day lodge building, then I am with you.
I was however impressed by the new maintenance building. Looks like the spent a bundle on this.
I think they need to establish a new architectural identity for the NEW HV. The new Summit condos continue the previous developer's concepts. If they want to sell these places for $340k, they need to market not only the building they are selling but also the lifestyle. Take a look at the brochure developed by Wisp resort. They are not very marketing savy. .
Chad
September 23, 2009
Member since 12/12/2000 🔗
270 posts
anyone know if hv is going to do the free early season skiing this year?
jeffo4
October 19, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
HV has announced free after Thanksgiving skiing with a charitable donation. Also $20 lift tickets up until dec 18. Other than that prices look slightly higher than last year. Of course weather will determine actual opening date but the early schedule shows they are going to try to open early
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 19, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
They have been doing alot of work over at the Norht Summit. Any idea what improvements they are completing. You would think they would make an annoucement?
jeffo4
October 19, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I saw a bunch of new water lines and it was my understanding that they added snowmaking to the trails in the woods trails beween the wrangler and outback
gizmosnow
October 24, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
From e-blast I received from HV:

Greetings From The Valley ~

Last week Hidden Valley saw its first snow flurries and light accumulation - a sign that winter will be here before we know it. The resort is busy gearing up for the snow season as they continue to make enhancements to the mountain and facilities to help provide guests with the best possible winter experience. The resort targets Thanksgiving weekend to open the slopes for the season. The popular free-ski/board promotion is slated to take place November 27-29, 2009, weather permitting.
In the mean time, the Hidden Valley Sport Shop offers the finest equipment, coolest clothing, and the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff to help you prepare for the 2009-2010 winter season.
WINTERSPORTS U
EQUIPMENT AND GEAR SWAP

Wintersports U, Hidden Valley's ski and snowboard instructional staff, are holding an equipment and gear swap November 7 and 8. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up hi-end and beginner level used skis, snowboards, boots, clothing and other gear. It is also a great time to sell some of your own quality equipment. All of those who sell gear will help benefit the local food bank. A $5 fee will be collected for selling the gear, and all proceeds will benefit Tableland Services of Somerset County. You will also have the opportunity to donate warm winter clothing to help families in need.
Anyone wishing to sell equipment must drop it off and register it on Saturday, November 7 between 8 and 10 a.m. The swap sale will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8. The event is open to anyone who would like to buy or sell any quality used equipment.
For more information on the Wintersports U equipment and gear swap, please contact
814-443-8000, ext. 300.

Make it a weekend at Hidden Valley with our
Arts & Cultural Celebration, November 7 and 8.
Click here for all the details.
gizmosnow
November 8, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Went up to HV for the Arts Festival this weekend. Again, they did a great job, benefited from great weather and had a decent turnout.

Here's a couple of minor updates to pass along: Boston Concessions is completely out --- HV will run all food operations at the main lodge. The Yukon will open in a couple of weeks & they are planning some significant improvements in the food choices in the main cafeteria during ski season. The Outback is being leased to an outside operator -- rumor is it will be run by Tree Tops (I've never been there but heard it is good).

HV will be implementing a helmet policy -- 12 and under will be required to wear a helmet when in ski school. Helmets will be provided at no charge.

HV has also taken over condo rentals from Northwood although I'm not sure that they have signed-up many homeowners (I've been renting my condo on my own for past few years). They have been actively marketing 'off-season' events, i.e., weddings, conferences, etc., and I've heard they have already booked up all the units in their current inventory (Four Seasons and privately owned) for next May thru October.

They've completed the upgrade of snowmaking water lines and automation of all the snowmakers. Completed the Maintenance facility and significant repairs to the lifts. And cleared out the glades between road runner and cobra for skiing.

So, while nothing BIG for this season, like new slopes, they continue to make steady progress.
hockeydave
November 9, 2009
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Given the economy, one can't blame Buncher for scaling back improvements (they originally stated 1 billion over 30 years). But as you state, they continue to make steady progress and are keeping their pricing affordable for families on a budget, especially on weekdays.
jeffo4
November 9, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I also talked to the chef he said the plans are to keep a restaurant open in the lodge from this ski season forward at all times to keep the year round guests fed
Buckeyeski
November 9, 2009
Member since 03/25/2009 🔗
5 posts
Gizmosnow- Thanks for the update. Curious to hear any more about Hidden Valley taking over rentals from Northwood. You indicated they are booked for May-October. Do you mean they have already filled rental units for next summer? I like to keep an eye on Hidden Valley for the one day dream of a ski condo. I am suprised the summer bookings are that strong?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 9, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
They did widen and regrade Voyager, the long easy slope on the North Summit side. They partially cleared the woods between Cobra and Road Runner, thus we now have a gladed area to ski.
I spoke to a few employees who indicated they are shooting for next year to open the new slopes.
They also sold one of the new North Summit condos (the model) and have moved all of the furniture to a new model.
If anyone is looking for a ski condo, there are about 100 properties on the market, the highest inventory ever, I believe. Thus now is the time to buy if you have the available cash and a stable job.

I also went to the arts festival and I must say it was the best event that I have been to at HV since owning property there. The food that they prepared (uuuummmm! Jambalaya) was very good and the artists and entertainment were very good. I am glad they dumped Boston Concessions.
SkiBoarder
November 10, 2009
Member since 05/22/2006 🔗
44 posts
Cool that the Arts and Cultural celebration had good crowds. Did anyone hit the ski swap held by Winter Sports U (how was it)?? We wanted to head up this Nov 7 weekend but had previous engagements here in MD.
JtownLaurels
November 10, 2009
Member since 10/6/2009 🔗
7 posts
Tying together regrading Voyager and having a gladed area to ski, remember that a decent percentage of the terrain between Outback and Wrangler could pass as partially cleared. If there's less of a struggle with the flatness to get through Voyager, then this area of the hill should be extra appealing. I'm glad Hidden Valley management decided to clear some trees for this season, and I'm wondering what their view is on further tree skiing.
SkiBoarder
November 10, 2009
Member since 05/22/2006 🔗
44 posts
Are there insurance issues with skiing glades or is it a maintenance issue? I always wondered why the resorts did not open more slopes by clearing small brush and trees. I really enjoying skiing the pines out west.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 10, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Welcome JtownLaurels! Do you have a season pass at HV?
JtownLaurels
November 10, 2009
Member since 10/6/2009 🔗
7 posts
Hey snowsmith, thanks for the welcome. I actually don't have a season pass at hidden valley; I did when I was in high school. As the name implies, I'm from near Johnstown, but for the next 2 years I'm out near Whitetail for college. My plan is still to ski mostly hidden valley with a few doses of blue knob this year though!
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 10, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Well, join us at Glacier's Pub for a few cold Yeunglings (or whatever your pleasure is). The place is packed on Saturdays at 4:00 PM.
I haven't been to Whitetail in many years. I hope to stop by there one day this year. Last time I was there it was so icy that I said I'd never go back. Of course that was before Snowtime bought the place. I am sure it has improved.
See you on the slopes.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
November 16, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
If you have a season pass at HV, 7Springs or Wisp, you can ski midweek for free (once) and for 50% thereafter at either of these resorts. This includes Sundays.
I can't believe they finally talked 7Springs into joining.

This is good news for season pass holders!
hockeydave
November 22, 2009
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Quote:
The Outback is being leased to an outside operator -- rumor is it will be run by Tree Tops (I've never been there but heard it is good).


No longer a rumor, but fact. Ate at TreeTops last night and the chef/owner informed us that they will operating a restaurant at the Outback (now called the Black Diamond Pub & Grill). He gave us a menu. All fare is very reasonably priced (under $10) and all entrees are under $20. Now it's up to the HV skiers & residents to support it, because I have no doubt the food will be outstanding. It's going to be open Thursday thru Sunday.
Edgar3
November 22, 2009
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Any idea how soon it will open? Also, is it the intention to remain open year round?
Taylormatt
November 22, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
The Black Diamond Pub is already open, stopped there for a beer today. Murphy's on tap smile Some friends ordered food and said it was excellent.

I believe the restaurant (called Falling Leaf) opens before or by the Holiday craze week and is supposed to remain open all year. The area certainly could sustain a year round eatery, since the only other option is Laurel Mtn Inn for the locals, let alone all the mtn traffic on 31 year round.
jeffo4
November 26, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I am up at HV hitting the buffet in a while, They may have fixed some of the water supply issues and appear ready to make snow everywhere when temps allow. They have waterlines hooked up on the portable units on the crossover to the summit side. I also noticed a lot of little improvements in signage, lift entrances and exits etc. It will be interesting to see how fast they can get open.
Domino
December 1, 2009
Member since 10/17/2006 🔗
6 posts
Looking at the weather for the next 10 days, it appears as though conditions will be favorable starting later this week to turn on the guns at HV. Anyone heard what HV's intentions are to blow?
LMskier
December 1, 2009
Member since 10/21/2009 🔗
5 posts
I got word 7 springs is going to start blowing snow at the end of this week so I would think HV would be able to do the same.
jeffo4
December 1, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
on web cam the lights were on late last night on rambler so they may have tested some last night. I would bet they will race to open soon
Taylormatt
December 1, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
We're aiming for opening next weekend and the forecast looks good starting Thursday night...as long as it doesn't change. The guns should fire in a little over 48 hours.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
December 2, 2009
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
You said "we"...TaylorMat do you work for HV. If so do you have any news on the future ski expansion?
Taylormatt
December 2, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
I am on Wintersports U staff, yes. Unfortunately, I have not heard anything concrete about the ski expansion. Buncher is moving forward wherever possible. I think the expansion was delayed a bit due to the economy. Another season of growth like last season should go a long way to starting these projects back up (hopefully). From what I understand, we were one of the few areas in the US that actually had growth in all aspects of the resort last season, rather than a decline.

We're doing fine, just need time.
jb714
December 4, 2009
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
The guns at HV are firing now.
Taylormatt
December 4, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Yep, came on around 5:30. We're targeting opening on Friday. Come on weather, cooperate.
jeffo4
December 6, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
It looks like HV is able to make snow everywhere at the same time this year looks like even the tubing area is blowing if annyone was up this weekend to confirm let us know
savelaurel
December 6, 2009
Member since 01/6/2009 🔗
5 posts
I thought I heard that HV was thinking about a .........dare I say, Free Ski day. Thought it might be today. Anyone know of anything?
hockeydave
December 6, 2009
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Confirmed. My wife and I took the dogs for a walk around 4:30 yesterday and snow was being made on the slopes and 2 guns were firing at the tubing park.
Taylormatt
December 6, 2009
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Originally Posted By: savelaurel
I thought I heard that HV was thinking about a .........dare I say, Free Ski day. Thought it might be today. Anyone know of anything?


This coming Sunday (13th?) will be free ski day. I think it requires a $5 cash or non perishable food donation to the food bank this year. Check the website later this week for details.
gizmosnow
December 8, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
HV has 'officially' announced on their website that they will open this Friday, 12/11. A food bank donation gets a free lift ticket on Sunday. Snowing pretty good up there right now. According to Pgh. local TV news, 7S will open on Thursday (haven't checked their website).
LMskier
December 8, 2009
Member since 10/21/2009 🔗
5 posts
Yes 7 Springs has on their website that they will be open on Thursday.
Leo
December 9, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Does anyone know what form the precip was in last night at HV?
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 9, 2009
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,855 posts
freezing rain
Prospector
December 12, 2009
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
I did about 5 hours of ski instruction today at Hidden valley.....conditions/snow were great for the second day of being open.

Come up and enjoy a resort that is being reborn under new ownership by The Buncher Company!
Prospector
December 12, 2009
Member since 09/15/2007 🔗
15 posts
Had dinner Friday night at the new restaurant just below the tubing park (I recommend highly). They were grooming the snow in the tubing area as we ate. Looking good!
jeffo4
December 12, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I skied HV today as well fantastic conditions especially considering the amount of ice everywhere off of the slopes. I was impressed by the yukon last night I had crab cakes, my wife salmon, the kids did steak all good and the service as well. Falling leaf however was another story. maybe they don't want to encourage families but the host acted bothered to seat us. It took 27 minutes to receive our drinks. The food was marginal steaks for three of us and one chicken dish. It took another 20 minutes to get our bill after finishing ( there were only 4 other seated tables). The prices were reasonable for the type of restaurant it is trying to be. Maybe it is opening weekend jitters but It appeared less professional than the previous tenants. I hope i am wrong but i still don't think it will be a viable option.
jeffo4
December 12, 2009
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I spoke with some staff they said the intention is to have the summit open for tomorrow. They continued to make snow on all unopened slopes throughout the day. I would bet their base is much higher than they have on the website. It looks like they could have been about 70% open if they really wanted to be but wanted to put an above average product on display
hockeydave
December 13, 2009
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Just curious, where is the water source(s) for snow making at HV?
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
December 13, 2009
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,855 posts
A morning sheet of ice covering every thing has canceled my plans to start the season today at HV. I should have gone yesterday but had prior commitments. It looked like a beautiful day.
Leo
January 12, 2010
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
I am resurrecting an old thread to bring up a few topics for discussion. smile

First, I guess this goes without saying, but I had the good fortune of skiing a good bit both Saturday and Sunday this weekend at HV and simply put conditions don't get much better than this.

Second, it's been a few weeks ago, and I didn't post a review then, but I had a not-so-great experience at Falling Leaf. The food was decent, but the service was awful. I'm hoping to hear some more positive feedback from others b/c I really want to see a place have success there. Does anyone have any positive reviews to share (or negative, for that matter).

Lastly, a friend of mine who ate at Falling Leaf told me that her waiter told her that HV was putting in an outdoor ice rink at the tubing park. Anyone know anything about this?

Hopefully everyone is getting some skiing in. The getting is good.
hockeydave
January 12, 2010
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
The skating rink is now on their website:

http://www.hiddenvalleyresort.com/ice_skating.aspx
jeffo4
January 12, 2010
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I agree the skiing conditions have been fantastic. I think the lighting is much improved over last year as well. I have tried Falling leaf twice and had bad luck too. However I have been very happy with the service and the food at the Yukon, try the crab cakes they are fantastic.
snosnugums
January 12, 2010
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
It's been a while since I posted. I tried the Falling Leaf and had a good meal with good service. I have also had good experience at the Black Diamond Pub.
I went to the Falling Leaf on New Years Eve to attend the party which never happened.
I really do wish them success. They have only been open for a few weeks so hopefully they will iron out the kinks and become a popular and successful establishment.
GGNagy
January 13, 2010
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
450 posts
Damm.. the boards might be good for a game of Shinny, but not much else. smile
mogulmolly18
January 18, 2010
Member since 01/18/2010 🔗
1 posts
Was at The Black Diamond Pub and Falling Leaf this weekend and had really good service. I think things are starting to come together for them.
lmmlaw
January 20, 2010
Member since 03/3/2008 🔗
18 posts
Anyone know why HV eliminated the old "live resort cameras"? The new and improved static version is worse than 7S.......! Bring back the old!
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
January 20, 2010
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Some people have trouble accessing streaming video at their work place... Maybe?
hockeydave
January 21, 2010
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Bandwidth issues on their (HV's) web server? Technical difficulties with the live cam's?
Edgar3
January 21, 2010
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Note the cool new "ice slide" at HV:
http://www.wildaboutice.com/
hockeydave
January 22, 2010
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
The outback area would be a perfect place to build a water park
Edgar3
January 25, 2010
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I skied HV on Saturday. Dispite the icy conditions provided by mother nature, HV did an excellent grooming job such that it was a non-issue on the slopes, and overall a great day of skiing.

I spoke with someone who should be in the know, and they said that Buncher is currently shopping for a lift for the Outback Area, and that although nothing is definite, if they can pull together the right deal would like to deploy this year.

Also had dinner at Falling Leaf, which was as busy as I have seen this location. The food was good and reasonably priced. They have live music and the manager said that they plan to continue it throught the year to build business. Also have added brunch sat and sun.

Overall I came away optimistic that HV finally has turned the corner.

And yes, Outback area would be great for a waterpark, although just saw that Great Wolf was approved to build at Pittsburgh Mills, and wonder how many water parks can be supported? If only Great Wolf and Buncher would get together...
Leo
January 25, 2010
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
I don't think I would be getting anyone in trouble by confirming what Edgar3 says above b/c I believe what I am repeating was relayed to a friend in a non-confidential way. Scott Bender told a friend of his who is also a friend of mine that HV's intention is to install a lift on the outback side this summer that would be functional for next ski season.

Scott also gave this individual some stats such as tickets sold over the holiday this year vs last that all seemed very encouraging.

I don't think there's any doubt that the corner is turned and the response has been great. Not only is it more crowded in general this year, but I am starting to see groups, vacationers, etc. Which before Buncher bought the resort it was pretty much down to loyal (to a fault) homeowners.

Now if the weather would just cooperate a little bit.... mad
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 25, 2010
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Massanutten built an indoor/outdoor water park and I believe the results have proved OK...the big wave pool is outdoor and open during the warm months. As for competition from Great Wolf...judging by the prices to stay at Great Wolf in Williamsburg, a water park at HV, on the lines of what is at Massanutten should prove competitive.
The Colonel smile
hockeydave
January 26, 2010
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
7S was supposed to build one, but I guess the change in ownership squelched those plans (along with the casino due to conflicts with MLB). All one has to do is look at the crowds at Idlewild Park's Soak Zone in Ligonier to see that there is a market for it. A year round outdoor/indoor one would definitely fit the bill for the micro-climate (shorter, cooler summer) of the Laurel Highlands.
GGNagy
January 26, 2010
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
450 posts
as a year round atraction? I dunno. The Kennywood group has had the waterpark market pretty cornered, and has had the on again/off again plans for an indoor park up on the old K-Mart property ("No one expects the Spanish acquisition!!!") which would be alot closer to the center of population for the area.
gizmosnow
January 26, 2010
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
Also, saw on Pitt. News that a waterpark is planned at the Pittsburgh Mills --- less than an hour west up the turnpike from Donegal which would 'accommodate' the Pittsburgh crowd. Demand just may not be great enough for another.
jb714
February 1, 2010
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
Quote:
I don't think there's any doubt that the corner is turned and the response has been great


My daughter and I skied HV yesterday morning (Jan 31) on a 4-hour flex ticket. The North Summit slopes/trails were in great shape, the sky was perfectly blue, and the liftlines were blissfully short. I was impressed enough that I've pretty much decided to buy season passes there next year. Granted HV does not have terrain as challenging as 7 Springs but I think there is a lot to be said for better quality snow, shorter lines, and a better family atmosphere.

If they open new terrain for next year, that would be icing on the cake.
GGNagy
February 1, 2010
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
450 posts
I was up there on thursday, and aside from the wind drifting the natural snow, it was wonderful. The only thing unskiable was the glade and a bit skiers right on Cobra.

Charger was closed, but then again was it ever open?
Leo
February 1, 2010
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Originally Posted By: jb714
Granted HV does not have terrain as challenging as 7 Springs but I think there is a lot to be said for better quality snow, shorter lines, and a better family atmosphere.


I couldn't have said it better. Last week, I took advantage of the "free" 7S lift ticket offer for season pass holders and went over there on Thurs. The terrain is great. But the weekends are way too crowded.

If time and money were not issues, the ultimate would be to have a weekday pass at 7S and season pass at HV. Alas, both time and money are issues for most of us. So, I just go with the HV season pass. If they keep the current deal going, you get one non-Saturday/holiday free and the rest 50% off at 7S anyways. So you can get in a few weekdays over there for minimal $$.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
February 2, 2010
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
Originally Posted By: Leo
If time and money were not issues, the ultimate would be to have a weekday pass at 7S and season pass at HV.


I have often thought that if I didn't have to work, that would be the ideal combination. However, as you indicate, the free passes and 1/2 price passes at Wisp and 7Springs, give us HV pass holders an advantage the way I see it.
My friends from Deep Creek Lake/Wisp came to visit and made use of the free ski pass on Sunday.
I heard rumors that the Buncher's are shoppng for a lift for the 'Outback' expansion. Those trails will take HV to a new level as far as challenge is concerned.
I'd say things are really turning around. I had dinner at The Yukon on Friday night and the food was great. My wife and I were quite impressed. I also went carrousing at the Black Diamond Pub and Falling Leaf Restuarant and found it to be quite busy.

The loading carpet at the North Summit lift has died and I heard they may remove it because it has not worked well over there.

And finally, my friends from Deep Creek/Wisp were supposed to visit on Saturday. They called me on the way up and said they were turning around becuase of heavy snow. I told them we didn't get a flake and they couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it either since it may only be 40-50 miles south as the crow flies.

Ski Man
February 15, 2010
Member since 02/15/2010 🔗
16 posts
Not sure why they eliminated the live video on their site but if you're interested in some videos from Hidden Valley I have a good bit of them on my site: http://www.skimanproductions.com Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas of anything you'd like to see!
Edgar
June 24, 2010
Member since 08/28/2006 🔗
33 posts
I spoke with someone at HV a few weeks ago who should be in the know, and they mentioned that there were other priorities before they would be getting around to the Outback expansion.

Combine that with no physical signs of preparation, believe one can conclude that we will not be skiing those great looking trails this season. Has anyone heard anything more?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
June 24, 2010
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
What are the 'other priorities' ? They are very closed lipped about any of their plans.
The ski shop is no longer open full time and the only real restuarant that is open is Mulligans. Of course Falling Leaf and the Black Diamond Pub on Rte 31 are open.
I assume they do not see a major return on the initial $12 million they spent to buy the place and the several million they invested in snow making, new or refurbished lifts, new North Summit day lodge and the North Summit condos of which, only one has been sold. Hidden Valley was supposed to be a real estate investment for them and as investments go at this time, I am sure that it is not meetnig expectations.
nic223
September 2, 2010
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
The old ski maintenance building has been leveled. Here is a link to pics. on facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Hidden-Valley-PA/Northwood-Realty-Services-at-Hidden-Valley-Four-Seasons-Resort/245777438620?ref=ts
Edgar3
September 4, 2010
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
They have the new supersized maintanance building, so don't really need this old building anymore, and it was part of the new lodge/hotel/condo plan to build there. The web site says that they will put a new learn-to-ski area there, so no mention of anything more.

Still no word on the expanded trails and outback lift.



nic223
September 11, 2010
Member since 02/21/2006 🔗
90 posts
More destrucion at Hidden Valley. The cabin and the big old white house next to the barn have been demolished. Here is a link to a short video of the destrucion of the white house.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Hidden-Valley-PA/Northwood-Realty-Services-at-Hidden-Valley-Four-Seasons-Resort/245777438620?ref=ts
Edgar3
September 13, 2010
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
From what I am hearing, Amtrack station in Rockwood now has a good chance of happening, including a service to bring bicycles. Apparently there are some conversations with HV and 7S with respect to this: See:

http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x1316177170/Rockwood-Amtrak-stop-studied

" Project leaders have also considered a ski train for Seven Springs and Hidden Valley resorts. The resorts may even be willing to contribute to the station's long-term funding if it sees more skiers spill out of the trains and onto the slopes, said Aldom."
hockeydave
September 14, 2010
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
jeffo4
September 14, 2010
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I also heard from some resort employees the plan is to move ski school to the current glaciers which would make sense with the new beginner area then Build a very large deck on the sandwich shop/cafe and turn it into the new galciers
gizmosnow
September 14, 2010
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
I believe it is the 'Little Rippers' area that will be moved to the Glaciers location, not the Ski School itself. Glaciers to be moved upstairs with a future deck area --- deck probably won't make it for this season. Clocktower to have expanded hours and menus. At least these are the rumors I heard.
hockeydave
September 16, 2010
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I have a problem if they do move Glaciers above ground (i.e. walking up and subsequently down the steps). I believe it will reduce skier traffic. It might just be me and my advanced age, but I like the ease of skiing right up to the entrance of Glaciers, similar to the Foggy Goggle at 7S. You're in, you're out, no obstacle course required especially after a few libations.
Leo
September 16, 2010
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
I think there are pros and cons to a potential move. Right now, it's a little small -- on weekends it's often overcrowded -- and there is no good deck, which there is nothing better than an apres ski beer on a nice deck. So if they could make it bigger and have a nice deck, I'd be on board.

With that said, as Dave points out, you can't beat the convenience of a ski-in ski-out bar.
HV home owner
November 1, 2010
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
Personaly what I think HV should do is turn the Avalanche lift into a high speed Quad and take parts from the current avalanche Quad and reconstruct it on the future expansion. I do not know how much this would cost or if it is possible. Anyone agree?
whitewarmth
November 2, 2010
Member since 11/2/2010 🔗
29 posts
Sounds like a good idea to me. The existing lift can be a long slow ride. I think the lenght warrants an express lift.
HV home owner
November 3, 2010
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
OK I measured the length of the avalanche lift on google earth and it is a half amile long. so just as a comparison I measured the Polar bear express lift @ 7springs and the avalanche lift @ HV is longer. So it defenatly needs to be an express lift.
Edgar3
November 3, 2010
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Would agree the need for Avalanche lift to be express considering the distance. Seems to take forever, typically with many stops on the way.

On the other hand, to take the parts from it to use in the Outback expansion slopes seems not optimal. Considering the expansion is positioned to be a great experts area, and experts really appreciate a quick lift to rack up vertical, seems like a high speed lift in that area would really help position them well as a destination resort.
Taylormatt
November 3, 2010
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Do you guys know why most of 7S is skied out, troughed, scraped off and overly congested? The answer is high speed lifts putting more skiers per minute than the acreage can handle.

Do you know why these problems don't exist at the Valley (beyond the snow making being far superior)?

There are no high speed lifts. Let's keep it that way.

Remember when the best terrain at 7S was in the back off the old, slow Gunnar lift? Notice how it's now crap by noon on any given day? Thank the new high speed that's overpopulating the area.
HV home owner
November 3, 2010
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
You do have a point taylor matt. Your absolutly right about how crowded the the slopes are @ 7s. I also agree the slopes are crap by 12 but that also has 2 deal with the crapy snow making and groomers. Also edgar3 I have walked the new terrain and(in my opinion)the runs are 2 short 2 invest in a 10-20 million dolar lift. I dont know if thats how much it would cost but they arent cheap! And besides with the new expansion they need avalanche to have a higher lift capacity to service the increase of skiers.
HV home owner
November 6, 2010
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
slopes open in 1 month! grin
HV home owner
November 19, 2010
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
also heres something the resort didnt anounce they built new lift huts @ the top of the 2 triple lifts. also they destroyed the white house 4 more parking cause parking is an isue.
Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
November 19, 2010
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,474 posts
I wish they still offered those 4 hour flex passes like last year. I liked being able to come and go when it worked for me and my kids schedules.
HV home owner
November 21, 2010
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
yeah i think those tickets were a good option 4 those who had a limited time 2 ski.
comprex
November 21, 2010
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
4 hour flexpasses rawk. Ask any Snowtime skier.
HV home owner
November 26, 2010
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
HIDDEN VALLEY IS MAKING SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HV home owner
March 13, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
Has anybody bought one of the lots for sale in the green tee developement?

Also any news on the future expansion?
Edgar3
March 15, 2011
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
From speaking with someone who should be in the know last weekend, there is no word from the owners with respect to expansion this year.
HV home owner
March 16, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
Okay thanks. i heard that lift construction was supposed to begin this spring when i asked someone over the summer but everyone else doesnt seem to know when ive asked them. frown
HV home owner
March 18, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
Whats with the dramatic decrease in hours for next season?

2010/2011 Hours of Operation
Mon - Wed 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Holiday 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

2011/2012 Hours of Operation
Monday - Tuesday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, Holiday 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

???????
petalpusher
March 18, 2011
Member since 03/6/2008 🔗
4 posts
I think it just shows that HV is unable to draw any type of crowd during the week. They need to realize that without some type of apres ski they are never going to draw much more than local weekend skiers. We had a group of 10+ up over the week of 3/6. There was nowhere near to eat. The wait at LMI was too long on Sat for our large group. We ended up at Fallen Leaf. The food and atmosphere on the pub side were awful. I don't know how they are still in business. We ended up eating almost every meal for the 8 day stay at Seven Springs. Since we were over there anyway to eat, guess where we bought lift tickets?
HV home owner
March 18, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
I agree with you. Hidden Valley needs to wake up and realize that they need a lot more apres ski. They are sitting on the potential to become an even larger resort than 7s. If Buncher doesnt build the new hotel/lodge/condo complex at the base of the valley slopes they might not get the critical mass they need. also what happend to the ski plaza they planned on building at the top of the summit slopes? for the reduction in hours the only two things that I can think of are if they are loseing money or they are going to open the expansion next season which so far there hasnt been any indication besides that the snow on the tubing park has been torn up in the direction of the base of the expansion(look at web cams). Disapointing that buncher wont invest the quota they said they would. If HV builds it they will come.
whitewarmth
March 20, 2011
Member since 11/2/2010 🔗
29 posts
They need to market the night skiing crowd. Ski Liberty and Roundtop do a good night time busines and they are farther from Balto./Wash then HV is from Pittsburgh. Quite frankly, I think major decisions are being made by the Buncher accountants in Pittsburgh. If they keep screwing around with the operating hours they are going to lose their customer base. If they couldn't make money this year from the ski operation, then the place will never make money. How does Liberty/Roundtop/Whitetail make money every year without depending on real estate sales? If they can do it, HV can make money. They have made some major blunders in my opinion that have delayed the success of the resort:
1) Why did they stop marketing the 'future' development plan for the resort. It got everyone excited, then they pulled the whole marketing effort back (probably the decision of some corporate lawyer in Pittsburgh).
2) North Summit Condos - they kept the same architecture and layout as Kettler, thus not differentiating Buncher from Kettler. Then they seemed to have no construction schedule for completing the condo construction in a timely manner. By the time the construction was completed, the economy was near the bottom. TIME IS MONEY!
3) Ski Lodge - it is still a dump. It needs a total renovation or tear it down and build the new condo hotel.
4) Food - we're stuck with burgers/dogs and frozen pizza. What happened to the successful food at the HV Café (panninis, soups, salads, cappuccino, etc). We don't eat the ski lodge anymore.
5) Lodge/Hotel - they're trying to unload the old "Inn" which is basically a dump. To get the critical mass to support the restaurants and to have weekday skiers, the need to build a decent hotel.
Finally, the Buncher's are commercial office/wharehouse space developers, not resort operators. They need let resort people run the resort. They need to move forward with the condo/hotel and they need to re-roll out the former master plan for the resort to get people excited about buying property at the resort. The marketing effort must emphasize LIFESTYLE, not individual real estate developments. If they can't understand these issues, I suggest they sell the place to a resort developer who does.
hvskier
March 20, 2011
Member since 03/20/2011 🔗
25 posts
I agree with all of you. If everyone else can see this, why can't the Buncher Org. They are selling ski passes with reduced hours. What is that about? They market spa packages, ski packages, golf packages, with no bars, restaurants, or entertainment to go with them. Who wants to do that. You said it all when you said they need to emphasize LIFESTYLE. People that buy $300,000 condos want the amenities to go with them. They have done a wonderful job with improving the golf course and the ski slopes. Now they need to go the extra steps that they had planned to do when they bought the resort. If they don't want to do that, they need sell it to someone who does.
HV home owner
March 21, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
White Warmth I absolutely agree wth you. The ski lodge has to be one of the ugliest ski lodges ive ever seen (except the clock tower section). For some reason Buncher thinks that putting up posters of the resort and billboards makes the lodge look nicer. Really? If your house had a bad paintjob would you hang random posters on the walls or repaint it? You would repaint it. same with the ski lodge. It needs serious work done not posters. The food reflects the ski lodge. It is terable. what happened to the HV cafe? I use to always eat there. When I heard that they wre going to move Glaciers to where the cafe use to be I thaught that they were going to move the cafe to the Yukon. Which obviously didnt happen. Now the Yukon just simply sits unused. HELLO BUNCHER!!!!! Your only causing yourself lost profits!!!!

The new learn to ski area I think was a huge waist of time, money, and resources . Most of the time it sits unused. This is because its small and a lot shorter than the other begginer ski area. Again good job Buncher!!!! Waisting your money on something that does not gain you any profit. The future expansion is where you should be spending not some learn to ski area where beginners stop half way down the hill and have to be pushed the rest of the way. I do think its a good idea but just wrongly applied. The expansion would bring so many more skiers and probably would pay for its self within the first few seasons of operation.

Buncher doesnt seem to care about HV as it use to. When I went to the home owners meeting there was a buncher representative. He looked like he didnt want to be there and viewed HV as just an annoiance. I think he got the wrong impresion that Buncher had done enough with the resort from all the thank yous from the home owners. Am I happy that Buncher bought the resort? Of coarse i am but they still need to make major improvements before ill thank them for what they have done. If they are done with all of the major improvements and arent going to make any more, let the resort lose money, and let it go down hill; we might be looking at an ownership that could let the Hidden valley get even worse than it got under Kettler.

hvskier
March 21, 2011
Member since 03/20/2011 🔗
25 posts
I agree with some of what you have said but I don't think you can begin to compare them to Kettlers. I think they have gone as far as they can go with existing facilities. They need to realize that they will only expand business by giving people more not less. For example, instead of decreasing the hours open next year, they need to figure out how to bring more skiers in. I am wondering if the reduced hours will coincide with a reduction in ski passes sold. You can't pinch pennies when running a resort. The pennies need to be pinched where the guests cannot tell. I will buy a pass because I own property at HV, but I fill as if they are taking advantage of me. They also need to diassociate themselves with the falling leaf or take it over themselves. The food is overpriced, bad and the restaurnt itself is dirty. That cannot be the only place that food is offered in the off season.
All in all most people I spoke with over the winter were impressed with HV expecially when compared to 7S. Quality of snow, atmosphere etc. Every year they get busier. Now you need to take the next step. You hired a resort manager, now let him do his job, Mr. Very.
for example
JohnL
March 21, 2011
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
Quote:
2010/2011 Hours of Operation
Mon - Wed 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Holiday 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

2011/2012 Hours of Operation
Monday - Tuesday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, Holiday 9 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.


I have absolutely no skin in this game, so here are some questions for the HV regulars. From my quick checks: They've eliminated night skiing on Mon, Tues. Wed same hours. Thurs, close 1/2 hour earlier. Close one hour earlier on Sunday.

How many skiers did they get during those times? Is the cutback in hours really that significant?

Do you really think that HV can compete with Seven Springs in terms of skier visits? Can the Pittsburgh market support that?
Winterlover
March 24, 2011
Member since 03/24/2011 🔗
1 posts
Pretty sad it has come to this in a struggling economy.

Check out this link!

http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/wan/2266027549.html

It is great to see the hoops people have to jump through to get a season pass for $299.00 This is something that was offered on an individual basis in the past. What is next?
Leo
March 24, 2011
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
The reduced hours are the result of one thing, no one skis those hours. Even 7S is pretty quiet on M, Tue and Wed evening. HV is a ghost town. It's expensive to be open and running, and thus it makes no sense. I have to agree with what others have alluded to -- the local market isn't going to support two big, all-week destination resorts. For me, if resources can be directed elsewhere and my pass cost can stay lower, I really have no issue with the new hours as I can't say that I have skied M, Tues or Wed night in a long, long time. And based on what I see when I am up there on an early week weeknight, I am not in the minority.

Part of the blame I suppose can and will go on Buncher for not "getting people there" through the week...but I just don't see it happening, no matter how much they spend on marketing.
Edgar3
March 24, 2011
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I had been at HV on a Tuesday night; Tere was almost no one there and I had to wonder if the ticket sales would pay the power bill for the lights.

Frankly it doesn't bother me that they would cut the hours, and I would rather see them invest in the new slope expansion and provide better food, rather than sending money to the power company to burn coal and needlessly light up the night sky.
Of course the question is if they will actually do that, or if they will just look to cut operations tying to it profitable, rather than expanding to make it critical mass.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
March 25, 2011
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
I don't generally night ski so it does not matter to me. Opening at 10:00 AM seems kind of late. My concern would be they are not making money so they are trying to cut costs. It would seem that being so close to Pittsburgh and Johnstown, they could draw a night skiing crowd.

If they are not making money with the current operation, I doubt they would pursue the expansion. Maybe this is why Kettler got out and couldn't pay their tax and electric bills. Based on my observations, they seem to draw enough people on the weekends. I agree with some of the observations about the eating choices. My wife and I used to enjoy the panini's at the Cafe as well as the coffee drinks. All said, I'll being skiing there next winter. The skiing was great this year.

If anyone is interested in going in with another 2-some for the $299 season pass deal, please PM me.
HV home owner
March 28, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
I agree with what most of you all have said. I would much rather their money be spent towards the outback expansion than electric bills. Usually when I go on monday tuesday or wednesday HV has a few skiers but not many. I would say they break even or lose money on those days. Now without the night skiing they might be able to actually make profit on those days. I believe Hidden valley is making plenty of money with the crowds on the weekends or they might have been closed by now. hopefully the decrease in hours is a sign of the expansion. I dont think buncher realizes how much HV needs this expansion to take off with sales. They could bring skiers from a much larger area than just the local Pittsburgh area. So then they would need a larger hotel for more guests from a much larger area than before. I hope im wrong and buncher does realize what they need to do to make Hv a much more succesful resort like 7s.
Edgar3
May 10, 2011
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
I have come to the conclusion that there will be no Outback expansion this year. Hopefully someone will convince me otherwise. If Buncher was going to go ahead this year, would have expected to see an announcement by now since planning and construction would need to begin soon. It would appear that HV is in wait-and-see mode.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
May 10, 2011
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
It appears that they are moving very cautiously. They are developing the Green Tee lots. If they move, we may see other real estate development. Sales have picked up. I understand there were 7 sales in April which is pretty good for April, a usually dead month for resort real estate.
I see no evidence of construction activity, but then again they always seem to be late starting construction. They did build the new parking lot needed to accommodate skiers at the Outback.
They have invested alot of money into the new sewage pumping station along Rte 31 that is just sitting there. They need to rekindle the excitement they created when they released the master plan several years ago.
jeffo4
May 28, 2011
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I'm not sure what they are going to be used for but there are 2 to 3 truckloads of treated 6x6's down by the outback park. All else is quiet around the slopes.
HV home owner
May 29, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
I also noticed the wood beams at outback. they have been sitting there since just after the outback park closed.
Edgar3
May 30, 2011
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
This is likely just what they pulled up from spanning the creek during winter. Regulations do not allow them to cover the stream all year, so each season they use lumber to enable the tubing slope access across the stream, and then undo it again in the spring.

I was there week before last and saw no signs of any expansion activities. Also on Saturday night at 7PM there was practically nobody at Falling Leaf, dispite big crowds down the road at Laurel Mtn Inn and at Out-of-the-Fire Cafe. Somehow they are missing the mark.
On the positive side, the golf course was in great shape and busy.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
June 1, 2011
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,358 posts
On a positive note, a new Amish establishment opened on Rte 31 near the bike shop. "Moo Echo" dairy store sells milk, cheese, home made icecream, Amish meats and other goodies. Please give them your support.

As far as Falling Leaf, the building is unattractive and needs total renovation, they have no real sign to entice anyone, the bathrooms need to be renovated, occaisonally - the septic system causes odors in the Black Diamond Pub, the exterior of the building looks drab and unmaintained. This beautiful hand made Amish barn has been bastardized too much. The place needs some real investment to be successful instead of the cheapo bandaids that have taken place. I don't think Falling Leaf is making enough money for them to justify the investment in this leased building. THe improvement need to be made by Buncher.
HV home owner
June 5, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
Well i have some good news. I was taking a walk down voyager yesterday and noticed that hv is clearing out the trees right bellow where jetta is. But i still would rather that they would spend the money on the expansion.
mountainman
June 6, 2011
Member since 04/17/2006 🔗
7 posts
Unfortunately, the last time I was at Falling Leaf, the service and food quality had noticeably declined since its opening. My impression was there had been some turnover among the wait staff and cook staff without adequate training of new employees. With all of the other cosmetic problems pointed out by Snowsmith, they cannot afford a decline in quality as well.
hockeydave
June 14, 2011
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Interesting stuff... see developer


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11165/1153535-53.stm
jeffo4
September 3, 2011
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I'm up at Hv today and noticed they have bulldozed the half pipe. The word is more terrain features and a magic carpet to service them.
HV home owner
September 11, 2011
Member since 11/1/2010 🔗
97 posts
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