Suppose I had 300 acres with a 1000 ft vert.....
I have some land in WVA and I have toyed around with the idea of cutting/grading one 3500 foot trail. I have road access to the top (3300 ft). I'd like to buy a about a half dozen portable snowmaking machines (have a nice water source and can install the piping up the mountain. I dont see any reason why this is not feasable???? Anybody have any thoughts?
Where in WV is your place?
near hopeville on the east side of Dolly Sods...
I would start with cutting the trail and getting some snow fences I live at Timberline if you want any help let me know.
what's the pitch like? wooded or open? does it hold snow...if so does it cornice up anywhere? are there any good drops with steep landings?
Hi I am Kyle... can i be your new best friend?
But seriously... do it. I am sure a ton of us here would be happy to help!
Can you post a google maps link to the location?... that way its easy to use the terrain feature to see the very/slope/ect
That sounds great, but be careful:
For security reasons, I would highly recommend that you first and foremost start by building a nice 4-bedroom cabin (I'll need 3 rooms and an office). That should make it easy for me to make sure that the place is safe at all times (avalanche control, packing snow, snow report, etc... provided at no charge).
If you could spare a cook, that would even be better so that I could focus on skiing and providing a very accurate snow report (almost in real time).
If you need help, I am willing and able - just throw some pasta together and here comes 8 hours.
Very funny posts I bet we would be fast friends....hahaha
We have about 8oo vert that would be comparable to the front runs at Whitetail. Then it drops off ala the lower section of Montage for the last 300 feet. It is all in standing timber. We were going to build a few cabins up top but this has become a serious discussion as well.
Im trying to gauge interest in a "Ski Club" type operation to help with the operating costs. I may be willing to put in what it takes for the infrastructure. A club of maybe 300 people paying dues of lets say $300 a year for private access. Ideally every member is required to have own personal and liability insurance. The $90k a year pays for electricity/snowmaking, about three miles of plowing down to Rt 28., and a warming hut.
Question is could we do this without the state getting too involved? Hence the private club idea....trying to find causes/reasons that we would fail trying this....
A club of maybe 300 people paying dues of lets say $300 a year for private access. Ideally every member is required to have own personal and liability insurance.
I don't think those numbers are attainable...I don't think the insurance issue would be that simple...just my opinion...
A club of maybe 300 people paying dues of lets say $300 a year for private access.
..that is a perfect description for T-line during mid-week and Canaan resort everday of the season, including weekends....except there are a lot less than 300 people sharing the access...
First David puts up pix of some of the coveted stash and now Tucker lets everyone know that CVR might get 300 skiers on a weekend. My own private Idaho is no longer private (:^O)>>>
Just to throw a little cold water (rain) on the idea. There used to be lots of private ski areas arounf the north east. Heck, there was a time when it seems a private resort community wasn't built WITHOUT a ski run. However, almost all of them seem to be gone now. The only one I can think of is Bear Creek up in VT. The rest are school related. You might try contacting them for ideas associated costs, etc. Closer to home, I thought this was the plan of the Laurel Run property, down near Marlinton. I am not sure who is responsible for those properties now.
Aside from that, I am just very envious of your situation and I hope that you do find a way to make it happen. That most recent winning ticket was sold in Idaho, so I know I won't be getting to live that dream any time soon.
I think that is the right idea. Being on the east side of the sods, I don't know how much snow you might get, but you don't need snow all the time, makes it more special when you do. Less impact on the hill, wallet and stress level.
All you need is climbing skins, a bow saw and a pair of loppers.
I'm with Denis and David's last 2 posts.
Bad location (in the snow shadow)
300 skiers is more than you'd likely get
$300 is more than the few hard-cores you would get would be willing to pay.
Your customers would likely be the DIY types who don't mind skinning/hiking, or driving to the other side of the Sods.
I'd suggest starting real small, with a couple snow guns, and see what it takes to keep some snow. This is likely one of the most hard-core audiences you will find, and if most of us aren't super-enthused, you'll have trouble reaching your numbers...
All you need is climbing skins, a bow saw and a pair of loppers.
Add to that a good chainsaw and a Polaris Ranger with the track system.
I would have to agree with another poster that your location is in a large rain/snow shadow. You best bet is to monitor snow falls and see where it lays regularly. Cut trails in these spots with a couple well chosen friends and enjoy.
Even as a private club, you should still get insurance. Even in WV, you should check local zoning and state and local environmental impact requirements (start with a local real estate lawyer). To make snow on 800 vert at any kind of decent rate you may need an upgrade to your electric service.
Home snowmakers are not going to get the job done.
Fan guns cost $30K a piece and either need electric run up the mountain or generators (higher operating cost). This saves on running air piping and compressing air at the bottom, but you're still going to have to compress/cool water and pump it. You can get used regular snowmaking gear, but then you're going to have run both air and water up the mtn and build a compressor plant for both air and water at the base. You might be suprised at how much water even a small slope can use. You'll probably need to make some special accomodations for water supply. There's more to making a run besides cutting trees. You're probably going to want stumps removed, grading/fill, water bars installed, etc. With that much slope and limited snowmaking, you'll probably want a groomer (used of course) to at least spread snow piles around. That'll mean a diesel fuel tank and a maintenance storage shed. You'll probably want to build a parking lot. There are lots of little things that are going to add up.
Remember the old saw about how to make a small fortune in the ski business: start with a large one. That said, a lot of resorts started just like this. You might want to get Ski Resort Tycoon and play it a few times to get a taste of what you're signing up for.
I'll have to agree with Rusty. I think you're estimating cost way too low. Home snowmakers will not get the job done. Even if I had $300 to spare and lived locally I doubt I'd be interested. It would have to be one mighty fine trail to keep me coming back time and again. $300 will buy me a lot of lift served and variety in the Valley and then there is White Grass and abundance of free backcountry that I haven't even sampled yet.
If you do make it happen and open for a daily fee I would give it a try.
I think that starting "small" might be very wise as mentioned earlier. Perhaps you could start by simply offering something that others haven't yet - and save money in the process (at least less gambling with your hard-earned-money)
- a small cabin at the top catering to backcountry overnighters
- add light cooking (waffles in the morning, etc...)
- make that a hub (if feasible) for the rest of Dolly Sods
Personally, I'd pay $300 a year - plus meals
This type of Hut can sometimes be very beneficial - europeans are doing it all over the place because it's "cheap".
If or when your jewel gets seen a lot, then expand - baby steps though.
Don't forget to hire good marketing!
(I know just the person for the job)