Snowshoe Valley vs. Village Lodging
Those of you who have lodged at Snowshoe know there are excellent amenities (the village), convenient slope access, nice views, etc. These come with some pain such as check-in, parking, service issues, high rates, crowds, etc.
One alternative is to rent a house down in the valley (the 219/66 area). The rates are relatively attractive (especially for a family or group), the living space is much larger, amenities are good (full kitchens, hot tubs, etc.), views, privacy, etc. However, you have a 6 mile drive to the top, where you would need to park and ski.
At what point (price vs. pain) would the average SS skier be convinced to lodge in the valley vs. the village? Is valley lodging in general too inconvenient - even if it is cheaper? Would you be more likely to stay in the valley during a summer visit? Does anyone value elbow room and privacy over ski-in/out?
If you have a group of 6-8 persons, consider renting one of the cottages at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. They cost about $90 per day. From Cass it is about a 20 minute drive to Top of the World, where you can park, buy lift tickets, rent equipment, and hit the slopes. For more info about the park, call 1-800-CALLWVA or go to the folowing state tourism web site: http://www.cassrailroad.com/cottages.html
Sorry but nope ...
I go to Snowshoe to ski and the quicker I can get to the slopes the better so we always stay at the top. We have been there a couple times when a big storm rolled in .. it was heaven! Ecstasy is having to call in to work because you are stuck at a ski resort!
The last time a huge dump happened, the roads from Cass/Slaty Ford were closed for most of that day and part of the next. Now think of the agony to see that kind of powder in WV and not be able to get to it to ski! Case closed.
I have to agree with Snowcone. I ski Snowshoe 10-15 days each season (I buy the season pass at the early rates). I stay on the top at either Powderidge or at Treetop. It makes all the difference to me to be able to just walk out of the condo, pop on the skis on off I go.
Also, once there, I NEVER need to move the car until we leave. Everything is walking distance from where we stay. Just my $.02 worth...
I have a house on the Greenbrier River near Cass. Last winter I skiied at SS on 14 different days, driving up and down 66 and the new entrance road each time. I didn't have any serious driving problems and there was never a time when I wanted to ski (which was every time I was out there) but couldn't. I'm not saying that it couldn't happen, but its not the norm and it didn't happen to me last year. Case still open.
snowcone you must have been at Snowshoe on President's Day, 2003. So was I. I loved that phone call to tell my boss I couldn't come to work. That also gave me 2 extra days of skiing that gave me 20 for the season (at the time my record).
I stayed at Powderridge that weekend. I found a great deal as the lady who owned the condo rented herself, not through any agency. The only drawback: when the storm came and we couldn't leave the mountain, we had to do some major scrambling to find accomadations as she had already rented out the condo for the day we were supposed to leave.
And yes, I agree. I wouldn't stay in the valley. Part of the charm of snowshoe is the whole village thing. If I drive that far, I want the bars and restaurants. If not, I can stay more local and get in more skiing for the buck.
I seems that valley or "off-mountain" lodging at SS is not desirable for hard core skiers over long weekends. Maybe it is more desireable for less hard core, larger groups, longer stays. Maybe it makes more sense in the summer, where you are closer to the golf course, fishing, etc. and can still run up to the village for dinner and events. What if there was a shuttle service in the winter?
Response to Roy,
Yup, its sure a lots easier to stumble home from Foxfire or Red Fox of an evening than to have to drive down the mountain late at night fuzzy-headed with snow blowing. Staying at the top means everybody has fun .. no need for a designated driver.
Could you share information on who you rented from and what prices you paid. I will be looking for a private rental in Snowshoe this year.
I respect both sides of the issue. Snowshoe can becomne a little Manhattan on three-day weekends and it's nice to get away from it all... I own a place on the mountain but sometimes I like to just leave for a while. I am one of the ones who parks his car and doesn't touch it in three days, but again, that's why I invite friends to stay... ;-) Let them do the driving....
There are several alternatives to topside. Old Spruce Real Estate ( www.snowshoevacationrentals.com
) has the Overbrook Village right near the entrance to Snowshoe on Rte 66, about a mile uphill from the front entrance to Snowshoe. These are well-priced and a cheaper alternative. One place I love is the Brazen Head Inn, an Irish pub/Inn with excellent cuisine and which has become the center of Celtic and Bluegrass music in the area. On Saturdays, it is a scene out a Discovery Channel feature... The food is awesome too. The Brazen Head ( http://www.brazenheadinn.com
) was built by hand by an Irish immigrant and his sons. Each room is decorated different with quilts and country decor. It is 11 miles exactly from the Snowshoe Village center, in the little town of Mingo.
Yet another significant one is the Inn at Elk River ( www.ertc.com
) , If you got folks who are not into downhill, but Xcountry, ERTC is an awesome place. They have miles and miles of trails. It is 6 miles from the base of Snowshoe. ERTC has a great restaurant too...