Laurel Mountain... today's the day
Somerset Trust is holding an auction this afternoon @ Laurel Mountain. One can only hope a buyer is there to reopen it. What a waste of terrain and beauty if this piece of ski heaven has its equipment sold off. Hopefully, someone committed to this place (and with deep pockets) decides to take the plunge. Keep your fingers crossed.
You stole my post. I was planning on making one like this.
. Sorry just teasing you a little. But in all seriousness I really hope some one buy this place. It is too good of a ski area to let die. It is getting near the end of the business day so I was wondering if anyone has heard anything yet
Just got off of the phone with a resident of Laurel Mountain Village (4:10 PM). He attended the auction... said lots of people were there, but nothing really happened. Somerset Trust stated that they now have taken ownership of the properties and all future dealings will go thru them. All of this took 1 hour. So I guess since no equipment was sold, there still is a glimmer of hope.
Big article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette today on Laurel Bank takes control of Laurel Mountain ski lodge
"We have some very interested parties lined up," said Somerset Trust Vice President Lee Murdy.
Hopefully they will find a investor soon the article stated that the resort was being maintained and all they needed to do to open it was inspect the lifts and some minor touchup work. Looks like there is a chance (a small chance) we will be skiing laurel again this year. A few years ago when I was learning how to make web pages I compiled a page of pictures that I collected from all over the internet of Laurel. At the time I had dreams of making a small website of all the places I skied with detailed accounts of the places and pictures of it too but that dream fell apart before it even started. Anyways here was my attempt at a page for laurel. Maybe someday I will attempt to get this going again but for now here is the little I have made for you to enjoy.
My sources tell me that there are two potential buyers. One has agreed to operate the resort this winter if a sale agreement can't be reached.
It's great news if the resort is going to operate this season, regardless of the sale going through or not. I have also heard of 2 potential buyers... and 1 has extremely deep pockets. The state of PA very much wants Laurel Mtn to reopen, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are using that as leverage to grant either interested party a gaming license for their respective resort. (84 Lum... 7 Spr...)
Did the recent flooding in your neck of the woods cause any problems for local ski resorts?
To the best of my knowledge, no damage was reported at any resort. Much less rain fell east of Pittsburgh (I live about 15 miles from 7 Springs). My area received around 3 - 4 inches where certain parts of Pittsburgh received 6 - 8 inches.
That's good news. The last thing Laurel needed right now was flood damage.
You have some nice pictures of Laurel Mountain on your web page. Looks like there is potential of some good glade skiing there. (IIRC, a poster on Epic who used to work at the area has raved about the tree skiing.) Is that Lower Wildcat in the bottom right picture? If so, it looks a lot easier than I expected. Of course, if Extrovert at the Knob was groomed, it would be pretty easy.
Who currently owns the domain name and web site? Is it the bank or the state?
First I would like to give credit were credit is due. The pictures I posted are just a collection I pulled together from wherever I could find pictures from the resort. Most of the pictures came from the Laurel Mountain website and the Ski Patrol website, but the one of Lower Wildcat I pulled from right here on DCSki.
In regards to how steep Lower Wildcat I can assure you that you won't be disappointed. It is one of those slopes that when you fall you hope most of your stuff follows you to the bottom. I remember one day I was there and a person in front of me fell near the top of where the slope starts to widen and he slid all the way down to the lift pole that can be seen in the picture. In the process of trying to retrieve his stuff I loss my balance and left a yard sale of my own.
Needless to say it is a slope that commands respect.
I am not sure exactly where the tree skiing is at but I have also heard the same thing. I know the section between Lower Wildcat and Dream Highway looks very clear of underbrush and probably can be skied as a glade. It has always appeared to me that if a slope was cut there it would be even steeper then Wildcat is. I have always wondered where the glades are at laurel so if anyone has more information please post it.
I remember the same thing happen with the site last year right around the time it was sold to the real estate company. The next day it was back up with no changes. If I would have to guess I would think the site being down doesn't really mean anything, but I hope I am wrong.
I noticed the "Courtesy of" credit in several of the pictures. So you stole them all?
To tell you the truth, what I see of Lower Wildcat in that picture is very disappointing. Looks like the entire slope has just been groomed. Zero character with minimal line choice. It would be fun to take high speed GS turns down that face for a few runs, but it would get old pretty quickly. (I'm not an all-day speed junkie.)
I'm guessing the slope is not consistently groomed so it would normally be a more interesting and challenging slope. Hope they open this year so I can find out for myself.
I wouldn't exactly say that there was NO run-off or flooding damage to any of the ski areas in PA as a result of the Hurricanes. Blue Knob was affected by Hurricane Frances. The Condo Rd. (Overland Pass) was closed (for a short period) where it crosses South Poplar Run (a stream) due to 4 feet (deep) of Boulders and debris that covered the road after the flood waters went down. Also, a bridge and part of a road were taken out and homes were damaged (and in a few cases, nearly destroyed) in an area just below the ski slopes (the first area where houses and trailers are located below the ski resort). And, from what I've seen and what I've heard, there was some HEAVY erosion on some of the ski slopes at BK.
John L- don't get too down on Lower Wildcat. It's as steep as the stuff at T-line, and they usually leave the right side (the one nearest the trees, towers, and other Obstacles of Doom) ungroomed. It's pretty icy usually, contributing to the sliding yard sales. The biggest disappointment is that it's the only good long run on the mountain. The trail that winds down through the woods beside it gets skied off pretty quickly and by the lower half you're playing rock hopper.
Where are the glades? I can't remember specifically, except to say that pretty much every stand of trees above the drop-off (where lower Wildcat is) seemed to be skiable when I was there. The snowcover was great because it was at the top of the mountain and most people don't venture into the woods anyway. They're not steep, but they're fun.
There's also some unmarked cut runs over on the novice/intermediate side of the hill. Well, one anyway. It's about seven feet wide and winds down through the woods, kind of nice but flat too. You lose it in there you're poleing out.
Laurel would need more terrain to be a really good ski hill. By about two p.m., you feel like you've skied it all and then some. There's two or three really good runs there (Broadway is a wonderful little winding woodsy trail) but, then again, there's only two or three runs there period. Even getting one or two more runs over in the Wildcat area would help a lot.