Sad Pictures fromSeven Springs & Many other resorts presents a conundrum
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The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 03/5/2004
3,060 posts

Looking at webcams at some resorts, especially 7Springs, one sees lots of unopened slopes due to fact that many resorts are having to play catch-up to keep their open slopes skiable rather than being able to work to open additional slopes.  Some resorts are the exception, such as Snowshoe.

Present 7Springs webcams at 1015 show a lack of lift lines and few skiers on slopes, most unusual for the three day weekend! 

Folks, we need to get out and ski/board even with less than ideal conditions to show support and love for our local resorts.  Otherwise we may have fewer resorts and improvements in the future!

Despite this it is hard to pay the full "new" cost of lift tickets (close to $100 per day)  for minimal open slopes!!!  A real conundrum!!!!!!

Your thoughts!!!

MorganB aka The Colonel

 

rbrtlav
10 months ago
Member since 12/2/2008
481 posts

Wagner looked dangerously crowded on the webcams today despite the lack of lift lines. That being said I think in the last few years  (especially in the last two) snowshoe has proven they can keep trails open even through long warm spells and 7 springs has not. 
 

Snowshoe also dynamically prices their lift tickets and runs lodging sales encouraging people to pay well in advance, from what I have seen there is no/little advantage to pre ordering a 7 springs lift ticket and their lodging meaning people were not committed to this weekend. 
 

Also liberty and whitetail will have nearly the same amount of terrain open as 7 springs tomorrow (liberty has blacks open today) and looks like they had decent crowds Sunday. IMO 7 springs is going to need to redo portions of their snowmaking and maybe even add some trees to allow existing snowmaking to have more wind protection if they want to stay competitive with current weather patterns. I also wonder if the poconos and snowtime resorts being EPIC is going to force 7 springs to change their ticket model, I suspect there are some people that would by epic passes for western trips and buy day tickets at 7 springs, that will now go to the former peak resorts.

ksampson3
10 months ago
Member since 01/9/2012
55 posts

 

"Folks, we need to get out and ski/board even with less than ideal conditions to show support and love for our local resorts.  Otherwise we may have fewer resorts and improvements in the future!"

MorganB, that's a nice sentiment, but pretty unrealistic. I've talked to a lot of folks at work and none of them said that they would fork over $79 to buy a day pass at Whitetail to ski just 2 runs (Angel Drop and Sidewinder). I agree. If Whitetail wants people to show up and buy a lift ticket, rental skis, and food then they need to cut the price of the lift ticket to get people "in the door". How many laps on an over crowded Angel Drop can you do before you lose your mind or have some noob plow into you? 

 

The19thHole
10 months ago
Member since 06/29/2015
65 posts

Whitetail and Wintergreen chose to NOT make snow during that Thanksgiving-ish cold blast, while nearly everyone else in Virginia & West Virginia DID make snow. As a result, Snowshoe, Bryce, & Massanutten were able to open in mid-December and contiue open a few more slopes. By starting to make snow as late as they did, Wintergreen and Whitetail have been largely dead-in-the-water this season.

As a mid-Atlantic ski area in this changing climate, ski resort managers need to make snow (and open) at every opportinuty and not stick with some corporate schedule. 

No doubt this is easier with small ski areas like Bryce and Cataloochee, but it seems to me that even Wintergreen could've blown a bunch of snow on Dobie & Eagles Swoop and opened around Thanksgiving, then moved on to other trails. They still wouldn't be close to fully open, but maybe they'd have a couple more open than they do now.

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Gibou Skier
10 months ago
Member since 12/9/2019
8 posts

Liberty was packed today, front side uncomfortably busy to the extent that had to engage in extra defensive skiing to avoid reckless first timers. The resort did a great job blowing snow, passable job managing the crowds, and  had to be making money hand over fist. 
We kept costs for down for a family of five: 1 adult used his 3X deal, 10 yo used his PA Pass, second adult got a beginner 50% off via 10yo's PA pass,  middle child has a legacy $60 Peak season pass for 6 and unders, and 3yo skied free. Not a bad cheapo set up for this season, but next season's cheapo family setup may be Indy Pass for the whole family, with days at CVR, Masaanutten, and Bryce, and ditching the Epic local resorts. 

Keith_Moon
10 months ago
Member since 02/19/2019
137 posts

The19thHole wrote:

Whitetail and Wintergreen chose to NOT make snow during that Thanksgiving-ish cold blast, while nearly everyone else in Virginia & West Virginia DID make snow. As a result, Snowshoe, Bryce, & Massanutten were able to open in mid-December and contiue open a few more slopes. By starting to make snow as late as they did, Wintergreen and Whitetail have been largely dead-in-the-water this season.

As a mid-Atlantic ski area in this changing climate, ski resort managers need to make snow (and open) at every opportinuty and not stick with some corporate schedule. 

No doubt this is easier with small ski areas like Bryce and Cataloochee, but it seems to me that even Wintergreen could've blown a bunch of snow on Dobie & Eagles Swoop and opened around Thanksgiving, then moved on to other trails. They still wouldn't be close to fully open, but maybe they'd have a couple more open than they do now.

Absolutely.  I've been wanting to go to Wintergreen but if only the middle portion of it (ie Dobie, etc.) is open it's just not worth it.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 01/13/2008
1,430 posts

The Colonel wrote:

Folks, we need to get out and ski/board even with less than ideal conditions to show support and love for our local resorts.  Otherwise we may have fewer resorts and improvements in the future!

Charging full price for limited terrain tells me they do not need our walk up $$.  Those folks aren't stupid.  They must have already made their money on season passes and advance ticket sales. ”‹ 

7S lift ticket is $93 today. A hundred bucks will get you 14 trails and one beer at the Foggy Goggle.   

 

56fish
10 months ago
Member since 11/4/2011
73 posts

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

The Colonel wrote:

Folks, we need to get out and ski/board even with less than ideal conditions to show support and love for our local resorts.  Otherwise we may have fewer resorts and improvements in the future!

Charging full price for limited terrain tells me they do not need our walk up $$.  Those folks aren't stupid.  They must have already made their money on season passes and advance ticket sales. ”‹ 

7S lift ticket is $93 today. A hundred bucks will get you 14 trails and one beer at the Foggy Goggle.   

 

..you can get a beer for $7?  

Laurel Highlands
10 months ago
Member since 10/29/2013
20 posts

At $100/day and limited terrain, then yes some potential skiers (myself included) may decide to wait for better conditions or opt to travel further where conditions are more favorable.  The thing with 7S is that unless you are coming from the Pittsburgh Metro, it is pretty much an overnight trip with related lodging and food expenses, so one is into several hundred $ for what you know will be a less than optimal trip when conditions are subpar.   If I was looking for a quick trip with lower expectations from the DC/Baltimore area then Whitetail and Liberty can satisfy those low expectations for a day trip <$100.   

The good folks at 7S/HV/LM could do several things to change this to their favor: For example by running a shuttle bus between 7S and HV then there is more terrain to be had and reason to want to take a weekend there. Understand you can get the common pass and drive, but it is a real pain to schlep equipment back to the parking lot on both ends, so they could be more accomidationg in that respect to leverage their proximity.   Also, they could bring back the flex pass/4 hr ticket; I was disappointed to see them do away with that lower cost option if you want to get out there earlier in the day. Currently they just offer lower cost passes later in the day and twilight if you don't want to commit to a full day going down the same limited terrain. 

Hopefully someone is listening. I don't view it as my duty to go to support them when they could do just a few simple things like this to earn my business.  

wgo
10 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004
1,261 posts
Just finished skiing at wintergreen this AM. They managed to open several runs on the Acorn side and should have some of the Highlands open next weekend.
wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014
158 posts

I've never skied Seven Springs because that seems like a long drive from DC for less than 1,000 feet of vertical. What's the big selling point to keep driving past Whitetail?

Laurel Highlands
10 months ago
Member since 10/29/2013
20 posts

wfyurasko wrote:

I've never skied Seven Springs because that seems like a long drive from DC for less than 1,000 feet of vertical. What's the big selling point to keep driving past Whitetail?

Good question and let me try to provide a good answer: While Whitetail is a great resort in closer proximity to DC/Baltimore, it is at a much lower elevation and has less then half the acreage as Seven Springs.  As a result Seven Springs usually has more and better snow for longer, and has more varied terrain.  The top elevation at Whitetail is well below the base elevation of 7S. Also, with a huge lodge and several restauraunts, on-mountian hotel, and lots of AirBnB lodging in the area, it has more of the feel of a larger New England or Western resort, and is much better suited for a multi day trip than WhiteTail.  Also, 7S owns Hiddden Valley resort (just 15 min away) and Laurel Mtn Resort (40 min away), and you can get a multiday pass for all. Hidden Valley alone has about the same acreage as WhiteTail. So 7S is  more of a regional destination resort than WhiteTail.

It  comes down to what you are looking for, a day trip or a lulti day trip.  Point of my post was that with the poor/warm  conditions  we had earlier this month, many guest may not want to spend the time and $ on a multi day trip and hold out for better conditions.  

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004
1,287 posts

Laurel Highlands wrote:

wfyurasko wrote:

I've never skied Seven Springs because that seems like a long drive from DC for less than 1,000 feet of vertical. What's the big selling point to keep driving past Whitetail?

Good question and let me try to provide a good answer: While Whitetail is a great resort in closer proximity to DC/Baltimore, it is at a much lower elevation and has less then half the acreage as Seven Springs.  As a result Seven Springs usually has more and better snow for longer, and has more varied terrain.  The top elevation at Whitetail is well below the base elevation of 7S. Also, with a huge lodge and several restauraunts, on-mountian hotel, and lots of AirBnB lodging in the area, it has more of the feel of a larger New England or Western resort, and is much better suited for a multi day trip than WhiteTail.  Also, 7S owns Hiddden Valley resort (just 15 min away) and Laurel Mtn Resort (40 min away), and you can get a multiday pass for all. Hidden Valley alone has about the same acreage as WhiteTail. So 7S is  more of a regional destination resort than WhiteTail.

It  comes down to what you are looking for, a day trip or a lulti day trip.  Point of my post was that with the poor/warm  conditions  we had earlier this month, many guest may not want to spend the time and $ on a multi day trip and hold out for better conditions.  

You can go to Snoshoe and ski 2 trails that have more than 1000 feet of vertical. After skiing those 2 trails, over and over again, you can go to the main part of the mountain with 800+|- feet of vertic where there are long lift lines of southern 'hat people' (they don't wear helmets). There is also nearby Silver Creek with 650+/- feet of vertical. For me it is a 5.5+ hour drive on desolate WV roads just to get to Snoshoe. Once you're there, your beholden to Snoshoe since the resort is literally located in the middle of no where. For me, if I'm going drive 5.5+ hours, i'd rather drive 6.5 hours and ski southern Vermont. I've owned a house at HV for 14 years, a 3:15 hour drive on mostly interstate highways. With a short drive, I can ski 7S, Wisp, Blue Knob and Laurel Mtn. While Snoshoe has a 1,700 feet elevation advantage and thus more snow making weather, the crowds, isolation and the drive make the Laurel Highlands resorts more attractive to me. If I lived well south of DC in VA, it might be a different story. 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008
2,226 posts

snowsmith wrote:

You can go to Snoshoe and ski 2 trails that have more than 1000 feet of vertical. After skiing those 2 trails, over and over again, you can go to the main part of the mountain with 800+|- feet of vertic where there are long lift lines of southern 'hat people' (they don't wear helmets). There is also nearby Silver Creek with 650+/- feet of vertical. For me it is a 5.5+ hour drive on desolate WV roads just to get to Snoshoe. Once you're there, your beholden to Snoshoe since the resort is literally located in the middle of no where. For me, if I'm going drive 5.5+ hours, i'd rather drive 6.5 hours and ski southern Vermont. I've owned a house at HV for 14 years, a 3:15 hour drive on mostly interstate highways. With a short drive, I can ski 7S, Wisp, Blue Knob and Laurel Mtn. While Snoshoe has a 1,700 feet elevation advantage and thus more snow making weather, the crowds, isolation and the drive make the Laurel Highlands resorts more attractive to me. If I lived well south of DC in VA, it might be a different story. 

Yep, completely different decision process when starting from central NC.  I started with Massanutten when my daughter was 4.  When she could ski that entire mountain at age 6, we checked out Sugar, Beech, Winterplace, Snowshoe, and Wintergreen for a couple seasons.  It was easy to decide to choose Mnut as our home mountain for assorted reasons.  Snowshoe is way too long a drive for just a weekend.  The Highlands at Wintergreen are not lit and it's not possible to get season pass that includes Saturdays.  But a key factor is that Mnut is the only place I can ski on a holiday weekend without waiting in line with just a little planning.  Lift 6 is unique since it's only black trails, fully lit, and just over 800 ft vertical by itself.  With the snowmaking improvements in the last 5-6 years, Mnut just keeps getting better.

I haven't skied Canaan Valley yet and only one day at Timberline.  But would only go there when starting from Mnut, not my house.

Keith_Moon
10 months ago
Member since 02/19/2019
137 posts

marzNC wrote:

Yep, completely different decision process when starting from central NC.  I started with Massanutten when my daughter was 4.  When she could ski that entire mountain at age 6, we checked out Sugar, Beech, Winterplace, Snowshoe, and Wintergreen for a couple seasons.  It was easy to decide to choose Mnut as our home mountain for assorted reasons.  Snowshoe is way too long a drive for just a weekend.  The Highlands at Wintergreen are not lit and it's not possible to get season pass that includes Saturdays.  But a key factor is that Mnut is the only place I can ski on a holiday weekend without waiting in line with just a little planning.  Lift 6 is unique since it's only black trails, fully lit, and just over 800 ft vertical by itself.  With the snowmaking improvements in the last 5-6 years, Mnut just keeps getting better.

I haven't skied Canaan Valley yet and only one day at Timberline.  But would only go there when starting from Mnut, not my house.

 

I'm in a similar position now as you were years ago.  I'm also in central NC and my kids are 10 and 11 and can now ski most of the blacks at Snowshoe unless they're super icy.  Right now Sugar, Beech, Winterplace and WIntergreen seem poised to *maybe* open nearly all their terrain but who knows.  Appalachian is fully open but is tiny and Cataloochie seems to be killing it this year but if I'm gonna drive that far I might as well drive north.  Wolf Ridge is not super far but is also small and has unreliable conditions.  I would love to introduce my kids to the Wintergreen highlands but they seem to always start making snow later than other places and get the short end of the stick weather-wise.

Maybe I'll try Massanutten.  It seems small at 70 acres but my kids will love the water park and lighted black runs sound cool.  Where's the best place to stay around there?  What about dining options?:

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago (edited 10 months ago)
Member since 12/10/2008
2,226 posts

Keith_Moon wrote:

I'm in a similar position now as you were years ago.  I'm also in central NC and my kids are 10 and 11 and can now ski most of the blacks at Snowshoe unless they're super icy.  Right now Sugar, Beech, Winterplace and WIntergreen seem poised to *maybe* open nearly all their terrain but who knows.  Appalachian is fully open but is tiny and Cataloochie seems to be killing it this year but if I'm gonna drive that far I might as well drive north.  Wolf Ridge is not super far but is also small and has unreliable conditions.  I would love to introduce my kids to the Wintergreen highlands but they seem to always start making snow later than other places and get the short end of the stick weather-wise.

Maybe I'll try Massanutten.  It seems small at 70 acres but my kids will love the water park and lighted black runs sound cool.  Where's the best place to stay around there?  What about dining options?:

Be better if you send me a PM with an email address.  I can talk all day long about why Mnut is the better place to take a family for ski trips driving from the Triangle compared to Sugar, Beech, Wintergreen, Winterplace, or Snowshoe.  Just introduced two relatively new friends to Mnut in the past week.  I had a spare bedroom in a timeshare unit on the mountain.

I explored all the options after my daughter could ski the blacks off the summit lift at Mnut (she was 6) for a couple seasons.  After that, we got season passes and never looked back.  As she aged out, I started taking my friend and her kids for the holiday weekends.  Started when the brother and sister were 6 and 4.  They were all able to ski blues at Alta a few seasons later, including the mom who started when her kids did.  Spent the first non-holiday week this Jan at Mnut with my daughter, who is now in college.  A friend of hers from DC came for a few days.  Even with limited terrain, they had a good time skiing together for a few days.  The last couple days we did Arts & Crafts stuff.  Mnut is a 4-season resort that's one of the largest timeshare resorts in the country.  There are a lot of non-skiing activities on resort and plenty of food options either 5 min away or 20 min away in Harrisonburg.

Keith_Moon
10 months ago
Member since 02/19/2019
137 posts

marzNC wrote:

Keith_Moon wrote:

I'm in a similar position now as you were years ago.  I'm also in central NC and my kids are 10 and 11 and can now ski most of the blacks at Snowshoe unless they're super icy.  Right now Sugar, Beech, Winterplace and WIntergreen seem poised to *maybe* open nearly all their terrain but who knows.  Appalachian is fully open but is tiny and Cataloochie seems to be killing it this year but if I'm gonna drive that far I might as well drive north.  Wolf Ridge is not super far but is also small and has unreliable conditions.  I would love to introduce my kids to the Wintergreen highlands but they seem to always start making snow later than other places and get the short end of the stick weather-wise.

Maybe I'll try Massanutten.  It seems small at 70 acres but my kids will love the water park and lighted black runs sound cool.  Where's the best place to stay around there?  What about dining options?:

Be better if you send me a PM with an email address.

 

PM sent

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004
1,287 posts

Woke up this Monday morning to some light lake effect snow, with about 2" on the ground. I thought, "Great", finally some nice snow to ski on. I got to the slopes at about 10:30 am. As I skied from the parking lot to the lift, the snow started changing to sleet and freezing rain. Within the hour, I was completely coated with ice. I went in the ski lodge bathroom to remove all of the ice and dry myself off with paper hand towels. 
This year, even the lake effect snow, turns to rain. It rained most of the day, misty, but the snow conditions were not bad. 
CAN WE PLEASE GETS SOME REAL SNOW!!!!

skiracerx
9 months ago
Member since 11/24/2008
226 posts

Weather timing comes in handy but the models have not been kind to actual.  It  is worse for racing then general skiing. 

Vermont
9 months ago
Member since 12/26/2019
128 posts

anyone know a good place for a family to stay at Seven Springs?

asking for a family I know that have never been there, thanks 

fosphenytoin - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 12/20/2017
113 posts

Vermont wrote:

anyone know a good place for a family to stay at Seven Springs?

asking for a family I know that have never been there, thanks 

I understand there are good options in Hidden Vallety, which is not too far from 7 Springs.  There is a thread on this webiste last year about a similar question.  

http://www.dcski.com/forum/96676

Hope this helps. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004
1,766 posts
A hotel room at their hotel includes breakfast, I think. There are airbnb option near by. A lot of people coming from DC stay at motels in Somerset. If you'Re coming from the west there is a Holiday Inn Express in Donegal.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004
1,287 posts

Try VRBO.com for family type lodging at 7S and HV. There is also the Inn at Hidden Valley. These may be better options than staying at a motel in Somerset and they are alot closer to skiing.

Vermont
9 months ago
Member since 12/26/2019
128 posts

Thanks all for the info! Snow is coming 

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