(Charleston) – Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and officials with West Virginia Ski Areas Association today announced that January was officially Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in the mountain state. By proclamation released at a news conference held at the state capitol, West Virginia joined the national program that includes 33 other states in North America.

The Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, started by a group of industry officials, encourages children and adults to try to ski and snowboard if they never have done so and also encourage those already involved to try a new way of having fun on the slopes. You can find out more about the program by going to 
From left to right, Betty Carver, WV Tourism Commissioner, Buddie Clendenin, Owner Sport Mart, Lisa Ratliff, Sales & Marketing Director, Canaan Valley Resort, Laura Parquette, Communications Manager, Snowshoe Mountain, WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Fred Herz, Owner, Timberline Four Seasons Resort, Terry Pfeiffer, President Winterplace Ski Resort and WV Ski Areas Association, Joe Stevens, Communications Director, WV Ski Areas Association

Annually the association’s five alpine resorts, Canaan Valley and Timberline in Tucker County, Oglebay Resort in Ohio County, Snowshoe Mountain in Pocahontas County and Winterplace in Raleigh County, and the association’s two nordic areas White Grass in Tucker County and Elk River in Pocahontas County experience over 800,000 skier visits. The economic impact from the five-month long industry is over $250 million, employing 5,000 on and off the resort properties.
The 2010-2011 season is off to a great start for West Virginia’s resorts with large amounts of natural snow and large holiday crowds. “We have received over ten feet of snow since the first of December and that has help create awesome conditions on the slopes,” says Terry Pfeiffer, President of the West Virginia Ski Areas Association and Winterplace Ski Resort. “The recent Christmas and New Years holidays were great for the resorts, with many experiencing record visits.” Over 250,000 skier visits occurred in West Virginia during the holiday period.

To find out more about West Virginia winter sports programs go to  and click on a resort link.