Charleston, WV – December 8, 2016 – Skiers and snowboarders heading to the mountains of West Virginia this weekend will find at least one more, maybe two of the state’s major ski resorts open for the 2016/2017 season. Canaan Valley Resort in Tucker County, opens this Saturday, December 10, while Winterplace in Raleigh County, may open this Sunday, December 11. Snowshoe Mountain has been open since November 25. Timberline Resort also in Tucker County, is scheduled to open on December 23.
Along with the recent natural snow in the mountains, temperatures in the higher elevations have been cold enough this week for snowmaking operations, allowing all of the resorts to start covering the slopes, as the all-important holiday season looms later this month.
The snowmakers at all of the state’s ski resorts can produce manmade snow whenever temperatures permit, allowing the industry’s unsung heroes to cover the slopes for skiers and snowboarders. When snowmaking conditions are at their best (in the low teens), over 20,000 tons of snow is being produced in West Virginia per hour, enough snow to cover 20 football fields with a foot of snow each hour.
Resorts in the mountain state annually attract over 800,000 skier visits and advance reservations are strong for all resorts. “It’s the time of year all of the resort operators look forward to getting open and have skiers and snowboarders head to the slopes,” says Terry Pfeiffer, President of the West Virginia Ski Areas Association and President of Winterplace. “All of the resorts will aggressively make snow whenever possible, guaranteeing visitors to the mountains a white Christmas.” The top states providing skiers and snowboarders to West Virginia slopes are Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida.
The ski and snowboard season traditionally, weather permitting, continues from Thanksgiving through early April. The five-month long ski season in West Virginia has an estimated economic impact of over $250 million and 5,000 jobs at the resorts and other related companies. For more information on skiing and snowboarding in West Virginia go on-line at www.goskiwv.com.