It has now been a decade since the fall of 1995, when Intrawest (North America’s premier resort developer) purchased Snowshoe Mountain. At that time Snowshoe was already the largest and perhaps most visited of all of the Southeast’s ski resorts. Even then Snowshoe Mountain was the best of the best in the region according to many publications. Additionally, the readers of SkiNC and SkiSoutheast have voted Snowshoe as the top resort in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region for several years running.
That was then.
Around that time IntraWest began drafting massive plans to expand and improve Snowshoe as a destination resort. Ten years and more than a quarter of a BILLION dollars later they have definitely delivered on that promise. That is more than $250,000,000.00 worth of expansion and improvements!
Back in April of 2000, I remember hearing that Snowshoe ranked in the top 5% of ski resorts in North America regarding skier attendance for that previous season, when they exceeded 450,000 skier visits. They have topped that number in each of the last seasons and the reason is quite simple – they KNOW what people want and they deliver it!
Snowshoe used to be known as the best ski area in the Southeast and now they are known as the Southeast’s Top Winter Resort, and TOP Four Season Resort. IntraWest is known to create a great village-resort atmosphere at all of its locations and The Village at Snowshoe has come together wonderfully, giving the resort a focal point for all of its many year round activities.
The Village now comprises more than 400 mountain homes/units and 100,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and more. As if that were not enough, they continue to grow!
The Seneca and Expedition Station would draw all of the attention at most resorts for their beauty and ambience, and well they should as they have added nearly 200 homes to the community in just the last year. However, soon to open are additions to Soaring Eagle Lodge and Eight Rivers. Soaring Eagle Lodge is Snowshoe’s most prestigious address, as they say, “Its located minutes from the Village and miles from the ordinary.”
In case you’re wondering if people will continue to be interested in a resort with all of this kind of growth – the answer is a resounding “yes”. Phase I of Soaring Eagle Lodge set a record as West Virginia’s largest real estate event ever, and the aforementioned Expedition Station SOLD OUT in just HOURS! So Phase II of Soaring Eagle Lodge and Eight Rivers will be huge successes!
IntraWest has grown the resort all over the mountain. A couple of seasons ago they opened Split Rock Pools, an indoor/outdoor aqua facility that is made up of hot tubs and waterfalls and slides and more. They also added 30 acres worth of new ski terrain a year ago and there are plans to add more!
As it is right now, Snowshoe Mountain is one of those places where if you go for just a few days, you can not possibly see it all and/or do it all…and they continue to add more.
Even if all of the Après Ski ambience wasn’t here, Snowshoe would still be tops on many snow lover’s list of places to ski. Loaded with 57 trails and 14 lifts, there is something for every skill level. Located at a lofty 4848’ elevation and blessed to be in the path of the normal jetstream that pushes cold and moisture into the area, Snowshoe receives 180” of natural snow per season. Combine that with one of the best snowmaking systems in the region (Top 5 in the East according to some) and you will have near perfect slope conditions nearly all season long!
Tucked away in the West Virginia wilds, this “Forever Wild” mountain community offers just the right blend of luxury, convenience and snow unlike any other resort in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region. We’ve mentioned the 57 trails, but how about 11,000 acres of backcountry and what you get is a huge mountain of endless exploration. Beginners will love the gentle glide trails within the Northern Territory. There are plenty of intermediate trails as well, and if you’re wanting a little adrenalin rush, try Shays Revenge on for size (especially Lower Shays!). Shays and The Cupp Run are located within the Western Territory and these 1.5 mile runs offer the most vertical in the Southeast.
Snowboarders have caught on that Snowshoe takes its snowboarding seriously. They feature two terrain parks and two NEW terrain gardens, plus the region’s largest all-snow halfpipe!
You get two mountains, 57 trails, 14 lifts and four terrain parks and a halfpipe ALL on one ticket!
Après Ski Fun!
One of my favorite things about Snowshoe is the great dining. Maybe the most noteworthy is the Red Fox Restaurant. Innkeepers Margaret Anne and Brian Ball have created a great following due to their amazing ‘alpine’ cuisine and wonderful hospitality. If you want what many visitors and locals will tell you is the most consistently wonderful dining option, you will want to visit The Red Fox Restaurant. They offer many gourmet delights and unique mouth watering wild game specialties. They are open for dinner nightly.
Another favorite stop between turns on the slopes is Yodeler’s Pub, which is located above The Red Fox Restaurant. It is another Brian Ball delight. They offer great appetizers and gourmet sandwiches, as well as a nice assortment of adult beverages.
Speaking of perfect options between runs down the slopes, Snowshoe also offers The Boat House, which is located at the bottom of the Ball Hooter lift. It is a great place to join friends for great views, brews and vittles. The Boat House, overlooking scenic Shavers Lake, offers lunch time treats like grilled chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and great homemade stews. If you’re doing first tracks, I like to make one quick run down (maybe two) and ski in to The Boat House for some really great waffles. If it’s nice out, The Boat House is a nice spot to chow down on a hotdog and take in a cold brew and then hit the slopes again.
After a nice day on the slopes, you can walk or take a shuttle to The Village of Snowshoe where another few favorites are located. Cheat Mountain Pizza Company specializes in gourmet pizzas, salads and sandwiches…for lunch or dinner daily.
Foxfire Grille (yet another Brian Ball success) promotes themselves as offering great Views, Blues and Barbecue! Throw on your sunglasses and head on into the Foxfire Grille for a laid back dining treat. Be hungry or you won’t get the most enjoyment out of it. From lip smackin’ barbecue to a great Paul Bunyon Steak, Foxfire’s flavors are hot. Open during the summer and winter months, for lunch and dinner daily.
I seem to be in a theme here, constantly mentioning Brian Ball, but Snowshoe has recently announced another bit of exciting news about new dining choices for the mountain. I remember having a conversation with friends few months back about the fact that Snowshoe could use a few more dining options, particularly during sold-out weeks and weekends when getting a seat is a little tougher.
Snowshoe Mountain and the Soaring Eagle Lodge Development Company announce the addition of Ember and The MarketPlace. They will be located within the newly constructed Soaring Eagle Lodge at Snowshoe’s South Mountain. The new dining establishment will be under the guidance of premier restaurateur Brian Ball, who has operated at Snowshoe for 25 years including The Red Fox and the popular Foxfire Grille. Ember and The MarketPlace will continue Balls’ dedication to excellence in cuisine, ambience, and attention to detail. Ball’s new venture, Ember, is “an “urban forest” inspired by a combination of nature, warmth, and urban sophistication. The 5,000 sq.ft. space will combine modern and natural materials with lighting effects related to fire. “High energy meets high country,” said Ball describing the personality of the new restaurant. Ember will showcase a global inspired menu mixed with Asian influences. It is designed to revolve around an open show kitchen where diners can enjoy seeing the chef at work. Ball’s favorite area of the restaurant will be “an urban take on the tee pee”– a glass and fabric dining pod, where guests will sit in a circular community table around a virtual reality fire pit. The MarketPlace, a to-go establishment adjacent to Embers, will offer fully cooked take-out meals. Bagels and fresh roasted coffee in the morning, gourmet picnic baskets with cheeses, wine and artisan crafted breads in the afternoon, and a selection of creative dinners in the evening will be ready for pick-up by the guest who wants to enjoy a meal in their mountain top home or on the go. The MarketPlace will serve as a showcase for many of West Virginia’s food artisans, including a select group of locally created sauces.
Also in the Village is Junction Restaurant and Saloon. When you walk into the Junction, you’ll think you took a step back in time to a turn of the century train station and logging mill. They’ve used actual rail yard and logging memorabilia from the town of Cass, WV to incorporate the railroad theme throughout the restaurant. Located at the south end of the Village and adjacent to the Ballhooter lift, the Junction is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Open during the summer and winter months, for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
There are numerous other great dining options…so be sure to check out all of them. The Village Bistro is very nice although I admit I’ve only dined their once. During a recent trip, we also dined at one of Snowshoe’s newest restaurants – Salsa’s. It is located in the conference level of The Mountain Lodge and it offers affordable Mexican dining in the middle of wild, wonderful, West Virginia?
Snowshoe Mountain is no slouch when it comes to nightlife either. Check out the many options by clicking here
Writing about Snowshoe Mountain is a lot like visiting the popular mountain; much like you can’t see everything in one visit – you can’t write about it all in one article either!
We invite you to visit Snowshoe’s website to see more information about:
Owning Your Own Piece of Snowshoe – With all that Snowshoe offers, MANY people have fallen in love with the place and want a little piece of West Virginia heaven for themselves. You’ll want to visit www.SnowshoeMountainHomes.com for more information.
February, March and the first of April offer a lot of snow and tons of great opportunities for a great ski vacation getaway. Call Snowshoe’s Reservation Line Toll Free at 1-877-441-4FUN and make your next ski vacation a memorable one.
Here’s some important Snowshoe Numbers:
Snow report – 304-572-INFO (or check out our www.SkiSoutheast.com slope report daily
Guest Services – 304-572-5424