Charleston, WV –The Mountains of West Virginia are receiving more natural snow this week, which benefits the state’s ski resorts preparing for a busy holiday season. The natural snowfall stretches from Oglebay Resort in Ohio County in the north to Winterplace Ski Resort in Raleigh County in the south. Over three-feet of snow has fallen in parts of the state’s higher elevations this month.
More importantly than the natural snow has been the cool temperatures that have accompanied the snowfall. The temperatures at the higher elevations have been perfect for snowmaking operations this week, allowing West Virginia ski areas to provide the most open terrain in the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions. The snowmakers at all of the resorts began to work around the clock when temperatures dropped last week, allowing the industry’s unsung heroes to create excellent early season and upcoming holiday conditions. When snowmaking conditions are at their best this week (in the low teens), over 10,000 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. That’s a manmade blizzard for skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers to enjoy in the mountains of West Virginia.
All of the mountain state’s resorts opened for the season last week with very good conditions due to the recent favorable weather. “It was a perfect way to start off the season, with plenty of snow and lots of trails open at all of the resorts,” says Terry Pfeiffer, President of Winterplace and the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. “The recent weather conditions and the advance forecast of cold temperatures at the higher elevations mean the upcoming holiday crowds will find almost every trail open in the state.” Traditionally the majority of the holiday crowds skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing come from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The ski and snowboard season traditionally, weather permitting, continues 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.