While visiting Canaan Valley Resort over the weekend, we met up with Andy Snyder who serves as the Executive Director & Publicity Chair for the Snow Sports Museum of West Virginia. The organization was founded in 2018 with its primary mission to document and preserve West Virginia snow sports history.
Andy shared that they had been discussing the idea of a snow sports museum in the state for decades. He added, “…fellow board member, John Lutz and I were riding the lifts at Timberline a few years ago and decided it was time to move on the idea.”
In 1950, members of the Ski Club of Washington DC were flying over Canaan Valley. They noticed an open meadow with huge snowdrifts in the late spring. In 1951, the Ski Club opened Driftland near present-day Canaan Valley Resort bringing snowsports to the Southeast.
You guys will have to check out the film made back in 1951!
After Driftland opened, other resorts were founded. A few resorts later closed but several are thriving such as Blackwater Falls State Park, Canaan Valley Resort, Olegby Resort, Snowshoe, Winterplace and White Grass. These resorts helped develop and continue to contribute to a thriving tourist industry.
Editor’s note: Of course, Timberline Resort is a huge part of the WV ski industry history and they are reopening for the 2020-2021 season as Timberline Mountain.
Currently, their efforts are devoted to sharing stories and photos online at www.snowsportsmuseumwv.org, however they plan to break ground and open the physical location in Davis, WV sometime in 2021.
Snyder also shared that they are slowly making progress towards those goals. If you are at all interested in supporting the organization’s effort you can donate within several plateaus online via their website. They have individual and family memberships as well as corporate sponsorship.
You can make a tax deductible donation online at https://www.snowsportsmuseumwv.org/support-us OR call them at 334-663-1172.
Check out the full interview here:
Sorry about the sound quality. There was more background noise than we realized and should have used a microphone.
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