The mountains of West Virginia received an early Christmas present from Santa Claus as more than two feet of natural snow fell, blanketing the state’s ski resorts this weekend. From Winterplace Resort in southern West Virginia to Oglebay Resort in state’s northern section, an abundance of natural snow fell from Friday evening through Saturday night. The natural snow has also provided the season’s best conditions at the state’s cross-country areas, White Grass Touring in Tucker County and Elk River Touring Center in Pocahontas County
Since normal seasonal conditions returned this weekend, mountain operation staffs at Canaan Valley, Oglebay, Snowshoe Mountain, Timberline and Winterplace have opened 90 of the resorts’ combined 165 trails, the most of any state in the southeast or mid-Atlantic regions. “The snow storm was exactly what we needed with the busy Christmas season beginning this week,” says Terry Pfeiffer, President of the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. “The Department of Highway crews have done a great job in clearing the roads allowing skiers and snowboarders to safely arrive at the resorts across the state.” While the natural snow has been welcomed by the resorts, the corresponding cold temperatures have allowed the resort’s snowmakers to work around the clock, adding to the slope’s base depths.
Holiday reservations have been strong as the resorts are again projecting to experience over 200,000 skier visits during the next three weeks at the resorts. 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.