All five of West Virginia’s ski resorts are preparing to open for the upcoming season including, Canaan Valley and Timberline in Tucker County, Oglebay in Ohio County, Snowshoe in Pocahontas County and Winterplace in Raleigh County. This fall’s mild temperatures have created some challenges for the resort’s snowmakers, but forecasted colder temperatures statewide will allow all of the resorts to open the slopes for the 2010/2011 season.
The colder temperatures are critical as the resorts get the slopes covered for the important upcoming holiday period. When the weather is favorable, West Virginia snowmakers can generate manmade blizzards at the resorts, producing 20,000 tons of snow per hour (when combining all five resort’s snowmaking efforts), that’s enough snow to cover 20 football fields with a foot of snow each hour.
Additional skiing and snowboarding terrain, plus snow tubing parks will be opening quickly at all of the resorts, weather permitting. “Temperatures are starting to turn colder and that’s good news,” says Terry Pfeiffer, President of Winterplace Ski Resort and the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. “Getting all of the resorts open for the season shows skiers, snowboarders and snowtubers that they can rely on West Virginia resorts to offer the best holiday season conditions.” The majority of the skiers and snowboarders visiting West Virginia slopes during the holiday season are from Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio.
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.