Two West Virginia ski resorts will be welcoming natural snow this weekend enabling skiers and snowboarders time on the slopes. Timberline in Tucker County opens for the first time on Thursday. Winterplace in Raleigh County will reopen again on Friday. With this week’s openings, all of West Virginia’s Ski Resorts are now open for the season, as Snowshoe and Oglebay opened in November and Canaan Valley opened last weekend.
Again this week the temperatures have been below freezing which has allowed the resort’s snowmakers to continue to cover the skiing and snowboarding terrain. The snowmakers at all of the resorts are working around the clock whenever possible to provide the early season skiers and snowboarders as much open terrain as possible. When snowmaking conditions were at their best this week (in the teens), over 20,000 tons of snow was being produced in West Virginia per hour, that’s enough snow to cover 20 football fields with a foot of snow made each hour.
Early season reservations, especially for the important upcoming holiday period have been strong. “The weather for the most part continues to cooperate with our snowmaking efforts and that’s critical for providing a good on-slope product for the holiday skiers,” says Terry Pfeiffer, President of Winterplace and the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. “For most of us, the holiday period is 35-percent of our yearly budget and visitors have come to depend on West Virginia resorts for excellent conditions during that time frame.” The top states providing skiers and snowboarders to West Virginia slopes are Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida.
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