Economic Impact

In December 1971, skiers throughout the state and region got their first opportunity to enjoy West Virginia’s first commercial ski area with the opening of Canaan Valley Resort. This modern resort-style ski area built upon a rich heritage of ski recreation in the Canaan Valley area, established at various local ski spots throughout the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. From a modest opening with a few thousand skiers for that first ski season in 1971, a booming destination tourism business emerged for the mountain state.

From one resort to five resort destinations today, the modern West Virginia ski industry was built upon the solid foundation established by Canaan Valley Resort. The state’s ski destinations produce more than 800,000 skier visits each year from mid-November to early-April.

During the past 35 years, ski destinations such as Canaan Valley, Oglebay Park, Snowshoe Mountain, Timberline and Winterplace have attracted tens of millions of visitors to West Virginia and help keep the state’s economy vibrant and strong. The estimated economic impact of West Virginia’s ski industry is in excess of $250 million each year. To the restaurant operators, hotel owners and small businesses around West Virginia’s ski area, the winter blankets of snow create a tremendous economic impact through a peak seasonal employment of more than 5,000 people.
Whether you’re a beginner or expert skier, West Virginia’s challenging ski destinations have much to offer in the way of recreation. Even if you’re not a skier, West Virginia ski resort areas are destinations that provide a wealth of amenities, beauty, recreational and second home opportunities for every family to enjoy – each and every winter.