It is snowing across the mountains of West Virginia this weekend with some areas expected to receive nearly a foot a natural snow. The cold temperatures also means that the snow guns are running around the clock as the trails start getting covered. The natural snow also means the nordic areas will have some terrain for people to have fun on this week.
Four of the five of West Virginia’s ski resorts are preparing to open for the upcoming season this week including, Canaan Valley on December 11 and Timberline on December 9, Snowshoe on December 8 and Winterplace on December 11. Oglebay Resort is planning to open around December 22.
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 have started to turn colder and that’s what we have been waiting for,” 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.