Charleston, WV – Two more West Virginia ski resorts opened for the 2019/20 season last weekend as Canaan Valley Ski Area in Tucker County opened Friday, December 13 and Winterplace Ski Resort in Raleigh County begins offering skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing on Saturday, December 14. Snowshoe Mountain in Pocahontas County which opened November 22 will be opening its Silver Creek area Friday, December 13. Oglebay Resort in Ohio County is planning to open Thursday, December 26, weather permitting.
With the holiday season bearing down on the state’s ski industry, the recent cold temperatures have allowed the resort operators to make snow covering an abundance of terrain for the skiers and snowboarders. The upcoming three-week holiday season (week before Christmas, Christmas week and week after Christmas) contributes up to 35 percent of the various resorts’ yearly revenue.
The snowmakers at all of the state’s ski resorts can produce manmade snow whenever temperatures permit, allowing the industry’s unsung heroes to cover the slopes for skiers and snowboarders. When snowmaking conditions are at their best (in the low teens), over 20,000 tons of snow is being produced in West Virginia per hour, enough snow to cover 20 football fields with a foot of snow each hour.
The West Virginia Ski Areas Association has announced a new program this year, that will allow any child in the 4th or 5th grade to ski or snowboard for FREE. All of West Virginia’s ski areas, Canaan Valley, Oglebay, Snowshoe and Winterplace are accepting the association’s Ski Free 4th and 5th Grade Passport Program.
The Passport may be used to obtain one (1) child’s first time ski/snowboard package (beginner lift, lesson and rental package) at a participating resort of choice and up to an additional three (3) Junior lift tickets at participating resorts during the 2019-2020 season. Resort benefits determined by each ski resort.
The ski and snowboard season traditionally, weather permitting, continues from late November 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.