Charleston, WV – Skiers and snowboarders can start heading to the mountains of West Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday, as the first two downhill areas plan to open for the 2022/2023 season. Snowshoe Mountain and Timberline Mountain will officially be opening for the season Wednesday, November 23 at 9 am. The Pocahontas and Tucker County facilities will be providing skiers and snowboarders with plenty of trails, including a terrain park at Snowshoe. Timberline is planning to suspend on slope operations Thanksgiving Day and then starting back up on Friday, November 25.
For the other alpine areas in the state, Winterplace Ski area and Canaan Valley Resort are scheduled for early and mid-December openings, earlier weather permitting. Oglebay Resort will begin operations as soon as weather permits.
Seasonal temperatures across West Virginia this week have been excellent for snowmaking operations to take place at the resorts. Some natural snow has already occurred at the higher elevations this fall.
The snowmakers at all 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 again this year is offering a program 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, Timberline and Winterplace are accepting the association’s Ski Free 4th and 5th Grade Passport Program.
The Passport may be used to obtain up to three (3) Junior lift tickets at participating resorts during the 2022-2023 season and one rental. Resort benefits are determined by each ski resort.
During a normal ski season, the mountain state’s ski resorts account for nearly 800,000 skier visits, but that figure depends on winter like conditions. 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 from this point through the end of March. 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.