Want to wind your way down one of West Virginia’s ski slopes? Now is the time to do it.

January is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin helped kick off the event Thursday at the state capitol.

Terry Pfeiffer, the president of the West Virginia Ski Areas Association, says the state’s ski resorts offer beginners just what they need.

“All the resorts have great learn to ski and learn to board snow packages,” says Pfeiffer. “We’re opening more terrain daily. We all have professional instructors that are very patient with people to get them started on the snow.”

If you’ve tried hitting the slopes before but didn’t have much success. Pfeiffer says getting one lesson from an expert can make all the difference.

“We really, really encourage people to take a lesson. It’s going to give you some really helpful tips to get your started on the right foot,” says Pfeiffer.

Hurricane Sandy brought a lot of snow to the mountains of West Virginia at the end of October. But a warmer than normal November and December didn’t bring the snow the resorts had hoped. But that’s not a problem, according to resort officials who say, that’s when they crank up their snow machines.

“Maybe there’s no snow in your back yard but up here at the ski resorts we’ve got tons and tons of snow on our trails,” explains Pfeiffer.

The ski industry is a multi-million business for West Virginia, employing more than 5,000 people. A majority of those who hit the slopes are from out of state and Pfeiffer says that brings in lots of cash.

“It’s not just the ski areas that benefit. It’s all the ancillary businesses that surround the ski areas: the grocery stores, the gas stations, the convenience stores, the movie theaters, the restaurants. It’s a multiplier effect and it just really helps the economy out.”

The winter weather that’s hit the state this week is great for business and according to Pfeiffer prime conditions for new skiers to give the slopes a try.

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  • will h

    Let's all hit the slopes of our West Virginia and take a lesson for the friendly ski school staffs of all the great WV Ski Resort. Think Snow & Let it Snow.