CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s almost ski and snowboard season in the Mountain State.
Canaan Valley Resort in Tucker County plans to open for the winter season this Thanksgiving Weekend. Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Pocahontas County opens for stores and restaurants on Wednesday, Nov. 22, but may need to open the skiing and snowboarding trails a few days later.
“Right now, we’re still going to shoot for Friday next week. We feel pretty good about getting open by next weekend, but some of the snow making windows we have coming up are pretty marginal,” said Shawn Cassell, public relations specialist at Snowshoe.
Both resorts plan to fire up the snow guns next week.
“We will be ready to go next week to start making snow, in earnest, weather permitting,” said Steve Drumheller, general manager at Canaan Valley.
Drumheller said they’ve purchased more snow guns for more snow production this year.
“We’ve increased our snow making. We’ve beefed up our compressor power so we can make more snow,” he said.
Canaan Valley’s tube and ice skating parks will open next holiday weekend. The outdoor ice skating rink will open Thanksgiving Day and operate through the holiday weekend. The tube park will be open Friday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 26.
The trails at Canaan Valley will not open until Dec. 15.
Winterplace Ski Resort in Raleigh County is scheduled to open its winter season on Dec. 9. Timberline Resort in Tucker County will open Dec. 15.
Snowshoe will be the first resort to open trails to skiers and snowboarders. Cassell said they’re able to do that because the snow is unique in that part of the state.
“The quality of snow up here — we really sit in that geographical sweet spot. We get lake affect snow from the Midwest, we get the nor’easters that come up the East Coast and our elevation always ends up being a light, fluffy snow compared to the heavy, wet snow the East Coast sees,” he said.
Cassell said they plan to open less than a dozen trails soon.
“It’ll be somewhere in the 20-30 acres range. It’s definitely plenty enough to get those first turns in on,” he said.
The winter season for ski resorts in West Virginia runs through April 2018.