HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — The owner of the ski area at Laurel Mountain State Park, Westmoreland County, has determined it will not operate during the 2006-2007 season.
Following a legal settlement, Somerset Trust Co. became the owner of some of the ski area’s infrastructure at Laurel Mountain, which is on state parklands. Seven Springs Farm Inc. operated the ski area through the 2004-05 ski season.
DCNR continues to work with Somerset Trust Co. and together both parties are speaking with potential operators who may be able to provide a long-term recreational ski experience for the public. The Bureau of State Parks’ stand is that only experienced, qualified professionals can operate the complicated aspects of a ski area to best meet customers’ needs.
DCNR’s first priorities are to ensure all assets of the ski area operation are maintained and not neglected. This in turn will allow DCNR to provide the best possible infrastructure should Somerset Trust be successful in locating a proven operator who can maintain a long-term operation.
Laurel Mountain is located off Route 30, between Jennerstown, Somerset County, and Laughlintown, Westmoreland County. The ski area covers 64 acres and offers 18 slopes and trails. Somerset Trust assumed control of the facility from Laurel Mountain Ski Co. in September 2003.
The ski area, part of Laurel Mountain State Park’s 493 acres, dates back to 1939 when it was started as a private operation. Opened to the public after World War II, the ski area and other acreage were donated to the state in 1964 by Gen. Richard K. Mellon.
For more information on Laurel Mountain or any of Pennsylvania’s other 116 state parks, call 1-888PA-PARKS between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/ (select “State Parks”).