SNOWSHOE, West Virginia — It’s hard to turn on the TV or open a newspaper without hearing news of the struggling economy and the hard times that have fallen on many families. With the cost of airfare skyrocketing, and most airlines instituting charges for every checked bag, the cost of flying a family cross-country for a ski vacation may motivate many to leave their skis and boots to collect dust in the basement this winter.
But Snowshoe Mountain Resort, located in West Virginia, provides the perfect solution. Snowshoe’s central location is just a short drive from the anywhere in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, and upon arrival there will be no question why the resort has been named the #1 Ski Area in the Southeast (by the readers of Ski Magazine). Owned by famed resort developers Intrawest, Snowshoe offers snow enthusiasts a big mountain experience, including 60 slopes over 244 acres and 1,500 vertical feet, four terrain park areas for those looking to hit rails and jumps, a 5-lane tubing hill, and plenty of extras like guided snowmobile tours and indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs.
The resort is situated almost a mile high in the Alleghany Mountains, with a peak elevation of 4848′, reminiscent of many New England resorts. Modeled after European ski towns, Snowshoe’s Village area is located at the mountaintop and offers guests a cobblestoned plaza surrounded by retail stores and restaurants. Many of Snowshoe’s 1,400 lodging units are also located in the central Village area, putting them just steps from the slopes. Like a small town in the middle of the West Virginia wilderness, the resort melds amazing views and an 11,000-acre natural playground with all the luxuries you want??вЂќand your muscles will need??вЂќduring a winter getaway.
To outsiders, Southern skiing might seem like an unbelievable juxtaposition, but the region is actually home to a thriving snow industry. From the mountains of North Carolina to the hills of Western Maryland, the region’s ski areas are home to some of the best, most experienced snow makers and snow making equipment in the industry. It is that expertise that allows the region’s ski areas to turn the 130 inches or so of natural snow that Mother Nature provides into a true skiers paradise. And while the last few winters have been light on the white stuff in the Southeast, locals note high resting bee hives and spider webs, bushes and trees chock full of berries, and animals seeming to have added lots of extra “winter weight”, as old wives tales that all indicate the approach of a long, cold and snowy winter. At Snowshoe that means great things for snow enthusiasts; as recently as the 2002-2003 season the resort saw more than 200 inches of natural snowfall during its November to March season!
This season, Snowshoe is celebrating 35 Years by continuing to offer the best ski destination in the region. Throughout the season the resort will be animated with a variety of special programming celebrating the milestone, including Red Bull sponsored parties, a 35 Year Photo Retrospective and a Camp Out that offers 35 individuals the chance for free lodging for a weekend. And Snowshoe offers some great early season deals that will make your winter escape even easier on your wallet. From free Christmas Day lodging to a Ski Free/Stay Free package that offers a free fourth night of lodging and two days of free lift tickets, now is the time to book a winter getaway to Snowshoe, as many deals expire October 31.
The resort has even done some math for you, calculating the costs of checking bags if you’re still considering heading west. Visit http://www.snowshoemtn.com/mountain/win-mountain/Your+Trunk+Is+Free/index.htm for details on airlines extra baggage cost, including costs of checking oversized bags, which include ski and snowboard bags. Snowshoe’s website also offers details about lodging choices, great Hot Deals and updates on what’s new at the resort this winter.
Snowshoe reservations may be made online or by calling 1-877-441-4FUN.