Guide to region's slopes: As ski resort prices rise, specials offer some breaks

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

While lift ticket prices and other fees at 10 of the region's 17 ski resorts are going vertical for the 2013-14 snow-sports season, two of them in particular -- Seven Springs and Wisp -- are taking big jumps.

Seven Springs' weekend adult lift ticket goes from $68 last season to $75 this season, and Wisp in western Maryland raises its adult rate from $60 to $69. Wisp late last year was acquired by EPR Properties, which invests in ski resorts, amusement parks, multiplex theaters and wineries.

Most of the other resorts -- Hidden Valley, Ski Denton and Whitetail in Pennsylvania; Canaan Valley and Timberline in West Virginia; and Holiday Valley and Kissing Bridge in western New York -- are nudging up lift ticket fees by $2 or $3 over last season's rates. Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin in Fayette County is increasing the price of its adult lift ticket by $5 -- from $38 to $43.

Snowshoe in West Virginia, which is among seven other regional resorts that put a freeze on fee increases this season, still holds the record in the region at $84 per weekend adult lift ticket.

PG graphic: The region's slopes
(Click image for larger version)

Despite these increases, there are still ways to save money by hunting down bargains and booking special packages that encourage adults and children to learn to ski downhill and cross country, snowboard, snowtube and snowshoe.

You can also cut costs by seeking midweek specials and by going to the Web to buy lift tickets, lessons and snowtubing tickets and to rent equipment, including snowshoes and snowblades.

Special packages for skiers and snowboarders include a group lesson, rental equipment and a lift ticket.

The Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association (www.skipa.com) offers a program for fourth- and fifth-graders.

Although minimal instruction is necessary for snowtubers and snowshoers, there are a few things to learn about using an inner tube to slide down designated lanes -- and then getting a lift back up the hill -- and setting out on a trail on snowshoes.

The big push to develop new snow-sports enthusiasts will occur in January, which SnowSports Industries America has designated as National Learn a Snowsport Month.

SnowSports Industries America, a trade organization, said 8.2 million downhill skiers, 3.3 million cross-country skiers and 7.3 million snowboarders got out on the snow at least once last season. That's down from the 2009-10 season when nearly 11 million downhill skiers, 7.4 million snowboarders and 4.1 million cross-country skiers hit the slopes, although participation fluctuates seasonally with snowfall levels and the health of the economy.

Discounts are available at some resorts for college students, law enforcement, emergency responders and active members of the military.

When possible, you can save time and aggravation by getting fitted for rental equipment the night before you plan to hit the slopes. It's a good idea to insure rental equipment for about $2 a day. And it's definitely a good idea to wear a helmet.

Thieves in and around resorts continue to help themselves to unattended skis and snowboards. Safeguard your equipment by checking it or locking it every time you go inside the lodge -- even if it's "only for a minute." The checking cost is minimal -- about $2 for unlimited access all-day.

Mystic Mountain welcomes friends and neighbors on Fridays beginning Jan. 4 with a lift ticket and rental equipment for $25.

Wisp has an all-inclusive offer on nonholiday Mondays beginning Jan. 6 -- a lift ticket, rental equipment and a one-hour clinic for $39.

Although the major resorts would like to open the day before or after Thanksgiving, they'll need a week or more of below-freezing temperatures before they can make enough snow to start the season.

Here's some basic information for 17 local and regional resorts.

Each area has learn-to-ski/snowboard packages but may restrict them to weekdays. Ask for an instructor certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America or the American Association of Snowboard Instructors.

WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

Blue Knob

Prices: Adult five-hour flex lift ticket: weekends, $50; weekdays $30. Junior (12 and under), active members of the military and seniors (65-69): weekends $40; weekdays $28. Open-to-close lift tickets for adults are $60 weekends, $38 weekdays. Junior, military and seniors: weekends, $48; weekdays, $33. Seniors 70 and older: weekends, $22.50; weekdays, $16.50. Children 5 and younger ski free when accompanied by a parent with a valid lift ticket. Beginner group lesson: $20. Ski rental: $22 for five hours; $30 open-to-close. Snowboard rental: $32 for five hours; $42 open-to-close. Cross-country skis and snowshoe rental for adults and children: $14. Lessons available on request. Trail fee: adult $10; junior $5.

Lifts: Two triple chairlifts, two doubles.

Slopes and trails: 34.

Vertical drop: 1,072 feet.

Address: Box 247, Claysburg, PA 16625; 1-800-458-3403; 1-814-239-5111; www.blueknob.com.

Boyce Park

Prices: Adult weekend lift ticket (Friday daytimes through Sunday nights): $14; Monday afternoons through Thursday nights: $10. Junior (6-17) Friday daytimes through Sunday nights: $12; Monday afternoons through Thursday nights: $8. Seniors (60 and older) Friday days through Sunday nights: $11; Monday afternoons through Thursday nights: $7. Children (5 and younger): $4 any time. Group lesson: $10. Ski rental: $8.75. Snowboard rental: $25. Ski runners: $8.

Lifts: One chairlift, one Poma lift, one handle tow.

Slopes and trails: 9.

Vertical drop: 180 feet.

Address: 675 Old Frankstown Road, Pittsburgh (Plum), PA 15239; 724-733-4656; 724-733-4665 (recorded snow conditions); www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/fees/ski.aspx.

Hidden Valley

Prices: Adult Friday through Sunday lift ticket: $57; junior (6-11): $46. Adult Monday through Thursday: $38; junior: $36. Children 5 and under ski/snowboard free with a paying adult. Seniors 70-79 pay half-price; seniors 80 and older free.

Group lesson: $25. Ski rental: adult $32 weekend, $26 weekdays; child $30 weekends, $26 weekdays. Snowboard rental (adult and child): $36 weekends, $31 weekdays.

Lifts: Two quad chairlifts, two triples, one double, three surface lifts.

Slopes and trails: 28.

Vertical drop: 340 feet front; 430 feet North Summit area.

Address: 1 Craighead Drive, Hidden Valley, PA 15502; 1-814-443-8000, www.hiddenvalleyresort.com.

Mount Pleasant of Edinboro

Prices: Adult weekend lift ticket: $23; weekdays $20. Student (6-21): weekends, $20; weekdays, $18. Child (5 and under): free when accompanied by a parent who skis. Seniors (70 and older): free. Last call special: $10 (last two hours of any day). Group ski and snowboard lessons (includes lift ticket and rental equipment): weekend $50; weekday $40. Adult weekend ski, snowboard and snowblade rental: $22; weekdays, $17. Student weekend: $17; weekdays, $12.

Lifts: One T-bar and one Poma lift.

Slopes and trails: 10.

Vertical drop: 320 feet.

Address: Box 447, Edinboro, PA 16412; 1-814-734-1641; www.skimountpleasant.com.

Mystic Mountain

Times and prices: Open 2 to 10 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on holidays falling on a Monday. Also, open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 24-Jan. 2. Neighbor and Friends Night every Friday beginning Jan. 4: $25 for lift ticket and rental equipment. One-hour lesson specials are available from 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays beginning Jan. 4 for $25 per person. Adult lift ticket (Saturday, Sunday and holiday): $43. Child (6-11): $35. Child (5 and younger): $25. Group lesson (maximum of three people): $130. Ski/snowboard rental: $35. Child (6-11): $28. Child (5 and younger) $20. Snowshoe rental: $20. Cross-country rental (includes trail fee): $20.

Lifts: One regular quad chairlift and one handle tow.

Slopes and trails: 7.

Vertical drop: 300 feet.

Address: 1001 Lafayette Drive, Farmington, PA 15437; 1-800-422-2736; 724-329-8555; www.nemacolin.com.

Seven Springs

Prices: Adult lift ticket Fridays through Sundays: $75; Mondays through Thursdays, $58. Child (6-11): Fridays through Sundays, $58; Mondays through Thursdays, $47. Children 5 and under ski free when accompanied by an adult with a lift ticket. Seniors (70-79) pay half price; seniors 80 and older ski free but need a lift ticket. Group lesson: weekends, $42; weekdays, $34. Ski/snowboard rental: adult, $45; child, $40. High performance skis, twin tip skis and telemark rental equipment also available.

Lifts: Two six-person chairlifts; three quad chairs, five triples, three conveyor lifts and one rope tow.

Slopes and trails: 31.

Vertical drop: 360 feet front, 750 feet back.

Address: Champion, PA 15622; 1-800-452-2223, 1-800-523-7777 (recorded snow conditions), 1-814-352-7777; www.7springs.com.

Skl Denton

Prices: Adult lift ticket: Fridays through Sundays, $39; Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, $25. Youth (6-11) and seniors (65-69): Fridays through Sundays, $26; Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, $19. Seniors (70 and older): free. Child (5 and under): free anytime when accompanied by an adult. Group lesson: $20. Rental: adults, $25; youth, $20. Snowboard rental: adult, $32; youth, $26. Cross-country rental: $15.

Lifts: One triple chairlift, one double and two Pomas.

Slopes and trails: 22.

Vertical drop: 650 feet.

Address: Box 367, Coudersport, PA 16915; 1-814-435-2115; www.skidenton.com.

Ski Sawmill Family Resort

Prices: Adult weekend lift ticket, Fridays through Sundays: $37; Mondays through Thursdays, $26. Youth (6-11): Fridays through Sundays, $30; Mondays through Thursdays, $22. Seniors (65-69): half off an all-day adult lift ticket. Seniors (70 and older): free any day. Children 5 or younger ski free when accompanied by an adult who buys a full-price lift ticket. Group lesson: $20. Rental: $25. Snowboard and snowblade rental: $34.

Lifts: One triple chairlift, one double, two T-bars.

Slopes and trails: 13.

Vertical drop: 515 feet.

Address: 383 Oregon Hill, Morris, PA 16938; 1-800-532-7669; www.skisawmill.com.

Whitetail

Prices: Adult weekend lift ticket: $69; weekdays, $58. Junior (6-12): weekends, $57; weekdays, $50. Children (5 and under) receive free lift ticket with the purchase of an adult lift ticket. Seniors (65 and older): weekends, $69; weekdays, $29. Group lesson: $44. Ski rental: $45. Snowboard rental: $50. Military discount: $5 off lift tickets anytime.

Lifts: One high-speed quad chairlift, three regular quads, two doubles, two Magic Carpets.

Slopes and trails: 23.

Vertical drop: 935 feet.

Address: 13805 Blairs Valley Road, Mercersburg, PA 17236; 1-717-328-9400; www.skiwhitetail.com.

WEST VIRGINIA

Canaan Valley

Prices: Adult any day lift ticket: $52 weekends; $37 weekdays. Child (12 and under) and seniors (60-69): $38 weekends; $25 weekdays. Note: Lift tickets are less expensive during Value Season -- Dec. 14-25. Children 5 and under ski free when accompanied by a parent who skis. Seniors 70 and older ski free. Group lesson: adult $30; child $25. Rental: adult $28; child $25. Snowboard rental: adult $37; child $30. Cross-country rental: adult, $20; junior $18. Snowshoe rental: adult, $20; junior, $18.

Lifts: One quad chairlift, two triples, one Magic Carpet.

Slopes and trails: 42.

Vertical drop: 850 feet.

Address: HC 70, Box 330, Davis, WV 26260; 1-800-622-4121; 1-304-866-4121; www.canaanresort.com.

Oglebay

Prices: Adult lift tickets: $26 weekends and holidays, $22 Fridays and $15 Mondays through Thursdays. Youth (6-17): $19 weekends and holidays; $16 Fridays and $11 Mondays through Thursdays. Child (5 and under) skis free when accompanied by an adult with a valid lift ticket. Lessons (includes rental equipment and 10 percent off lift ticket): $50 per person per hour, $30 for each additional person. Reservations recommended. Adult rental: $26 weekends and holidays; $22 Fridays and $15 Mondays through Thursdays. Youth rental: $19 weekends and holidays, $16 Fridays and $11 Mondays through Thursdays. Adult snowboard rental: $31, $26 and $18, respectively; youth, $26, $22 and $15, respectively.

Lifts: One triple chairlift.

Slopes: 1.

Vertical drop: 168 feet.

Address: Route 88 North, Wheeling, WV 26003; 1-800-624-6988; 1-304-243-4177 for snow conditions; www.oglebay-resort.com.

Snowshoe

Prices: Adult weekend lift ticket: $84; weekday $79. Student (13-17): weekend $74, weekday $70. Junior (6-12): weekend $70, weekday $66. Note: During Value Season (before Dec. 22 and after March 17), adult any day lift tickets are $59; student are $52 and juniors (7-12) are $49. Children 6 and under ski free when accompanied by a parent or guardian who skis. Seniors (75 and older) free. Group lesson: $45-$55. Rental: adult, student and senior $40; junior (12 and under) $35. Adult snowboard rental (includes boots): $40; juniors and seniors, $35.

Lifts: Three high-speed quad chairlifts, three triples, one surface lift at Snowshoe; one quad, four triples, two surface lifts at Silver Creek.

Slopes and trails: 42 at Snowshoe; 18 at Silver Creek.

Vertical drop: 748 feet front and 1,500 feet back at Snowshoe; 663 feet at Silver Creek.

Address: Box 10, Snowshoe, WV 26209; 1-304-572-1000; 1-304-572-5252 (reservations); www.snowshoemtn.com.

Timberline

Prices: Adult weekend lift ticket: $60; weekdays, $40. Junior (6-12): weekends, $40; weekdays, $30. Child (5 and under) skis free when accompanied by a parent who skis. Group lesson: $30. Rental: adult, $30; junior, $24. Child (5 and under), $12. Snowboard rental: adult, $39; junior, $34. Snowblades: $30. Telemark skis, boots and poles: $30.

Lifts: Two triple chairlifts, one double, one surface lift.

Slopes and trails: 37.

Vertical drop: 1,000 feet.

Address: HC 70, Box 488, 488 Timberline Road, Davis, WV 26260; 1-304-866-4801; 1-800-766-9464 (general information); 1-304-866-4828 (snow reports); www.timberlineresort.com.

WESTERN MARYLAND

Wisp

Prices: The resort this year eliminates time limits -- 8 hours or 4 hours -- on lift tickets that provided cheaper alternatives in the past. For 2013-14: Adult weekend lift ticket: $69; weekdays, $39. Junior (6-12): weekends, $45, weekdays $39. Seniors 70 and older ski/snowboard free. All tickets include night skiing Tuesdays through Saturdays. Group lesson: $35. Rentals: skis and snowboards, weekends $44, weekdays $29. Cross-country and snowshoe rentals: $40. Trail fee: weekends $15, weekdays $10.

Lifts: Two quad chairlifts, five triples, two conveyor carpets, one surface tow and one loading carpet.

Slopes and trails: 32.

Vertical drop: 700 feet.

Address: Box 629, McHenry, MD 21541; 1-301-387-4911; www.wispresort.com.

WESTERN NEW YORK

Holiday Valley

Prices: Adult and senior weekend lift ticket for any eight hours: $63; weekdays, $53. Junior (6-11): weekend lift ticket for any eight hours, $49; weekdays, $42. Adult weekend lift ticket for any four hours: $60; weekdays, $49. Junior weekend lift ticket for any four hours: $44; weekdays, $39. Seniors weekdays lift tickets: $42 for any eight hours; $39 for any four hours. Children (6 and under) free. Group lesson: $32. Rental: adult, $29; junior, $23. Snowboard rental: adult, $31; junior, $27. Cross-country skis: $18. Snowshoes: $18.

Lifts: Three high-speed quad chairlifts, eight standard quads, one handle tow, one Magic Carpet.

Slopes and trails: 58.

Vertical drop: 750 feet.

Address: Box 370, Ellicottville, NY 14731; 1-716-699-2345; 1-716-699-2644 (ski reports); www.holidayvalley.com.

Kissing Bridge

Prices: Adult weekend lift ticket: $60 for any eight hours; $56 for any four hours. Junior (13 and under): $50 for any eight hours; $46 for any four hours. Adult weekday lift ticket: $50 for any eight hours; $46 for any four hours. Junior weekday lift ticket: $40 for any eight hours; $36 for any four hours. Children (6 and younger) are free when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. Group lesson: $30. Rental: adult, $30; junior, $25. Snowboard: $30.

Lifts: Two quad chairlifts, one triple, four doubles, two rope tows, one handle tows.

Slopes and trails: 36.

Vertical drop: 575 feet.

Address: Route 240, Glenwood, NY 14069; 1-716-592-4963; 1-716-592-4961 (ski reports); www.kbski.com.

Peek'n Peak

Prices: Adult weekend lift ticket: $54 for all day; $50 for any four hours. Weekdays: $45 for all day; $39 for any four hours. Junior (6-11) weekends: $41 for all day; $37 for any four hours. Junior weekdays: $34 for all day; $29 for any four hours. Seniors 65 and older: $33 every day. Five-year-olds ski free when accompanied by an adult with a valid lift ticket. Group lesson: $25. Rental: adult $30, junior (11 and younger) $24 for all day. Adult, $23; junior, $18 for any four hours. Snowboard rental: adult, $36; junior, $30 for all day; adult, $28; junior $24 for any four hours. Snowshoes: $15. Cross-country rental: $9. Trail fee: $8.

Lifts: Six triple chairlifts, two doubles, two Magic Carpets.

Slopes and trails: 27.

Vertical drop: 400 feet.

Address: 1405 Olde Road, Box 360, Findley Lake, NY 14736; 1-716-355-4141; www.pknpk.com.


Lawrence Walsh writes about recreational snow sports for the Post-Gazette.

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here