Celebrating 21 years of Pocono Garlic. The Pocono Garlic Festival will once again fill the Poconos...
White Haven, PA-November 2010 - Mountain resorts in the Keystone State have harnessed the latest in technology and trail design to create a blizzard of innovations for a new season of fun on the snow. Skiers and surfers will find new trails, new lifts, expanded automated snowmaking, more outdoor dining on those crisp, sundrenched afternoons and bargains galore. Here’s what’s new on the slopes of Pennsylvania.
Close to Philadelphia and Allentown, the booming BEAR CREEK MOUNTAIN RESORT is going through another growth spurt. A million dollars has been pumped into innovations for the dawning ski season that includes new learning terrain, a new hotel rental shop and a hi-tech snowmaking control system that powers an arsenal of new snow guns from mini weather stations, strategically set on the mountain. General Manager Mark Schroetel estimates, “The new system will produce 40% more snow than manual systems.” Hotel guests here will now have exclusive access to the latest in equipment right at the door. Also look for a major leap forward on the Black Bear Terrain Park. It’s been widened by 75 feet. And the mountain base now boasts a new Snowsports School teaching area. Check out Bear Creek at: www.bcmountainresort.com
Commanding a high ridge alongside the Appalachian Trail, BLUE MOUNTAIN is a big Pocono Mountain resort and it’s getting bigger. Three new slopes and trails will dazzle skiers and riders with new challenge and new learning opportunities. Two new glade trails, Blue Baumer and Sleepy Hollow are designed for intermediate to expert skiers able to handle the steeps, turns and trees. It’s pure back-country adventure. Meanwhile, alongside the easy riding Vista trail, a new learning area has sprouted. Pioneer Pass is designed as a confidence booster for youngsters 12 and under. Look for a big bump in snowmaking this season on a mountain that has grown to an impressive 37 runs spread over 162 skiable acres. Along with more skiable acreage Blue has added increased time on the slopes with their Blue Mountain Passport. Blue’s Passport is your ticket to everything at Blue Mountain. The ticket you purchased either online or at any ticket window is reusable! You can save money and time whenever you ski or ride at Blue Mountain this season when you recharge online! Enjoy the money-saving offers and get the convenience of skipping the ticket windows by going directly to the lift with Blue’s Passport card. Visit SkiBlueMt.com for all the details. Other improvements include expanded ticket windows and an enlarged rental shop. For al fresco dining on sun drenched days, you’ll find new eateries and seating on the expanded summit lodge courtyard and a new summit deck. Look it up at: www.skibluemt.com
Skiers and riders will be flying high and fast at SHAWNEE MOUNTAIN in the Poconos this winter with the installation of the “Tomahawk Express”, a brand new high-speed detachable quad. It will whisk sliders 3,100 feet from base to summit in 3 minutes flat. But the speed is coupled with safety in a child and ski school friendly design. The new lift will service the popular Tomahawk slope and becomes Shawnee’s flagship ride. Also look for a major facelift at the mountains rustic summit lodge. New outdoor decks overlook the trails and are the perfect spot on sunny days for a bite to eat and refreshing toddy from the new bar alongside the equally new stone fireplace. By night the lodge reverts to its unique use as a dormitory for visiting groups. Representing a 5 million dollar investment, the season also brings additional snowmaking to Shawnee Mountain and a newly designed family locker room, featuring 150 electronic Go Pod Lockers. Get the rundown at: www.shawneemt.com
There’s nothing like a “Magic Carpet” lift for beginner skiers and snow surfers. In case you’re wondering, the Magic Carpet is a lot like the moving walk-ways at airports around the country. But they go up. At CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN RESORT near Tannersville in the Poconos, a new Magic Carpet has replaced one of the older beginner chairlifts, to whisk new ski jockeys up the popular “Coolmor” learning slope in comfort. To help bring new skiers and riders to the snowsports arena, Camelback has dubbed the month of January, “Learn to Ski or Snowboard Month”. That means low priced packages to cover lift tickets, lessons and rental equipment. Camelback snowsports instructors have also been busy developing new teaching techniques to move skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to new levels of achievement on the slopes. The new season at Camelback has seen a major investment in an already awesome snowmaking arsenal. Forty new high-efficiency and environmentally friendly snow guns have been added. Also, expect a new look and menu at the Sunbowl Lodge. It now sports a more rustic exterior, an expanded deck and a fire pit to grab a ski-up burger or warm the hands while heading from summit to lift. Read all about it at: www.skicamelback.com
JACK FROST MOUNTAIN near the Pocono exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike has opened more terrain to the excitement and challenge of glade skiing. This season even beginners can get into the action with a newly carved glade skiing area just to the right of the Snowflake learning slope. Intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders can now plunge through natural wooden features alongside the popular ONE Park in a dramatically contoured new area dubbed ONE Glade Park. A state-of-the-art fleet of snow groomers will be at work, keeping the park, glades and slopes in pristine condition throughout the winter. Fifty brand new low energy snow guns will keep it all under a solid blanket of white. Inside, there’ll be extended entertainment hours at the jumping E-2000 lounge. A new sound system will bring the music of the best regional party bands right to the slopes. Jack Frost is a daytime area with lift tickets that are interchangeable at sister resort, Big Boulder, fully lighted for night skiing and surfing. Stay up to date on Jack Frost at: www.jfbb.com
BIG BOULDER MOUNTAIN is the perfect companion to Jack Frost. Brilliantly lit for night skiing and overlooking scenic Lake Harmony, Boulder lets families take advantage of two-mountains-for-one lift ticket pricing. Parents get their fill during the day at Jack Frost, drop the teens off at Boulder for a night of boarding and skiing, and then dine at one of the popular eateries between the two mountains. This winter, Big Boulder Park is trumpeting its award from Transworld Magazine, a national snowboard publication as one of the top five terrain parks. The family and learner friendly mountain has gotten a complete face lift with new rail and table features and a total paint job on the lifts and towers. Also look for an enlarged fleet of the latest Rossignol and Head skis, snowboards, boots and bindings. Get the lowdown at: www.jfbb.com
High up in Pennsylvania’s “Northeast Kingdom”, ELK MOUNTAIN continues to get greener by the year. Deciduous trees have been thinned out and over 1,200 Norway and White Spruce trees have been planted on the mountain. The latest plantings enhance the pristine environment for cruising Elk’s longest and most scenic trails. Generations of skiers and riders who have enjoyed lunch at the rustic picnic lodge planted on the West Slope will have a new look this year with extensive renovations to keep this family tradition in shape. Elk Mountain has also added 16 new tower snow guns to help out Mother Nature, who doesn’t often need help in this Pennsylvania snow belt. In the lodge the popular Winter Garden Restaurant with its panoramic view of the mountain now has a re-equipped kitchen to keep the full-service eatery humming. Check out Elk at: www.elkskier.com
There’s a new look and a new name at Ski Roundtop. Henceforth it will be called, ROUNDTOP MOUNTAIN RESORT to better reflect the range of activities and diversity at this Harrisburg area snow spot. It brings snowboarders and the growing terrain park acreage into the fold. The name also reflects the resort atmosphere that fuels the vibrancy at the Fireside Pub and Grill along with live music after a day on the slopes at Roundtop Mountain Adventures. On the hill, high quality snow will be piling up from the top of the Exhibition chair all the way down the Susquehanna slope with the installation of a new Techno Alpin Automated Snowmaking System. Off the slopes, skiers and riders will kick back in a newly refurbished and base lodge with more seating and new cubbies to store their gear. A faster check-in system and 300 new helmets are the update at the rental shop and there’s a newly built Competition Center at the base of the Exhibition race hill. The ride from parking lot to base lodge gets more comfy with a new fleet of skier friendly shuttle buses. See it all at: www.skiroundtop.com
The big news in Central Pennsylvania snow action this year is the purchase by LIBERTY MOUNTAIN of neighboring Carroll Valley Resort. It nearly doubles the size and scope of the popular Gettysburg area ski resort and provides 99 modern hotel rooms, two additional fabulous restaurants and more meeting and banquet space for groups wanting to combine a bit of business with their skiing. The blending of the two side-by-side resorts also adds a championship golf course to the property for spring-like days when the sound of schussing skis and boards gives way to the crack of a well hit orb. On the mountain, a growing computerized and automated snowmaking system now puts more snow on the hill, faster and more efficiently. There’s more space and a new look to the rental and retail shops and more equipment available for beginners through Top Gun skiers and riders. Resort lockers have all been replaced with the latest Go Pod storage system that gives guests the ability to access their lockers as often as needed for a single price, payable with the convenience of a credit card. Take a Liberty tour at: www.skiliberty.com
A new 1,800 foot beginner’s trail is the centerpiece of a 4 million dollar investment in sliding terrain and lodge amenities at WHITETAIL RESORT in south central Pennsylvania. The novice friendly Ledgewood Trail, carved alongside the well traversed Snow Park slope is fully lit for night skiing and fueled by 15 powerful new Techno Alpine snow guns. To get skiers and riders on the slopes faster, the resort has added 3 new ticket windows to give guests more time on the snow and less in the line. Also look for an expansion of the aroma filled Marketplace Bakery and Grill. The additional food service is accompanied by a brand new 4,200 square foot outdoor patio grill and fire pit. It’s a welcome innovation to lunch-break time, for a burger in the warmth of a winter sun. See what’s happening at Whitetail by navigating to: www.skiwhitetail.com
SKI SAWMILL FAMILY RESORT, a compact snowsports area in North Central Pennsylvania is one of the few ski resorts in the country that can boast of having a “Bunkhouse”. This season the bunkhouse will be able to sleep 80 people in four bunkrooms. It’s perfect for groups, ski clubs, scouts or very large families. Sawmill, which cradles 12 versatile slopes served by three lifts will offer a day of free skiing for visitors who stay at the new, more intimate Mountain Inn. It’s a cozy 10 unit lodge that includes 2 Jacuzzi suites. Sawmill is an economy conscious area offering a blizzard of discount days included sharp price breaks on specific days for ladies, then men, home schoolers, people who show up with business cards or just show up with cash. There’s new equipment in the rental shop and the mountain driveway entrance has been given a facelift with the planting of 30 trees that enhance the look and provide a windbreak. See what’s happening this season at: www.skisawmill.com
SEVEN SPRINGS MOUNTAIN RESORT, a four-season resort in Western Pennsylvania’s Somerset County will make things a lot brighter on its exciting North Park Terrain Park. Additional lights have gone up to cover the night action on an expanded triple jump line. Riders here will also have more signature jib features on a park that has been named by Transworld Snowboarding Magazine as number one on the east coast for its nearly 600 foot Superpipe and number one in terrain parks. Also look for a wider exit on the North Face lift, improved grading on the connector trail to the Tahoe Lodge and a brand new web site. See it at: www.7springs.com
Out with the old and in with the new at western Pennsylvania’s HIDDEN VALLEY RESORT in the scenic Laurel Highlands. In preparation for launching the new ski season, a former maintenance facility at the base of the mountain has vanished. In its place is a secluded teaching area, designed with an 8% grade to maximize the comfort level for new skiers. A modern conveyor lift will carry beginners to the top of the trail to start life in a dynamic winter sport. The opening of the latest terrain is accompanied by the creation of new learn-to-ski programs at the innovative Hidden Valley Ski School. Snow tubers here will find new thrills on additional chutes and expanded Tube Park parking. Off the mountain, the “Social Scene” at Glaciers Pub has been moved to the plaza level of the lodge and the Pub sports a new and improved look and layout. There’s complimentary wireless N/G in the Four Seasons Lodge rooms and a new seasonal locker room. The ski shop boasts a boosted rental fleet that includes new children’s gear and larger adult skis. And check out the latest in affordable and flexible all-day pricing. Look it up at: www.hiddenvalleyresort.com
The accent is on fun at NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT in southwestern Pennsylvania. This season look for a full lineup of Saturday night live entertainment punctuated by thrills and spills aboard a mechanical bull. There’s special pricing on the slopes of Nemacolin Mystic Mountain this season from 2pm to 10pm. Lift tickets and rentals go for $20. Bring your own gear and ski or surf for $15. If you’re a beginner, learn the sport from a Nemacolin pro between 4pm and 8pm for just $25 an hour. Nemacolin is a full service resort featuring a world class hotel, highly regarded spa, gourmet restaurants, an equestrian facility, ski area and a range of indoor and outdoor sports. Read all about it at: www.nemacolin.comNow, grab your gear, think snow and head for a Pennsylvania Winter Resort, near home or distant, but never more than a tank of gas away.