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Best Time for Seven Springs?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

We're planning an family vacation (with extended family) for next winter so I'm trying to do my research so we can figure out what the financial damage will be :)  We're thinking about Seven Springs because it seems to be a good "family" resort (we'll have small children with us) and it's central for my family geographically.

 

Is it really packed during school vacation weeks?  When would be the best time to go crowd and weather wise?  For those who are familiar with staying there, are the accommodations decent?  We're not looking for the Ritz or anything but would like to know that we'll be paying for something decent/updated and I've read some reviews that suggested otherwise.  One last thing- if you've used the ski school for young children, how was your experience?

 

Thanks in advance for any help!

post #2 of 11

The Hotel at the Resort has been updated after the Nuttings bought the resort and is very nice. Several dining options at the resort ae also good. Fine dining at Helen's at the resort. Seven Springs is crowded on the weekends large influx from DC, Pittsburgh. Its easy to get to right of the Pa. Turnpike.

 

Seven Springs has an excellent children's ski school , Tiny Tots. I'd say the best month to go with the assurance of the best of the season's conditions is January. It can be very very cold at Seven Springs, a damp high humidity cold .

 

Their snow making is fantastic and Seven Springs will have as good if not the best conditions in the area.

 

Having said all this regarding the Springs, Holiday Valley in Western New York is another great area for families with top notch facilities and a really nice town with many dining options, Ellicottville

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you, that is very helpful and encouraging!  And I will check out Holiday Valley as well.  

post #4 of 11

I grew up skiing at 7 springs so I'll add my .02 cents.  I would not recommend booking anything around the Holidays, cnditions can vary dramaticaly.  Some yrs theres good snow, others it can be mild and muddy.  They will have stuff open, it just might not be worth spending the extra chast for the holidays to be there.  Also everyone home for the holidays in Pittsburgh will be there at one point or the other.  I tried teaching my wife to ski there a few yrs ago during that time and it was a nightmare. 

 

That being said there is a lot to do there, it's a great resort lost of activities for the kids.  I've heard Helen's is good, never been.  The lodge food is decent, the foggy goggle can be a good time on some nights for adults.  The best time of yr to go is after new yrs,-mid Feb IMHO.  It's cheaper, less crowded and better snow.  I would sometimes leave work a bit early, rush over by 430pm from North Pittsburgh, Ski till 10 and never wait in line on a lift on midweek days.  The place is dead mid week in winter.

 

I don't know where you are coming from, but Snowshoe in WV is nice, bigger more $$ though, more snow too.  I've heard the western NY resorts are nice but I've never been.

post #5 of 11

I'll second Holiday Valley.  Don't even bother going to Springs if it's a holiday....and even weekends can be awful.  In my experience 7 Springs tends to be pretty decent at the beginning of the day but as the day goes on it gets worse fast.  Holiday Valley is a more sure bet, as it has a great ski school, great terrain (for the area), and a great ski town in Elicottville.  Also HV can get busy but is never as bad as 7 Springs is most of the time.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

All great information- thanks!  I will take a second look at Holiday Valley.  It's an hour closer to us than Seven Springs and the difference between and 9 and 10 hour drive with kids is huge!  We'll also be driving the farthest, from MA.  We wouldn't be going for the holidays, so that's good, we'd probably go sometime in Jan. or Feb.  But I'm guessing Feb. vacation is probably a no-no.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by telemarksc View Post

All great information- thanks!  I will take a second look at Holiday Valley.  It's an hour closer to us than Seven Springs and the difference between and 9 and 10 hour drive with kids is huge!  We'll also be driving the farthest, from MA.  We wouldn't be going for the holidays, so that's good, we'd probably go sometime in Jan. or Feb.  But I'm guessing Feb. vacation is probably a no-no.


Actually, if I'm not mistaken, most schools in the area of Seven Springs* do not get the full week off after President's Day, unlike a lot of school systems in New England.  President's Day weekend itself is typically very crowded at Seven Springs, but the days immediately after should be nearly empty and the snow should still be very good then.  If that is your situation, those days would be a great time to visit.  One thing about Seven Springs, as others have mentioned, is that if you have a bunch of kids in the 8-16 year old range, they can freely roam a very large lodge complex, all under one roof and do a lot of stuff like bowling, swimming, ice skating, arcade games, etc without ever going outside the complex.  Never been to Holiday Valley, but if I'm not mistaken, the fun apres ski takes place along the main drag in the quaint town of Ellicottville, so you will be strolling outside. 

*full disclosure, my son is an instructor in the tiny tots program at SS.

SS base area, second shot taken on MLK weekend 2011redface.gif

1265581751_pic3.jpg

1295496178_pic1.jpg

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the information and the pictures.  What a fun job your son has :)  I think the whole activity thing in one complex may be one thing that sways us toward SS- easier for the family to stay together and spend time together.  That and the fact that it's a much shorter drive for my parents, haha.  I do like Holiday Valley as well, though.  Good to know about vacation week.  My kids will be off that whole week so maybe we can take advantage of that and not be swamped as I thought.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post


Actually, if I'm not mistaken, most schools in the area of Seven Springs* do not get the full week off after President's Day, unlike a lot of school systems in New England.  President's Day weekend itself is typically very crowded at Seven Springs, but the days immediately after should be nearly empty and the snow should still be very good then.  If that is your situation, those days would be a great time to visit.  One thing about Seven Springs, as others have mentioned, is that if you have a bunch of kids in the 8-16 year old range, they can freely roam a very large lodge complex, all under one roof and do a lot of stuff like bowling, swimming, ice skating, arcade games, etc without ever going outside the complex.  Never been to Holiday Valley, but if I'm not mistaken, the fun apres ski takes place along the main drag in the quaint town of Ellicottville, so you will be strolling outside. 

*full disclosure, my son is an instructor in the tiny tots program at SS.

SS base area, second shot taken on MLK weekend 2011redface.gif

1265581751_pic3.jpg

1295496178_pic1.jpg



 

post #9 of 11

One nice feature of 7 Springs is that they have some graduated bump runs which are fairly unique. I don't recall the trail names but they have one with little bumps and one with kind of medium bumps. It is a good place to learn to ski bumps.

post #10 of 11

Seven Springs is where I learned to ski back in the day.  I was also a Safety Ranger for 11 years and my daughter is a Tiny Tots and Jr Ski graduate so I might be a little biased and say for a family vacation it would be a great choice for all the reasons previously mentioned. 

 

Now that I live in Cleveland I tend to ski Holiday Valley more frequently and have come to appreciate it as well.  The town of Ellicottville as mentioned is a blast.  Often referred to as the Aspen of the East.  A real party ski town.  It might make a better getaway trip for you and the Mrs. There are several B&B's in the area and great restarurants.  If you like casino's there is one 15 miles down the road in Salamanca.  Plus if you are there Mon-Fri you can also ski Holimont a private resort right next door which many feel has better terrain and definitely better grooming, a weak spot at HV.

 

But really, either way you and your family will have a blast.

 

Good Luck,

 

Rick G

post #11 of 11

The best time for 7springs is when it hasn't rained in a while. Usually there are a few weeks between XMAS and presidents where conditions are really pretty good.

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