The latest information about Laurel Mountain, PA can be found in our Laurel Mountain resort guide at this link:
Well TC, it has been a about 6 seasons since Laurel was last open for a 5 year run and a decade lost previous to that. Laurel has some really good expert terrain for the Mid-Atlantic. It always has been a skiers mountain, the type to offer you more challenge if you are still on the learning curve or hold your interest if you are accomplished. Of course, that has been dependent on natural snow which has always been in sporadic supply.
Laurel needed a strong capital investment and since it is a Pennsylvania State Park, with a successful lobbying effort by enthusiast, local politicians and a potential developer the State has committed more than half the funding needed to bring Laurel up to competitive standards. The initial developer (owners of near by Hidden Valley Resort) never came to terms with the State over a lease agreement and Seven Springs Mountain Resort struck the deal. They have the expertise, no doubt, but do they have the will to make Laurel a success or were they just looking to kill their competition? I have tried to get design details through PA's Right to Know laws but I have been stonewalled. It looks like there are no plans to increase snowmaking coverage in a significant way and it also appears that only one chair lift will be operational. This does not bode well if this is true.
All design work and permits are in place. Construction bids will be taken this summer. On the scope of the type of improvements made at other resorts this is not a huge project but for some reason the State's spokesperson says Laurel won't open for until 2013-2014 winter but 2014-2015 seems more likely. Now one can hope that the delays are because of the state of the economy and maybe Seven Springs will announce their commitment with a substantial capital investment that will truly bring Laurel up to standard. As the the old cliche goes, time will tell.
Needs to open for 2013-14! I'll probably have left the area before 2014-15. Hope the place gets worked out and soon; it would be cool to have somewhere else to go that's not as far as Blue Knob or as crowded/expensive/horizontal as Seven Springs.