Ok folks, I've reviewed this post and there is a strong consensus to hold the Gathering at Seven Springs Jan. 8-9. I see no need to poll as only HolidayValley was suggested as an option and there was no real enthusiasm to back it up. We have some interest from mid-western states and also interest from some Vermonters as well as Ohio, all for 7 Springs.
My case for Seven Springs:
Reliable snow, over 200 acres in snow making all of which should be open barring a major melt down. Even so, quick recovery time, one of the most extensive snowmaking operation in the country.
Varied terrain for advanced intermediate, intermediate and beginner skiers and lots of it. Some nice tree skiing too if there is enough natural snow.
Extensive lift system. A high speed 6 to clear out the front side and the rest are quads and triples. Although some of the lifts are run slow, this insures that the trails are not overly crowded.
Numerous on hill lodging options and the same for down mountain too.
More to do off mountain then most towns. Great for the non-skiers or après-ski.
Good on mountain food and really good off mountain as well with plenty of choices.
Good location and easy access. Folks coming from DC area and Ohio have about equal distance to travel.
Good toddlers and kids programs with 'magic carpet' lifts if any bring the brood. Day care too.
The addition of LaurelMountain to the 7 Springs operation. Although Laurel is small acreage wise there is 900 ft. vertical. Laurel also has Lower Wildcat a true expert trail that, in the past was groomed while still leaving a good third to bump up.
I'll keep the option open if this post generates any protest but if all are in agreement, the formal announcement will be next weekend, Oct 30. So speak up if there are any strong alternatives.