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Where would you choose? NY - WV - NC options

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Florida family going on Christmas vacation, hoping to squeeze in a little bit of skiing & snowboarding between visiting relatives, if there is snow. Only two or three days total on the slopes.

Leaving Florida 12/20/07, returning by 1/6/08. So, not sure if there will even be snow.

Going to be in Ohio by 12/24.
Stopping in Asheville, NC area on the way back.

Trying to figure out where to ski/board. Two skiers (45 and 14), one snowboarder (11) and one person (41) hanging out hoping there's other fun stuff to do or at least somewhere comfortable to relax while the family is on the slopes.

Options not too far off our driving route include:
western NY - Holiday Valley/Holimont
WV - Silver Creek part of Snowshoe?
NC - Appalachian (school), Beech, Hawksnest, Sugar?

Being Floridians who have only discovered skiing a couple of years ago, I would say the kids' skill levels are fairly low but they are not absolute beginners. We like to get the kids lessons each year, they improve a little and then enjoy the rest of the day. My husband likes to ski blues.

I think what's most important to our family would be:
snow and/or good snowmaking,
good instructors,
not overcrowded / no huge lines (this will be our first year where we've gone AFTER Christmas, not before),
something to do for the non-skier,
and since we now have to go during a peak time, price.

Tubing or sledding is also nice to have available nearby but not required.

------------
Here are the only places we've gone in the past and what my family thought:
Stowe (loved it, a bit expensive)
Mt. Tremblant (got caught in a blizzard and then by a lift strike and lost $$$, it was okay, enjoyed the village anyway)
Whiteface (not the greatest experience, they took my daughter down blues she wasn't ready for in a beginner lesson)
Pico (had fun)
------------

Thanks for your thoughts! I've gotten excellent advice here in the past.
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
One last try for the experience of the East Coast folks. Since my question did ramble (sorry), I'll reword and shorten it.


Based on these criteria: snow and/or good snowmaking, good instructors,
not overcrowded / no huge lines, something to do for the non-skier.
Tubing or sledding a plus but not necessary
, which ski resort would you choose in late Dec/early Jan?
western NY - Holiday Valley/Holimont
WV - Silver Creek part of Snowshoe?
NC - Appalachian (school), Beech, Hawksnest, Sugar?

Thank you for your opinion.
post #3 of 18
That's an interesting set of options... Would you be going via the Catskills, as well?

HeluvaSkier and Lars can comment on Western NY. I'm not sure if anyone is likely to have skied in all of those areas... I would think farther north would be better at this time of year...
post #4 of 18
If you choose NC, I would say Sugar has the better snowmaking and harder runs (if they are open). Beech has a high speed quad which greatly reduces your time in line. My kids and wife like Beech much better.
post #5 of 18
Sounds like Snowshoe is not too far off route for you. It is a little pricey, but would provide a nice experience at the tail end of your trip from Jan 2-4.
post #6 of 18

Ha!

north carolina is a dump.

I have never skied west virginia.


ny would be the best option. maybe try vermont or maine.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
ssh, no we would be coming over from northern Ohio, wasn't planning to go as far as the Catskills. Someone had mentioned Peek'n Peak to us, but from what I've read in the archives here, Holiday Valley sounded like it might be a little better and not too much further east.

Roadrash, thanks for the NC tip. Being a busy time of year, sounds like Beech may be better, then, as we drive to Asheville.

JamesJ, Snowshoe isn't too far off our track, but I read so many opinions here that it's too crowded, too expensive, dangerous skiers, etc., that I had taken it off the list. But I did note that Silvercreek was mentioned as less crowded, which is why I was asking about that part of Snowshoe. I guess I'm just concerned the place will be overrun at that time.



I think we'll shoot for Holiday Valley & Holimont around the new year, then if that doesn't work out, we'll try one of the places further down the road on the way home.

Thank you folks for sharing what you know about those choices! Happy Holidays and hope you can all fit some skiing in soon.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by srq View Post
I think we'll shoot for Holiday Valley & Holimont around the new year, then if that doesn't work out, we'll try one of the places further down the road on the way home.
A fine plan.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by srq View Post
Based on these criteria: snow and/or good snowmaking, good instructors,
not overcrowded / no huge lines, something to do for the non-skier.
Tubing or sledding a plus but not necessary
, which ski resort would you choose in late Dec/early Jan?
western NY - Holiday Valley/Holimont
WV - Silver Creek part of Snowshoe?
NC - Appalachian (school), Beech, Hawksnest, Sugar?
This is a joke right? You HAVE skied the east coast during holiday weekends before? I think you have an impossible set of expectations without a detour that takes you several thousand miles west.

I know, I used to work there.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
This is a joke right? You HAVE skied the east coast during holiday weekends before? I think you have an impossible set of expectations without a detour that takes you several thousand miles west.

I know, I used to work there.
This is why I suggested Jan 2-4. One could actually probably check-in at a place like Snowshoe or Holiday Valley around mid-day on New Years Day, watch the last of the hoards depart and have two or three very nice midweek days of skiing on Jan2-4. But that might cut into the time original poster wanted for Asheville sightseeing.
post #11 of 18
Your best options IMO are...

Holiday Valley, Ny - never been there but I am sure helve would chime in

Seven Springs, Pa - if you like the great snowmaking easier terrain, apres skiing, bumps and terrain parks.
Blue Knob, Pa if you like steeps, challenge and real skier mountain above all else
Snowshoe, Wv if you like high priced intrawest resorts that pretty much arent worth it.
Timberline, Wv if you like a long vertical, great grooming and chill resort. tree skiing to if there is enough snow.
post #12 of 18

Opinion on Snowshoe

If you try Snowshoe, definitely do the Silver Creek side. No crowds at all normal mid-week (don't know about holiday time though). Has a couple easy greens and mostly blues that don't criss-cross, so you're not dodging others all the time (like at Snowshoe). Try to find a vrbo.com unit instead of SilverCreek/Snowshoe lodging to save costs. BUT, they may not have much open that early. However, they do tons of snowmaking if cold enough, so just need to check their website (www.snowshoemtn.com) for conditions.

Can't comment on the others as I've never been there.

P.S. - There are a couple small towns within 20-25 miles of Snowshoe/Silvercreek that have 1 or 2 motels for $60 night.
post #13 of 18
From Northern Ohio, Holiday Valley is ~3 hours as well as 7 Springs.

Plus for HV: They are doing better than us right now for natural and colder temps.

Plus for 7S: If the temps stay down, our massive snowmaking will have most of the mtn open by Jan 1. It's also got you heading in the direction of home.

Both are similar sized, similar terrain.

Any place in the Mid-Atlantic will be busy during your stay.
post #14 of 18
By my standards everywhere around WV is still pretty lame.

Winterplace, WV is barely open

Snowshoe, (which is next to Silver Creek) is supposed to get snow this weekend. It is expensive, and full of Southern skiers/boarders jus itchin to get their high speed tree hug on. (sorry, Lord forgive me for my transgressions)

Timberline (my preference) and Canaan are also barely open.

So for 'apres' and conditions Snowshoe would have to get the OK. (Snowshoe and I have this kind of hate and luke warm affection thing going)
post #15 of 18
Snowshoe will remind you of Tremblant because they are both Intrawest resorts. It has a nice village at the top of the mountain with lots of dining/shopping options. A shuttle bus runs between Silvercreek and Snowshoe, so if you stay at Silvercreek, you can still apre at Snowshoe.

But, Snowshoe is expensive. It is the best skiing south of New York, and they know it. The lift tickets rival anything you'd pay out west, as does the lodging. Off-the-mountain options have grown in recent years, but they are still few and far between. Most of the restaurants OTM close up early, and some of the lodging options can be a bit spartan, to say the least. Some can be down right nasty. There is a nice B&B called the Morning Glory Inn close to the base, but you'll have to drive down the mountain at the end of the day (which you won't want to do if you've been in the apres).

Also, the crowds are bad on an average weekend. God help you during the holidays. Intrawest has built tons of new lodging, but they've done little to upgrade the slopes. So now there are lots more skiers on the same number of runs. Most of the blues/greens dump you into a single lift line that can get absolutely ridiculous (think 10 simultaneous lines 10 skiers deep).

Timberline is nice if they have snow (in fact, Canaan Valley is a very pretty area with nice hiking trails and natural views), but the lifts are slow and the amenities aren't there (but neither are the crowds). In fact, the base lodge should be avoided at all costs. The food is wretched and there's no brown-bagging allowed. The town of Davis a few miles away has nice dining/lodging options (check out the Bright Morning Inn). Canaan Valley is a state park ski area...not nearly as nice as Timberline.

Forget about Winterplace, and any other place in NC or VA. You'd be lucky to find snow there anyway.

I know you were looking at western NY, but I would try to make it to the Catskills if I were you. Hunter and Windham are two very nice mountains a short drive apart. Hunter is a nice little town with some good places to stay and eat. Windham is a little more family oriented than Hunter.
post #16 of 18
Snowshoe is not the best south of NY, they just happen to have the most infrastructure. That doesnt make them the best.
post #17 of 18
Very true. Depending on your criteria, Snowshoe may not even be the best in WV!!

Best terrain south on NY = Blue Knob
Best overall resort = 7 Springs
post #18 of 18
Going back to the original post, I think Silver Creek is the answer. You get some of the infrastructure benefits of Snowshoe without the many downsides. SC has some great blue/green trails and a lot of kids activities.
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