Autumn leaves are falling and with it the advent of cooler weather has found its way to the Pennsylvania mountains. The start of the 2018/2019 ski and snowboard season is near. And, the Pennsylvania Ski Area Resorts (SkiPA) are busy improving their resort offerings to ensure another exciting season for families on the slopes. In total, ski resorts across Pennsylvania have made more than $15 million in capital improvements. Skiers, riders and tubers can look forward to enhancements both on and off the slopes. New restaurants, tubing parks and facilities have been added. And, more snowmaking power and coverage along with new trail offerings will accent the slopes. Additionally, visitors can also look forward to more ski perks, special packages and learn to ski and snowboard discounts.
Here are some highlights of what’s new on the Pennsylvania slopes for the 2018/2019 season:
IN THE EAST
Bear Creek Mountain Resort, Lehigh Valley
Bear Creek Mountain Resort, a four-season destination resort, is conveniently located within a short drive from Philadelphia, New York, D.C, and Baltimore. Winter sports enthusiasts can look forward to snow, and lots of it with the purchase of additional snow guns this season, which expands Bear Creek’s already robust snowmaking system. The resort will make it more affordable than ever for families to get on the slopes. First, Bear Creek is offering a Learn to Ski and Snowboard triple pack, featuring three lift tickets, rental packages and lessons for $145. There is also a single user package at $109. Lastly, there is a 5 for $150 ticket pack discount, which is a transferrable option great for holiday gift giving. Beyond these deals, guests will notice new, lower prices on retail items such as weekend lift tickets and lesson options. For more information, visit www.bcmountainresort.com.
Blue Mountain Resort, Palmerton
Blue Mountain Resort is home to Pennsylvania’s highest vertical, the most varied terrain, and some of the longest runs in the region. This season, Blue Mountain is making it easier than ever to hit the slopes without waiting in lines. A new E-store allows families to purchase tickets and rental equipment ahead of time online. Skiers can simply purchase tickets or rental equipment ahead online and then scan their phone at the new kiosks and hit the slopes. This saves time at the ticket booths, as well as at the rental station with a paperless rental process. The resort has spruced up its lift towers and terminals with fresh paint and added new ramps for Comet. Finally, Blue Mountain has upgraded its rental fleet by replacing $400,000 in equipment for this season. For more information, visit www.skibluemt.com.
Camelback Resort, Tannersville
Camelback Resort, PA’s #1 Family Friendly mountain, is geared up for the 2018/19 season with new additions from top to bottom. The mountain added two new ski-in/ski-out restaurants inside exquisitely renovated lodges. Kartrite’s Summit House, is located at the summit of Camelback Mountain and features Contemporary American fare with epic views of the Poconos. Learn more at: www.kartritessummithouse.com. Berrelli’s Family Style Italian is located at the base of Camelback Mountain. It is the only family-style Italian restaurant in the Poconos, featuring a carefully curated international wine bar, wine room and fireside dining. Learn more at: www.berrellis.com. Camelback also cut a new trail, Scarab, connecting the East to the West; cleared 15 acres of beginner trails; and built a new terrain park, located under the Stevenson lift. Camelback added 20, low energy, HKD Impulse snow guns, 6 HKD halo fan guns and 13 low energy, HKD Phaser, portable ground guns and two new Pistenbully groomers. Learn more at: www.skicamelback.com.
Elk Mountain Ski Resort, Union Dale
Elk Mountain Ski Resort is committed to making its facility the best ski resort possible. The resort has made improvements both on and off the mountain including enhancements to buildings, grounds and equipment. Improvements include the addition of a new Pisten Bully 400 grooming tractor and installation of a water pump for increased capacity of the snowmaking system. Additionally, 600 trees were planted, a drainage pipe was installed and many of the buildings received fresh paint. For more information, visit www.elkskier.com.
JFBB Ski Areas (Jack Frost and Big Boulder), Blakeslee
Jack Frost and Big Boulder are nestled in the Pocono Mountains just an hour from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City. The two mountains of Jack Frost and Big Boulder Park complement one another nicely and offer guests two experiences with one lift ticket. Jack Frost presents an out west vibe with glade skiing and riding. Big Boulder Park offers night skiing and riding. And for the more adventurous, Big Boulder offers a variety of terrain parks and features. JFBB is proud to be part of the Peak Resorts family. The new season ticket called the “Peak Pass” gives access to all 7 Northeast Resorts for one price. This includes Jack Frost, Big Boulder, Attitash, Crotched, Hunter, Mount Snow & Wildcat. Peak Resorts is proud to launch the “Peak Discover Program.” The new step-by-step lesson product is aimed at giving skiers the opportunity to “Learn, Practice, & Explore” when they want, where they want at any Peak Resort in the Northeast. JFBB & Peak Resorts has also expanded the Military Discount Card Program offering all active duty, retired & honorably discharged members of the US Military who visit any Northeast Peak Resort a free Military Discount Card. This card entitles them to 40% off midweek/non-holiday lift tickets and 25% off weekend/holiday lift tickets. For more information, visit www.jfbb.com/deals-packages/.
Montage Mountain Resort, Scranton
Montage Mountain features some of the most diverse terrain in Pennsylvania. Boasting 26 trails ranging from beginner to expert, 1000 vertical feet, valley views and full mountain night skiing, there’s something for all ages and skill levels. This season visitors can look forward to an enhanced outside dining experience with additional seating, more grab and go food and beverage offerings and fire pits. The resort has also made improvements to its snow tubing park with the new lighting and the addition of a new tubing groomer, which will add more chutes to the tubing slopes. Finally, skiers will find new rental equipment offerings in the ski shop. For more information, visit www.montagemountainresorts.com.
Shawnee Mountain Resort, East Stroudsburg
Located in the Pocono Mountains, Shawnee Mountain Resort is an ideal beginner and family-friendly ski resort. Snowmaking covers 100% of all Shawnee’s 125 acres of skiable terrain. The big news this season at Shawnee is a fully automated snowmaking system on the Delaware and Country Club trails and in both freestyle terrain parks. This is part of the resort’s multi-year, multi-million-dollar snowmaking upgrade project. Shawnee has also purchased a new Pisten Bully 400 Free Grooming Machine to add to its impressive grooming capabilities. Additionally, the resort has added several new complimentary charging stations, so guests can charge their cell phones and tablets inside both the Hope and Trepp ski lodges. Finally, guests utilizing rental equipment are in for a treat this season with upgraded inventory. For more information, visit www.shawneemt.com.
Ski Big Bear, Lackawaxen
Ski Big Bear in the Poconos is enhancing its snowmaking capabilities with the addition of new snow guns this season. Travelers from New York and New Jersey will especially appreciate great value on new ski and stay packages. And, for the 2018/2019 season, pass perks will increase with even more businesses participating. Season pass perks are additional discounts that can be received by season pass holders at other businesses in the area. For more information, visit www.ski-bigbear.com.
Blue Knob Mountain Resort, Claysburg
Blue Knob All Seasons Resort offers Pennsylvania’s highest skiable mountain at 3146 feet, the longest run at nearly 2 miles, six of the most challenging double black diamond runs and a 1072 foot vertical drop. This year, Blue Knob is opening a new tubing park along with an improved beginners’ area that will include a new magic carpet. The resort has also continued making infrastructure improvements to its snowmaking system with increased water pumping capabilities. For more information, visit www.blueknob.com.
Liberty Mountain Resort, Carroll Valley
Liberty Mountain offers something for all winter sports enthusiasts from skiing, snowboarding and tubing to ice skating on the Alpine Courtyard Skating Rink. For this winter season, the most noticeable change is the transformation of the Alpine Lodge and base area buildings to a more natural look. The chairlifts have also been recoated with classic silver-gray paint reinforcing the natural surroundings of the property. On the slopes, Liberty has replaced 5,200 feet of pipeline on Dipsy Doodle, which will allow for more efficient snowmaking capabilities. On the spa front, the Laventide Salon & Day Spa has expanded with three new rooms of pampering. Finally, snow tubers can now enjoy unlimited snowtubing every Tuesday through Thursday, during non-holiday periods at Boulder Ridge from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. for only $26. For more information, visit www.libertymountainresort.com.
Roundtop Mountain Resort, Lewisberry
The big news at Roundtop Mountain is additional snowmaking at the base on Lower Lafayette’s Leap, Patriot and the Snow Tubing runs. The resort has expanded its snowmaking capabilities for the 2018/2019 season with the addition of HDK fan guns and impulse guns. For more information, visit www.skiroundtop.com.
Tussey Mountain Ski Resort, Boalsbu
Home to the Penn State Ski Team, Tussey Mountain is a popular winter recreation destination for students and locals alike. This year Tussey has invested $145K in improvements. The resort has enhanced its snowmaking operation with the addition of a new pipe and hydrants to its beginner slope. It has also added to its grooming capabilities with an additional Pisten Bully 400 machine, as well as, made improvements to the ski rental shop. For more information, visit www.tusseymountain.com.
Whitetail Resort, Mercersburg
Whitetail Resort has invested more than $1.6 million into capital upgrades this season. For starters, the Limelight trail will have significant improvement to its snowmaking coverage with the addition of 16 high output TechnoA01pin fan guns. This will create increased coverage and better reliability for the snow making system that covers this trail. The Whitetail Adventure Tubing area will feature a new plaza with a covered pavilion and a fireplace with seating with a view of the snow tubing hill. Another highlight is the permanent addition of a new Prinoth Winchat Groomer. This will increase the grooming capabilities on the steeper terrain. Finally, snowboard renters will find a fully upgraded and stocked inventory of 200 Burton boards complementing the rental ski inventory upgrade from last year. For more information, visit www.skiwhitetail.com.
Hidden Valley Resort, Hidden Valley
Hidden Valley is a perfect winter destination for families. It offers 26 slopes and trails, two terrain parks on 110 skiable acres and a first-class snow sports school. This season, the resort is boosting its snowmaking and grooming capabilities. They’ve added two new TechnoAlpin fan guns and a Prinoth BR350 snowcat. Other on mountain improvements include upgrades to the Avalanche Chairlift with new paint, haul rope and seats. For more information, visit www.hiddenvalleyresort.com.
Mount Pleasant of Edinboro, Cambridge Springs
Mount Pleasant of Edinboro offers family-friendly winter fun for all ages. Most of the trails are lit up at night to allow for safe night skiing and snowboarding. The big news this season at Mount Pleasant is more snow! They’ve invested $90K in the snowmaking system. Additionally, the resort made a $20K investment of improvements to the lodge bathroom, exterior siding, signage and vehicles. For more information, visit www.skimountpleasant.com.
Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington
Mystic Mountain is Western Pennsylvania’s ideal learning environment for first-time skiers and snowboarders. There are 25 acres of fun, short lines, friendly trails and experienced instructors. Mystic Mountain is pleased to announce that its ski school is now affiliated with PSIA. And, the tubing park now has a tube shaper, as well as double tubes allowing shorter participants to ride. For more information, visit www.nemacolin.com/activities/snowsports.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Seven Springs
Seven Springs Resort is the state’s largest four-season family resort and winter adventure headquarters. Snowmaking, grooming and lighting improvements are what’s new at Seven Springs this season. The resort has added 19 HKD Impulse R-5 tower snow guns and converted all snowmaking stations on the lower half of North Face Slope to a high-pressure system. Three additional snowmaking stations are being added to Tyrol Slope. Both North Face and Avalanche Slopes will also receive new LED lighting. And a new Pisten Bully 400 ParkPro Snowcat is being added to the grooming fleet. On the terrain front, Seven Springs Parks and Pipes will be building new entrances to the parks and adding other creative new features. Off mountain, Seven Springs is completely renovating Festival Hall to be a coveted elegant venue for weddings and banquets. Additionally, the rental center had added 500 pairs of Rossignol Experience Skis to its fleet. For more information, visit www.7springs.com.
SkiPA is making it easy for families and outdoor enthusiasts with its “First-Time Ski/Snowboard” program. Available for $59, the program includes a beginner lift ticket, group lesson and complete rental. It takes the hassle out of planning. Plus, it makes it easy and affordable for beginners to hit the slopes for the first-time. Quantities are limited, so you’ll want to sign up early. You can only purchase five vouchers per household, and you must place your order by December 30, 2018. You can use your voucher anytime, including holidays and weekends at participating Pennsylvania Ski Area Resorts. For more information, click here.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association and upcoming events, visit www.SkiPA.com. The Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association (PSAA), consisting of member ski areas statewide, is a non-profit association that was developed to promote and serve the Pennsylvania Ski Industry. PSAA works to encourage participation and enjoyment of skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and cross-country skiing in Pennsylvania.