West Virginia ski season opens this week - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

West Virginia ski season opens this week

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Snowshoe is busy making snow this week. Snowshoe is busy making snow this week.
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    Monday, August 25 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:00:48 GMT
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    A tractor trailer is blocking part of Route 2. The road is closed until further notice. Drivers heading in both direction are being asked to use the Big Ben Bowen Highway connector by Target to get around.

Skiers and snowboarders will be heading to the mountains of West Virginia this week as the first downhill area will be opening for the 2013/2014 season.  Snowshoe Mountain is planning to open this Wednesday, Nov. 27, kicking off its 40th season with at least 3 lifts and about 10 trails for opening day.

The other alpine areas in the state — Canaan Valley, Timberline, Oglebay and Winterplace — are all planning to open for the season the early part of December. Officials with Winterplace indicate the mountain may open early due to favorable weather conditions.

The recent cold temperatures throughout the mountains of West Virginia have allowed the resort's snowmakers to work around the clock covering the slopes for skiing and snowboarding.  For the latest conditions go to www.goskiwv.com.

"The skiers and snowboarders here for the Thanksgiving holiday are going to be pleased with the amount of snow we are opening up with," says Dave Dekema, Snowshoe Mountain's marketing director. "We are also expecting natural snow this week, so that will help the conditions." 

The snowmakers at all of the state's ski resorts can produce manmade snow whenever temperatures permit, allowing the industry to cover the slopes for skiers and snowboarders.  When snowmaking conditions are at their best (in the low teens), more than 20,000 tons of snow is being produced in West Virginia per hour, enough snow to cover 20 football fields with a foot of snow each hour.

The Mountain State's resorts annually attract more than 800,000 skier visits, and last year that figure was reached.

"It's great to open for the season, all of the resorts are ready for the skiers and snowboarders," says Terry Pfeiffer, president of the West Virginia Ski Areas Association and president of Winterplace. The top states providing skiers and snowboarders visiting West Virginia slopes are Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida. 

The ski and snowboard season traditionally, weather permitting, continues from Thanksgiving through early April. The five-month-long ski season in West Virginia has an estimated economic impact of over $250 million and 5,000 jobs at the resorts and other related companies. 

For more information on skiing and snowboarding in West Virginia go on-line at www.goskiwv.com