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Snowshoe Mountain
Snowshoe Mountain.png
The Village at Snowshoe.jpg
the Village at Snowshoe
Location: Pocahontas County,
West Virginia
Nearest city: Marlinton, West Virginia
Coordinates: 38°24′32″N 79°59′41″W / 38.40889°N 79.99472°W / 38.40889; -79.99472 (Snowshoe Mountain)
Top elevation: 4,848 feet (1,478 m)
Base elevation: 3,348 feet (1,020 m)
Skiable area: 244 acres (0.99 km2)
Runs: 60
Longest run: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
Lift system: 14 chairlifts
Snowfall: 180 inches (460 cm) per year
Web site: snowshoemtn.com

Snowshoe Mountain is a ski resort located in Snowshoe, West Virginia, in the Allegheny Mountains. The resort is located in the bowl shaped convergence of two mountains, Cheat and Back Allegheny, at the head of the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. Snowshoe is home to the second highest point in the state and the peak elevation for Cheat Mountain, at Thorny Flat, which reaches 4,848 feet (1,478 m).

The Village at Snowshoe is located at the summit of the mountain, rather than at its base. While Snowshoe is still best known for its winter activities, today the resort has extensive mountain biking trails, a popular golf course, wedding and convention areas, and a number of summer outdoor activities. The resort comprises the Snowshoe and Silver Creek ski areas. About 480,000 skiers visit the resort each year, primarily from West Virginia and the larger cities of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

Contents

Mountain

A view of the Village at Snowshoe looking towards the Allegheny Springs lodge.

Snowshoe Mountain is the name of the resort, not the name of the mountain itself; the resort is located on Cheat Mountain. Cheat's highpoint is Thorny Flat, which reaches the resort's highest elevation of 4,848 feet (1,478 m). The resort makes up 244 acres (0.99 km2) in total, which includes the Snowshoe Mountain and Silver Creek areas; the mountains have a total of 60 slopes and trails. Two trails, Cupp Run and Shay's Revenge, have a 1,500 feet (457 m) vertical drop, the highest in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. The mountain summit receives an average of 180 inches (457 cm) of snowfall each winter.

Snowshoe had originally been envisioned as a four season destination, although it would take years for mountain bike and horseback riding trails to become a significant draw. One key advantage for the mountain has continued to be its cooler temperatures, due to its elevation. With a mean temperature of 28 °F (−2.2 °C) in January and 68 °F (20.0 °C) in July, Snowshoe can be considerably cooler than nearby areas at lower elevations.

The resort has a base of 1,400 condominium and lodge hotel units, most of which are independently owned but managed by the resort. The average winter season is just slightly more than 130 days each year, while the spring, summer, and fall seasons typically include a series of sports, recreation, and cultural events.

History

Starbucks in the Snowshoe Village.

Snowshoe Mountain opened to skiing on December 13, 1974. The area had been logged from about 1905 to 1960, after which it was virtually barren and abandoned. Thomas "Doc" Brigham discovered the mountain and believed it would be a good location to build a new ski resort. Brigham, a dentist from North Carolina, had previously opened the Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain ski areas.

The ski trails and lifts were given names that recalled the history of logging such as Grab Hammer, J-Hook, Ball Hooter, and Skidder. Two trails, Shay's Revenge and Heisler Way, were named for brands of gear-driven steam locomotives that ferried men and logs around the mountains during the logging era.

Although Brigham had high hopes for Snowshoe, the mountain went through a difficult first decade plagued by financial problems. Over the next several years, though, the resort's reputation and popularity would grow, and in 1992 it purchased the Silver Creek ski area which is just a half mile away.

A view of the Village at Snowshoe looking towards the Rimfire and Allegheny Springs lodge.

The resort was purchased in 1995 by Intrawest, a Canadian ski-resort operator which had become well known for expanding mountain resorts through village-style commercial and condominium real estate development. In 1999, Intrawest opened the Rimfire Lodge, its first development in what it called "The Wildcat Village" (a name which later fell out of use). The village expanded rapidly, with additional condominium-hotel developments opening over the coming years, including Highland House, two phases of Allegheny Springs, The Seneca, and Expedition Station. One development, Eight Rivers, was to have broken ground in 2007, but the project was eventually postponed and the land area is now used by a small surface ski lift used, in part, by the resort's ski school.

In addition to the central village, Intrawest has also assisted developing "outside neighborhoods," including Soaring Eagle Lodge in 2006 and Sawmill Village in 2007, both of which were developed independently. In 2006, Intrawest was acquired by the private equity firm Fortress Investment Group. Intrawest continues to operate as an independent unit of Fortress.

See also

External links

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