Is there any interest in a Mid-Atlantic Gathering?

Is there any interest in a 2020 Mid-Atlantic Gathering

  • Yes

    Votes: 10 90.9%
  • No

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters
    11
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LaurelHillCraze

AKA Rob Davis
Skier
Posts
407
Location
Lost in the woods
Traditionally the Mid-A Gathering has been in late February and held at resorts in the Allegheny Mountains in PA and WV. It began at Seven Springs in 2005 and convened there for a few years before switching venues and alternating between Blue Knob PA and Timberline WV until around 2015. The past two seasons Jim Kenney and I hosted weekend gatherings at Laurel Mountain in February. Last season we were able to get the $41 group rate single day tickets at the ticket window by just by asking for the "Support Laurel Mountain" rate. Laurel can be great fun for a weekend if mother nature has been kind:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/1574 and https://www.pugski.com/threads/gathering-at-laurel-mountain-pa-feb-1-3-2019.13917

This season I will no doubt organize another Support Laurel Mountain discount weekend for the Support Laurel Mountain Group. I'm thinking after MLK Holiday but before Presidents. We can organize a Gathering around that weekend but absent natural snow and with only about 40 acres in snowmaking, one could spend a good bit of time in the Wildcat Lounge between skiing 2 different mile-long long intermediate cruisers on 760 vertical and a steep groomed expert drop of around 600 vertical feet. The saving grace in the event of "snowmaking only terrain" is nearby sister resort 7 Springs and 250 acres of snowmaking on 3 faces, 750 vertical and some of the best parks in the east. A weekend Highland Pass covering both resorts plus nearby Hidden Valley (3 resorts for a total of 79 slopes and trails, 9 parks on 465 acres) beginning 4 pm Friday through 9 pm Sunday will cost $169. Weekend passes for Laurel only 9 am Friday until Sunday close cost $107. There is no on-mountain lodging at Laurel but private home rentals are available just outside of Laurel's access road within a mile or two. Motels, cabins, and Airbnb options are available within a 20-minute drive. On mountain accommodations will probably be available at Seven Springs. It is about a 40-minute drive to Laurel.

Unfortunately, Timberline is no longer an option. Blue Knob found new owners before its infrastructure deteriorated to the condition of Timberline, unfortunately, there was a backlog of maintenance and snowmaking issues. They have not made snow on their signature expert trail, Extrovert for the past 3 years. Last season snowmaking failure prevented expert cruiser trail High Hopes to open with any consistency.
 

MarkP

Out on the slopes
Skier
Posts
487
Location
Maryland
I'm up for a Mid-Atlantic gathering. My personal preference at this time would be either of the weekends starting January 24 or 31. The way my winter plans are shaping up the February 8 weekend gets too close to travel starting in the middle of the month.
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020
Moderator
Posts
4,335
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
I'd like to attend, but would like the weekend of Feb. 8th or 15th. Earlier and later run into other Gatherings for me. Unless we're having a good season and could go Jan 11th or 18th. (Not sure where the holiday weekends are in there...)
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
Skier
Posts
6,580
Location
The Bull City
I'm probably good with any weekend dates other than our scout troop weekend. No idea when that will be but odds of it being in February are pretty strong. Although, we also go MLK Sunday some years..
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020
Moderator
Posts
4,335
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
^^^
Well Canaan Valley may still be an option... depending on what the season is looking like and how open they are. Doesn't have the terrain of other places, but is still a lot of fun, IMO.
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
Skier
Posts
6,580
Location
The Bull City
I'd be up for a Snowshoe meet up (personal preference and IKON).
Got a lead on affordable (cheap) lodging at or near the resort? That's always been the obstacle with SnowShoe for most.
 

Dean

Booting up
Skier
Posts
35
Location
DC area
Got a lead on affordable (cheap) lodging at or near the resort? That's always been the obstacle with SnowShoe for most.
No secrets to share. Sharing something mountaintop helps with cost. The snowshoe inn at the bottom is basic and the least expensive. Used to have a couple good vrbo options, but the market has changed. Think ikon gets a small lodging discount through central reservations.
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020
Moderator
Posts
4,335
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
Just to level set some folks that haven't been around for past mid-A gatherings, they've typically been a bit different than the New England or western gatherings.

They've been more family focused and often had a big shared house rental to keep costs down. I think we could get as low as a couple hundred per family for the weekend by going to Blue Knob or Timberline, even with ski-in / ski-out.

Not saying it has to be that way, but it was fun having a shared place and potluck meals.

So that always kept Snowshoe or Seven Springs out of the trade space. Last season was more like other gatherings with folks fending for themselves and no focus on slopeside. Seems that may be the norm now unless Blue Knob improves.
 

johnnyvw

Getting on the lift
Skier
Posts
241
Location
NEPA
I would be up for it, unless it's at CV, that's too far of a drive for me for the limited terrain (unless the conditions are off the charts good). All others mentioned would be fair game. I actually had zero days on the slopes last year, so I'm itching for the upcoming season.
 
Thread Starter
TS
LaurelHillCraze

LaurelHillCraze

AKA Rob Davis
Skier
Posts
407
Location
Lost in the woods
Just to be clear on my position. If there is interest in doing a Mid-A gathering at Laurel/Seven Springs then I can help by getting single-day lift ticket discounts to Laurel. I envision Laurel being the primary spot and lodging would be nearby. There is no on-slope lodging at Laurel but there are a few Airbnb rentals available very close by in Laurel Mountain Village less than a mile from the lift with more lodging options within 20 minutes. I would recommend that Ligonier be the lodging locus as it is a real town with a few dining/watering hole options, a bowling alley/bar & grill, movie theater, a recreated fort with a year-round museum interpreting the French and Indian War. For those familiar with Stowe before their Spruce Peak development, the relationship between Laurel and Ligioner is like a mini version of the relationship between Stowe, the village and Mt. Mansfield, the ski area. I bring this up if there are those that would be looking for a more rounded après ski or family experience. If natural snow is lacking then Seven Springs is available about a 30-minute drive with over 250 snowmaking acres of trails, slopes, parks and pipes. If natural snow is bountiful then Laurel offers the best expert terrain short of Blue Knob for the region. Total skiing acreage for Laurel with a thick natural coat would be less than 100 acres which include the unmarked glades that I know of.

The contrast between Seven Springs and Laurel is drastic. Seven Springs is a full-on 4 season resort with many accommodation options including a 7 story hotel at the base and a condo/cabin village surrounding the ski slopes. The Springs (as we yinzers say) has several on-site bars including the infamous Foggy Goggle at the base, most with live music at some point in the day. There are health spas, indoor pools, hot tube rentals, kids and teen game room, boutique shops, a full-service ski shop, and dining option from very casual to fine dining. Add an extensive shuttle bus system to tie it all together. Oh, and a tubing hill. All of this right at the base. Did I mention the 2 hi-speed 6 packs, 3 fixed-grip quads, 5 triples, 3 magic carpets, and 1 rope tow. It very much feels like a resort.

Laurel has 1 new Skytrac (2016) fixed-grip quad and a rope tow. No park, no pipe. One lodge with a snack bar on the main floor and bar/ light menu restaurant downstairs. and that's it. It feels like the small, pretty well run area with good but limited snowmaking with a clientele that is very friendly and happy to share the mountain with you.

Then there is also nearby Hidden Valley which is a whole other ski resort with an excellent snowmaking system and good lift network on a modest vertical.

The dates I would prefer are Jan 31 to Feb 2 or the next weekend, Feb 7 to Feb 9. The latter will not overlap the Taos Gathering.

That is my case for a Laurel/Seven Springs Gathering. If there is interest in going elsewhere, I would likely attend but I am not in a position to organize for another location. Perhaps a real poll to determine location and dates is in order. I can't seem to post a multi-question poll so perhaps @dbostedo can post one with location and date selections and maybe tag this thread and a new poll so folks might better find this discussion?
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020
Moderator
Posts
4,335
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
I can help @LaurelHillCraze ... but it takes a new thread. Sounds like we want four choices for the poll?

Jan 31-Feb 2, Laurel/Seven Springs
Jan 31-Feb 2, Snowshoe
Feb 7-Feb 9, Laurel/Seven Springs
Feb 7-Feb 9, Snowshoe

Any other options? We can put the poll up and I can lock this thread with a pointer to the new one.
 
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