CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Santa Claus wasn’t able to deliver a white Christmas in the Kanawha Valley last week, but that didn’t stop the state’s major ski resorts from keeping their slopes glistening with snow.
About 800,000 skiers hit the slopes and trails of the state’s seven major ski areas each year, and about 35 percent of those visitors come during the three-week period surrounding the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
“It’s wall-to-wall business right now,” said Joe Stevens, West Virginia Ski Areas Association spokesman. “All the resorts pull out all the stops right now. It’s all-hands-on-deck because of the size of the crowds.”
The state’s ski industry has been estimated to provide a $250 million annual boost to the state’s economy, accounting for about 5,000 jobs across the state.
West Virginia has five downhill skiing resorts — Canaan Valley, Timberline, Snowshoe Mountain, Winterplace and Oglebay — and two cross-country skiing areas, Elk River Touring Center and Whitegrass.
While the weather was unseasonably warm in most of the state in the days leading up to Christmas, that didn’t put a stop to the snow-filled fun at Canaan Valley, Snowshoe Mountain, Timberline and Winterplace. Each are equipped with snow-making machines that can keep the slopes covered even when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating…