The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 11, 2013

Mountains of fun

Region’s resorts offer skiing, dining, lodging

The Tribune-Democrat

— This past Sunday’s Living package on outdoor winter sports probably has a lot of area people buckling up for a trip down the slopes.

Can you blame them?

When it comes to skiing, snowboarding or tubing, our region indeed is the envy of enthusiasts from hundreds of miles away.

Within an hour’s drive of downtown Johnstown, recreationists can choose from three of the East Coast’s most noteworthy ski resorts.

Seven Springs and Hidden Valley Four Seasons resorts in Somerset County and Blue Knob All Seasons Resort in Bedford County offer plenty, depending on what you’re looking for in the way of adventure, lodging and fine dining.

The fact that all three are constantly updating facilities and equipment and offering new programs makes them particularly attractive to folks from many states.

“Successful snowmaking efforts combined with several inches of natural snow have set us up for a great early season of skiing and boarding,” Scott Bender, Hidden Valley vice president of resort operations, told our Tom Lavis.

“This season, we are bringing back our learn-to-ski incentive programs and very affordable stay-and-ski-free packages so that everyone can take full advantage of Hidden Valley’s winter programs and facilities.”

Hidden Valley boasts the largest automated, state-of-the-art snowmaking system in the United States, giving it the ability to enhance man-made snow on all areas of its mountain.

“I think we’re going to have a very exciting new year,” Anna Weltz, communications manager at Seven Springs, told reporter Ruth Rice.

For the fourth consecutive year, Seven Springs was ranked No. 1 for terrain parks and pipes on the East Coast by the readers of TransWorld Snowboarding magazine and SKI magazine.

In February, Seven Springs will host U.S. Open Snowboarding Qualifiers Competition.

All three resorts report that snowboarding has gradually become nearly as popular as skiing, even attracting older adults.

Blue Knob’s reputation comes from it being the second-highest mountain in Pennsylvania, behind Mount Davis in Somerset County. It is the state’s highest skiable mountain, offering 34 trails with a vertical drop of 1,072 feet.

Both Seven Springs and Hidden Valley attract many nonskiers and convention-goers year-round. With plenty of housing and dining facilities, they’re big draws for families seeking weekend getaways.

Exciting stuff, isn’t it? Especially when you’re looking for an alternative to sitting out the winter indoors at home.

Let it snow!

Getting in touch

For information on the three resorts:

* Hidden Valley: 443-8000 or

* Seven Springs:, 352-7777 or 800-452-2223.

* Blue Knob: 800-458-3403.

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