BY RUTH RICE
At Seven Springs Mountain Resort, there is a new terrain park for children, lesson programs and snowboarding and snowmaking equipment.
“I think we’re going to have a very exciting new year,” said Anna Weltz, communications manager.
Located near Champion and within 200 miles of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington, D.C., Seven Springs is easily accessible from Exits 91 or 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
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.
Blue Knob, Hidden Valley groomed for fun
Riglet Park, designed for children ages 4-7 and slated to open later this month, will be the resort’s seventh terrain park.
Ringlet Park will feature full and half-day group lessons for snowboarding and freestyle skiing with certified instructors.
“This will teach them technique and self-esteem,” Weltz said.
“This is the perfect age because they have no fear and a great center of balance.”
The park’s overall design will have the look and feel of a baseball field, with different features for children to use.
Lessons must be reserved, and children will be divided into small classes with the same age range and capability.
“You can start private lessons as young as age 2,” Weltz said.
“I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough.”
The Olympic-size Superpipe, located in the resort’s flagship terrain park, The Spot, will make a return for a second consecutive year.
The half-pipe will feature 22-foot walls and will be a prime location for snowboarding and skiing events.
In February, Seven Springs will host the U.S. Open Snowboarding Qualifiers Competition.
“It has qualifiers for the Olympics,” Weltz said. “The half-pipe is a big draw and a huge asset for the resort.”
Seven Springs’ Superpipe is one of two Olympic-sized half-pipes on the East Coast. The other is located in Killington, Vt.
Four hundred new snowboards and bindings were purchased for the rental center, and the Youth Snowsports Academy will have new boots and snowboards for use in the Riglet Park programs.
Weltz said the popularity between skiing and snowboarding is about equal at Seven Springs.
The resort’s snowsports school will introduce four new lesson programs this year.
Every lesson will be taught by a professional instructor.
The First-Time Experience ski or snowboard program will provide students of all ages and abilities with properly fitted rental equipment, a ski/snowboard ticket that includes access to the beginners’ areas valid until 7 p.m. on lesson day, a one-hour or 45-minute group lesson and the opportunity to return to any beginners’ group lesson that same day.
“You’re never too old to learn,” Weltz said. “You can try this even if you’ve done it before and not succeeded. In the group lesson, you are put in with those of the same ability.”
Weltz said she is a big fan of the new After-Work First-Time Experience ski or snowboard program, which will offer guests an alternative to the gym.
This program includes properly fitted rental equipment, a ski/snowboard ticket that includes access to the beginners’ areas valid from 4 p.m. until closing on lesson day and two one-hour group lessons that same day at 4 and 6 p.m.
“Before, we could do private lessons that late but not group lessons,” Weltz said. “You can get friends from work to come out and skip the gym and come to the mountain.”
Students in the Tiny Tots’ Ski and the Riglet Park Snowboard Program who take three Tiny Tots’ full-day lessons will receive their fourth full-day lesson at half-price and their fifth full-day lesson for free under Seven Springs’ new Super Saver program.
This offer is available only during the 2012-13 ski season and also is valid for Junior Snowsports full-day programs.
The Ski With Me program for the family that wants to learn to ski or snowboard together welcomes parents to take a one-hour private lesson with their child, ages 2-7.
To make snow when Mother Nature doesn’t, the resort relies on nearly
1,000 snowmaking towers, 45 ground guns, seven fan guns and eight high-efficiency electric compressors with the
ability to produce up to 1 inch per hour, under ideal conditions.
This season, new snowmaking nozzles have been added to the snow towers located on the lower half of North Face, Giant Steps, Yodeler, Lost Girl and Gunnar slopes.
The nozzles will provide better quality snow by using water in a more efficient manner.
“It’s less use of both electricity and water for more efficient snowmaking,” Weltz said.
The largest and most noticeable project at Seven Springs is a beautification program that has seen crews making repairs to erosion-prone areas and clearing overgrowth and brush on the mountain.
Weltz said this added 20 to 30 feet of terrain to existing slopes and trails.
“With the extreme weather we’ve had – the nor’easter in April and Hurricane Sandy in the fall – plus traffic on the mountain, we have some wear and tear,” Weltz said.
Damaged trees were removed and replaced with more than 100 spruce trees, and lift huts were refurbished.
Skiing and snowboarding tickets Mondays through Thursdays are $51 for a day session – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; $51 for a twilight session – 1 p.m. to closing; $40 for a night session – 4 p.m. to closing; and $57 for an all-day session.
Tickets for Fridays through Sundays are $68 for day sessions, $68 for twilight,
$42 for night and $74 for all day.
Ski rentals range from $42 for an all-day session to $30 for a night session for adults.
Snowboard rentals are $45 for all day and $32 for night sessions for adults.
Information: www.7springs.com, 352-7777 or 800-452-2223.
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