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Silver Creek Gondola
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Updated 3 months ago
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4 months ago

Starting a separate thread so as not to distract from the party bus discussion on the “state of the shoe” thread…is the construction of a gondola actually something that has a chance of happening in the next few years? I know it has been mentioned here a few times over the years. Not sure how I feel about this - seems like there are other areas where resources could be better spent. What do the Snowshoe regulars here think?

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

wgo wrote:

Not sure how I feel about this - seems like there are other areas where resources could be better spent. What do the Snowshoe regulars here think?

I think I’m on your side.  I’d rather see trail expansion, upgraded lift(s) for Powder Monkey and Silver Creek.    

4 months ago

They could build a high speed gondola/chair that would go to the top of the Basin side with an upload/download station there, have an up load station near Powder Monkey/Grabhammer that would also go on to Silver Creekwith load/unload there. This single lift would solve the over crowded Ballhooter lift problem, provide tranortation to/ from Silver Creek, possibly allowing the ski school being moved to Silver Creek.  Probably would minimize the need for frequent bus service between The Basin and SC.

4 months ago

I don’t feel expanded terrain is the answer to the basin crowds even though I’m in favor of more options.  Reducing crowds means moving people to other parts of the mountain.  Instead of cutting new terrain, think of Silver Creek as “new trails” because of it’s lack of use.  SC often isn’t open til noon, and when it is there’s few skiers there.  The afternoons are pretty sparse.  People want convienence.  The bus system has so many deterents….lug your equipment to bus stop, wait for bus, watch sh*t-show of people climbing in, sweaty sardine ride, unload, etc.  A gondola, or chair, moves the masses.  Sugarbush did it decades ago when they joined Lincoln Peak and Mt Ellen.

Options for expanded terrain?  Personally I’d like to see more bc and tree/glades open, as well as several of the lift lines.  The old Hawthorne line might be cool but it’s isolated so adds to complex logistics.  Probably options in Western Territory…skier’s left of Shays and right of Cupp (bike park). For new typical grn/blu/blk trails the only new terrain I see would be skier’s left of Flying Eagle lift @ SC and in the bowl to right of Sawmill Glades (requires new lift terminating near bottom of Soaring Eagle).

I see some changes happening in the next 2-3 yrs.

4 months ago

I’d be in favor of a Silver Creek gondola.  I’ve been going to Snowshoe for 15 years now, and have never been there (Silver Creek) once.  Now that I’m in my mid 30’s with a family, I find myself skiing all over the Basin with my 7 y/o.  Silver Creek would give us access to more beginner / intermediate terrain, as well as the ski school when Expedition Station is sold out.  I suppose it would also give access to that lodging.

I recognize that there is already bus service, but I can never get others to go with me.  I’ve started taking more beginners and never - evers to Snowshoe, which is great for the sport.  But, with a large group, it’s even harder to overcome the inertia to get everyone on a bus and head there.  Instead, we just clog up the lift lines in the Basin (like everyone else).  

All that said, I think the #1 thing Snowshoe needs is better lodging options.  Specifically, more affordable house rentals, and a chain hotel or two for people to use points.  I can use SPG, Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt points to have fantastic options at all kinds of resorts out west (last season I stayed on points in Whistler, Steamboat, and Park City).  I would love it if Snowshoe would get a nice chain hotel (think Westin, Sheraton, Hyatt Regency, Hilton, or Marriott).  

4 months ago

To me, the big problem with snowshoe is that it advertises 1500 vertical, but actually has only 700 plus a couple of 1500’ runs on the Cupp side.  In other words, it’s actually a small mountain on the scale of say Wisp.  Overcrowding in some areas is to be expected.

on the positive side, the silver creek area is underused and in new snow with a little wind you can have untracked or near untracked on the flying (soaring?) eagle side, with little or no competition.

4 months ago

I have to agree about the groups and Silver Creek.  I have taken large scout groups to shoe several times and getting on a bus is a no-no.  Even when I am on my own, I don’t want to waste the nearly 1 hour round trip to go from lift to lift.  It is sort of all or nothing.  Then stupidly I go at night when SC slopes really are crowded.  So regretfully I am pro Gondi, even though the concept sounds stupid.

Also - lol @ Riesen  - we are so diverse - Here I am saying please God no big hotel chains and no more lodging without more slopes.  Too damn crowded on the slopes now, even Cupp. Thank God for Shays. I don’t mind the fake vert that is what you get down here and you want the benefits of the 4100’ base horseshoe to keep some snow and the spruce are nice. They seem kind of stuck - they get the huge crowds but expansion of terrain and snowmaking would be damn expensive and risky.  Gondi seems stupid but they need to get people over to Silver Creek which has even less vert, and then replace those lifts that make Timberline’s orange wonder look fast.  And don’t build beside Shays and Cupp, that is the only off-piste I know at shoe.  

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

Gondola - After reading some of the posts above, I’m warming to the Gondi idea.  

Hotel -  I do not see that happening.  The place that would sit empty all of April and May and be lucky to get 25% occupancy Jun  through Nov.  The economics are not there IMO.

Affordable Lodging -  I think the days of old Spruce Lodge are long gone.  No one can afford to maintain a building up there while collecting Motel 6 rates for 3 or 4 months during the season.  

Midweeks - I never understood why more people are not willing to use a few vacation days and go during mid week. They do it for their summer vacation.   They would avoid the crowds AND save a TON on lifts and lodging.

 

4 months ago

Midweeks - I never understood why more people are not willing to use a few vacation days and go during mid week. They do it for their summer vacation.   They would avoid the crowds AND save a TON on lifts and lodging.

This, Snowshoe is the best place in WV  make that the midAtlantic to ski on Tuesday. I haven’t been there on a weekend for ten years. It’s crowded on the weekends you say ;) ?

 

4 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

Gondola - After reading some of the posts above, I’m warming to the Gondi idea.  

Hotel -  I do not see that happening.  The place that would sit empty all of April and May and be lucky to get 25% occupancy Jun  through Nov.  The economics are not there IMO.

Affordable Lodging -  I think the days of old Spruce Lodge are long gone.  No one can afford to maintain a building up there while collecting Motel 6 rates for 3 or 4 months during the season.  

Midweeks - I never understood why more people are not willing to use a few vacation days and go during mid week. They do it for their summer vacation.   They would avoid the crowds AND save a TON on lifts and lodging.

 

My thoughts on all this.

Gondola - good idea.  But the only time I have issues with the busses is between 4 and 5 when Snowshoe shuts down.  Then the bus system becomes unworkable.

Hotel- SPG hotels are the only reason that I have ever been able to ski out west.  In a past life I was a traveling consultant and had more points than I knew what to do with.  I would love to be able to ski in the mid atlantic with these points.  I was on a project once that made us stay in a holiday inn.  Because of that I have been able to use my points at the one in Elkins and Seven Springs.  Both are inconvenient because they are no where near the action.

Affordable Lodging- I find the lodging at snowshoe to not be outrageous.  If you book three nights you get the fourth free when using an AMEX and you get some eprcentage off for being a season pass holder.  

Midweeks- This is the only time to ski anywhere in the midatlantic unless you are going to Canaan Valley.  I often end up at Snowshoe one a weekend with a social group.  Im ok with that as long as Im not focusing on skiing.  But if I am there primarely to ski, I prefer it be on  Monday-Thursday.  That also makes lodging a lot cheaper.

4 months ago

FWIW chase ultimate rewards travel includes snowshoe. I think u still get hit for resort fees, but there are options

4 months ago

For those who spend time at Snowshoe in the summer time, would there be use for a gondi then?  I assume people stay at Silver Creek during the summer.  They take the bus to the main village, correct?

All of the gondolas I know about in the northeast run during the off-season.  Definitely a draw for Whiteface and Jay.  Sunday River uses the chondola during the summer.  I would guess most people opt to ride in a gondola car instead of on a chair.  While it’s possible to get some people to ride an open chairlift, a lot easier to get people who don’t ski into a gondola.  During a fall trip to Lake Placid, I talked the non-skiing father who is scared of heights into riding the gondola with the rest of his family.  I’ve been skiing with mom and the kids at Massanutten for a few years.

A new gondi is being built at Belleayre this summer.  Those who only go to Belleayre for skiing think it’s a waste of money.  But most ski areas/resorts that intend to be around for the long haul are spending time and money in order to make money during the spring-summer-fall to pay for upgrades such as snowmaking for ski season.

4 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

Hotel -  I do not see that happening.  The place that would sit empty all of April and May and be lucky to get 25% occupancy Jun  through Nov.  The economics are not there IMO.

I don’t see a chain hotel at the top, maybe SC if the gondy goes in.  IMO the best chance is at the bottom.  With the new poo plant online, and planned improvements to water system, the infrastructure is now there to support commercial development.  Would see some traffic for shoulder season (local fishing).  I know the new owner of Marlinton Motor Lodge….they do very well (surprisingly).  The summer traffic overall has incresed in recent yrs.  Many weekends the main parking lot is full.

4 months ago

marzNC wrote:

For those who spend time at Snowshoe in the summer time, would there be use for a gondi then?  I assume people stay at Silver Creek during the summer.  They take the bus to the main village, correct?

Silver creek lodging would use it, but the hiking trails and XC biking trail system goes all over silver creek. I suspect to make it worth running during summer, silver creek could use a few more things to do, but they aren’t starting with a blank slate over there.

One of the selling points on most “scenic” lift rides is they take you to the top where the best views are, snowshoe can’t really take that marketing approach…

4 months ago

Seems like the consensus here is that a gondi would help spread the crowds out, as opposed to just being a flashy upgrade that serves no real purpose. I do wonder how much it would actually help with the Ballhooter lift crowds - that will still be a choke point for people trying to move to different parts of the Mountain.

The upcoming season will be our first as Snowshoe regulars. We will do the midweek thing a couple times, but that pesky school year will limit the number of times we can do this. Otherwise we anticipate some Saturdays at SC, and only using the Ballhooter lift before 10 am on weekends, and maybe after lunch on Sundays.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

wgo wrote:

The upcoming season will be our first as Snowshoe regulars. 

Here’s my take (and several others in our group) We only have $230 invested in our season pass.  We are LUCKY to be able to ski the Shoe 10 - 15 - 20 days a year.  On MANY occasions, we’ve called it a day early due to crowds / conditions.  Call us soft, but we have even passed on days with too much wind / rain / extreme cold.  

We’re there to enjoy ourselves.  Over the years we’ve skied these trails hundreds of times.  We’ll ski them hundreds more.   We’ve made many friends over the years and seem to enjoy the camaraderie as much as the skiing.

I realize this recipe is not for everyone.  For those who ski in any and every condition, don’t admonish us, thank us for staying out of the way.  We are a few less people standing in the Ballhooter line.

I hope you and your family find what works best for you and you have a blast.

4 months ago

Great post, you are right skiing is supposed to be FUN.

4 months ago

wgo wrote:

The upcoming season will be our first as Snowshoe regulars. We will do the midweek thing a couple times, but that pesky school year will limit the number of times we can do this. Otherwise we anticipate some Saturdays at SC, and only using the Ballhooter lift before 10 am on weekends, and maybe after lunch on Sundays.

I concur with BD’s comments.  Also, to mix it up a bit, skip the morning on Ballhooter and go straight to Cupp for endless laps under ideal snow conditions and no crowds until ~11am….then move on to SC.  Hope to see you out there.

4 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

wgo wrote:

The upcoming season will be our first as Snowshoe regulars. We will do the midweek thing a couple times, but that pesky school year will limit the number of times we can do this. Otherwise we anticipate some Saturdays at SC, and only using the Ballhooter lift before 10 am on weekends, and maybe after lunch on Sundays.

I concur with BD’s comments.  Also, to mix it up a bit, skip the morning on Ballhooter and go straight to Cupp for endless laps under ideal snow conditions and no crowds until ~11am….then move on to SC.  Hope to see you out there.

You’ll see us out there. I am sure we will work it out.

4 months ago

jimmy wrote:

Great post, you are right skiing is supposed to be FUN.

+1

4 months ago

Relative the new chondola discussion, as mentioned in my earlier post, I envision this lift having an unloading and loading platform up top near the village and the top of Ballhooter.  Think of an expanded  grabhammer lift  that runs from the village to silver creek with at least three loading/unloading platforms, perhaps more (at top of basin with easy village access, at bottom of Basin below present grabhammer loading platform, and at silver creek).  It would be high speed with both chairs and gondola cars.  The gondola cars would facilitate the long haul to/from silver creek when the weather is wet or frosty, especially at night.  It certainly would releave some of the Ballhooter crowd, especially those that are skiing the blue & green trails and now riding back up on Ballhooter.  It would facilitate moving most of the ski school to Silvercreek.

MorganB

aka The Colonel

4 months ago

How far has the design of the gondala gotten? Are there any actual engineering diagrams? And where would the SC terminus be - at the bottom of the Cubb Run lift? Folks would then need to take this second lift to get to the top SC, so I would forsee the need for lift improvements at SC as well…

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

wgo wrote:

How far has the design of the gondala gotten? 

A couple others here may be privy to more info. I thought this was something Frank DeBerry mentioned at a meeting or gathering as an item on his “wish list”. 

Perhaps all of us are ahead of ourselves?

3 - 4 years ago, he made mention at one of our spring meetings about a 6 pack lift at Ballhooter and moving the 4 pack to Powder Monkey.  

4 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

wgo wrote:

How far has the design of the gondala gotten? 

A couple others here may be privy to more info. I thought this was something Frank DeBerry mentioned at a meeting or gathering as an item on his “wish list”. 

Perhaps all of us are ahead of ourselves?

Sure we are, but it makes for good summer time banter….better than discussing weather. Yes this and other projects are on Frank’s wish list. Intrawest had been shopping Shoe around for a while so there was little to no interest in making any large capital investments with long term ROI.  With new ownership, it gives hope so lets enjoy the day-dreaming to get us through the dog days knowing everything is just speculation.  Besides, you never know who is reading the thread and pick up some good ideas!

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
4 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

With new ownership, it gives hope so lets enjoy the day-dreaming to get us through the dog days knowing everything is just speculation.  Besides, you never know who is reading the thread and pick up some good ideas!

OK -  I promise not to be a Debbie Downer.  

Can we hold our first “We Want Gondi” meeting on Friday, Aug 11?  I’ll bring a couple growlers from that place in Elkins.

4 months ago

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

 

Can we hold our first “We Want Gondi” meeting on Friday, Aug 11?  I’ll bring a couple growlers from that place in Elkins.

You’re on!

4 months ago

wgo wrote:

where would the SC terminus be - at the bottom of the Cubb Run lift?

I think this would be a huge mistake. If they are going to take on a large scale project like this I think you have to build the SC station somewhere that it can be used by nonriders who just want to go to the village (shopping, eating, etc etc). 

 

I honestly dont know how the Silver Creek HOA hasnt made this a larger issue… with all of the problems I have heard them having this is the only thing that I think could really turn them around. Its the only thing that would ever made me reconsider about staying there. 

4 months ago

Exactly why it is a proposal!

3 months ago

I would love to see a Gondi to Silver Creek, but I don’t see it happening in the next 10 years. If there was some kind of new, improved Village over in Silver Creek, that takes people over there not just to ski but also do something else - eat, shop, etc, that’s the way a gondi becomes a possibility. Until that, it’s buses!

3 months ago

Egg raid, The Basin to SC chondola would make sense if the opposite of your premise is true (it would move people from SC housing to eat, drink, etc at the Basin) and if it also served as another high speed lift from bottom of Basin up to the Basin/Village condo level)

MorganB

3 months ago

I guess I was thinking that eventually the current Village may be dated, and if they wanted to do new development at SC the gondola could be a way to get people there. Not that I want to see a new Village, but the Gondola would be very cool. 

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