CHAMPION – Somerset County ski resorts are now part of a company that offers some of the most acclaimed outdoor destinations in the country.
And starting in the 2022-23 season, qualified season ticket holders will all be able to enjoy it, whether they’re in western Pennsylvania or the Colorado Rockies.
This is one of the changes Vail Resorts will make when it begins operating Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Hidden Valley and, soon, Laurel Mountain.
GO Laurel Highlands executive director Ann Nemanic said the well-known company will likely attract new visitors to the area.
“We are confident that as word of additional properties under the Vail umbrella spreads, we will see first-time visitors come to the Laurel Highlands area for a new ski experience,” said said Nemanic.
In particular, the move is likely to drive growth outside of the Laurel Highlands Tourist Board’s “traditional markets” – and during the ski season in particular, she said.
Vail Resorts acquired the trio of resorts from the Nutting family in late December for $118 million.
“All in one pass”
Vail officials said they expect area resorts to attract Epic Pass holders from cities as far afield as Cleveland.
“This will provide a regional destination for (the company’s) Epic Pass holders in Pittsburgh as well as those in other critical markets such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Cleveland, who will be able to ski at more resorts closer to home. — and visit the upper-class mountain world to the west — all with one pass,” company officials said in a statement to media in late December.
Vail Resorts acquired each of the resorts’ mountain amenities and assets, as well as the Seven Springs lodging, conference center and amenities.
The company, (NYSE: MTN), operates more than 40 resorts across the country.
In addition to destinations such as Stowe, Vermont and Breckenridge, they own five resorts in Pennsylvania – including Liberty Mountain Resort in Fairfield, Adams County; Roundtop Mountain Resort in Lewisberry, York County; Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg; Franklin County; and two resorts in Lake Harmony, Carbon County – Big Boulder and Jack Frost.
The Nutting family reopened Laurel Mountain in December 2016 through a lease with the state.
The state owns the land, including the lodge and the famous double-diamond Wildcat Slope.
This lease runs until October 2051 and for that to change the state must also sign a transfer. DCNR spokesman Wesley Robinson said.
That shouldn’t be a problem, but the process hasn’t been finalized yet, he added.
‘Perfect successor‘Under Nutting’s ownership, Seven Springs has improved the slopeside experience, renovated its 418-room hotel, added spas and expanded its operations.
Company CEO Bob Nutting described Vail as the right company to take the reins of the stations.
“Vail Resorts is a perfect successor, with a proven track record of honoring the unique character of each of its resorts,” Nutting said. “They are the industry leader in investing in customer experience, employee development and environmental stewardship. We are thrilled that the resorts are now part of the Vail Resorts network and are confident that Vail Resorts will continue to invest in what makes these resorts so special.
Nemanic said the Nutting family deserved kudos for making resorts what they are today.
“Their investment and vision” in Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Hidden Valley Resort and Laurel Mountain “not only created tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities, but also “elevated our destination in the eyes of many,” he said. she declared.
David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat.