If you are visiting Pennsylvania, be sure to check out Hidden Valley Ski Resort for a family-oriented ski experience. Find out more about what this resort has to offer in this exclusive LoveToKnow interview with resort spokesperson Robert Duppstadt.
Hidden Valley History
LoveToKnow (LTK): Can you give us a brief history of Hidden Valley Resort?
Robert Duppstadt (RD): Hidden Valley Ski Resort has been around for about 50 years. The ski area has always been recognized for its very family-friendly setting. It grew as a ski area in the early days attracting visitors from western Pennsylvania and outlying markets within three hours of the resort. The resort changed ownership in the early 1980s. During the 80s, the resort expanded with additions to the ski lodge and the development of a conference center, and the construction of an 18-hole championship golf course. Hidden Valley flourished as a ski area, conference center and family resort through the mid 1990s. In 2007, the resort changed ownership again.
The past two years have seen many improvements to the resort. Guests have enjoyed a new quad chairlift and the installation of 80 state-of-the-art TechnoAlpin snowmakers that now provide the most consistent snow in the region. All new skis, snowboards, boots and helmets have been purchased for the rental shop to provide guests with the latest equipment.
The Ski Experience
LTK: What makes skiing unique at Hidden Valley?
RD: Hidden Valley is the perfect place for families. The mountain offers a lot of gentle rolling terrain that is perfect for younger children. Of course there is also some black diamond terrain and we have designated Jaguar slope for terrain park features.
Our park crew also offers beginner level features in our Continental terrain park. The ski lodge itself has a very comfortable feel to parents who wish to relax by the fireplace while the kids are out on the mountain. Our instruction team, Wintersports U, also offers several unique programs geared to families. We offer a Very Important Family, or VIF, that is designed for the family that wants to learn to ski or ride together. The package includes concierge treatment from a preferred parking space, through the rental shop to help get the proper fitting gear and to the slopes. They also offer several programs designed for kids and teenagers. The overall atmosphere at Hidden Valley is very friendly.
LTK: When does your ski season begin and end?
RD: We target Thanksgiving weekend to open for the season. If weather permits, we will actually offer our popular free ski and ride weekend then. Anyone can get a complimentary ski ticket with a donation of canned foods. The donations will benefit the several local food banks. The season typically runs to the third weekend in March. I would advise guests to visit our web site to get the latest news on opening day.
LTK: On average, how much snow do you get each season?
RD: Hidden Valley receives between 105 and 110 inches of natural snowfall during a typical winter. Our fully automated, state-of-the-art snowmaking system also helps us provide a great ski and snowboard experience.
Ski Industry Trends
LTK: What are some of the trends you are seeing in the ski industry?
RD: Snowboarding continues to be the attraction that draws kids and teenagers to winter sports. However, there are more people converting to twin tip skis. The twin tips are skis that people are using in the terrain parks. They allow kids to enjoy rails, jumps and other features in the parks. I think helmets are becoming more popular. I think they were often seen as not being fashionable - today more and more adults are beginning to wear them.
Trails and Terrain
LTK: Can you tell us a little about the terrain and trails?
RD: Hidden Valley has a lot of terrain for beginner and intermediate skiers. The mountain also features a lot of tree-lined trails which offer peaceful scenic runs that allow you to enjoy the setting. Our snowmaking and grooming are also top-notch, which really is what provides the great winter sports experience.
Lessons and Activities
LTK: Could you tell us about the lessons and programs?
RD: Wintersports U offers a complete menu of lessons and programs. There are basic group lessons and private lessons for any ability. There are also many custom programs from the Very Important Family, which I mentioned earlier, to programs for teenagers like the Excel and Parks & Pipes 101.
We offer Lil' Rippers and Rippers for kids age 4 to 13 of any ability level. Wintersports U also offers a Sunday Night Adult program and a Tuesday Night Ladies' Program. There is something for everyone when it comes to instruction at Hidden Valley Resort.
LTK: What are some family activities that are being offered at your resort?
RD: The resort's snow tubing park offers six very steep chutes or runs. The park is serviced by a special handle tow and a new conveyor lift. Families enjoy hours of thrills snow tubing. We also have horse-drawn sleigh rides through a beautiful trail through the woods. Our Sports Club provides more quality time for the family with its indoor swimming pool, exercise facilities, racquetball, basketball and walleyball courts. Powder Pups, our daycare program, is also available weekends and by appointment during the week.
Future Resort Plans
LTK: What are the future plans for Hidden Valley?
RD: We are going through a sort of renaissance at this time. We plan on continuing to grow our services and enhance our facilities to make sure we are offering the best possible family fun experience. We are still evaluating the operations and getting feedback to determine what will be best for the resort moving forward. The future is very bright here at Hidden Valley.
Something for Everyone
Whether you are a novice skier, an advanced snowboarder or someone who loves to enjoy activities such as tubing, indoor swimming or racquetball, Hidden Valley has it all. This family-friendly resort caters to everyone in your family making sure there is something for everyone to enjoy.