Temperatures have finally dropped and the snowmaking has resumed in the Pocono Mountains. By the end of this week, all seven of the region’s ski areas will be open for business. For the most up-to-date information on opening dates and snow conditions, visit the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau’s Snow Conditions page.
“I think guests to the Pocono Mountains will be pleasantly surprised now that Mother Nature cast a cold spell upon us,” said Carl Wilgus, President and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB). “From snowmaking and learning programs to lodging and dining options, the region’s ski areas have more to offer than ever before.”
The Pennsylvania Ski Area Association has reported what’s new for the 2016 ski season:
Alpine Mountain Resort in the heart of the Pocono Mountains has taken another step to make the weekend a lively affair when the skis and boards come off, and it’s time for après ski relaxation. Construction is complete on the Yuengling Bar and Grill. A new outdoor deck has been planted on the second floor of the lodge for those sunny days and there are new locker rooms with greater storage space. On the mountain, all Lift Towers have been refinished, snowmaking equipment has been upgraded and brand new fan guns have been added.
Big Boulder joins the snow blast movement with its own wizardry. New SMIfan guns will boost the ride and slide experience on parks and trails. For the tubing crowd, the way to the top will be enhanced with a new 600’ magic carpet to ease the way up before the thrill of the ride down. Winter buffs will also glide into newly refurbished lodges and have an enhanced choice of rental equipment.
Innovation is alive and well at Blue Mountain. The learning experience takes a new twist for new and young skiers and riders. Beginning this season, a pair of ski school programs starts right in the rental shop where first timers and upwardly mobile learners will be paired up with their instructors to take the guess-work and stress out of everything from selecting equipment, to stepping into boards and skis and then taking those first steps on the snow. And what snow it will be. Fifty brand new, low energy snow guns have been added to an already impressive arsenal. The Blue Mountain snowmaking system is now over 50% automated. The latest in technology reads the temperature, gauges mountain conditions and cranks out the powder where it will do the most good. Blue Mountain fans are also looking forward to a 40th anniversary next season that will be celebrated with the opening of a 40th trail! This season watch for the naming contest and get in on the fun. And to keep the fun rolling during those evening hours, Blue Mountain will be offering a special “Ski, Ride and Dine” package that includes lift tickets and dinner. Responding to trends indicating smaller groups are now hitting the trails, clusters of 6 to 10 friends rather than the traditional 15 can now take advantage of group discount pricing.
Camelback Mountain is bursting with expansion. It’s a world class game changer for riders and sliders in population-rich New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The doors have opened on Camelback Lodge, a 163 million dollar “ski-in-ski-out” hotel that has been crafted around the largest indoor waterpark in the Northeast. Camelback visitors this year will find 453 suites for destination accommodations, seven pools and 13 water slides in the naturally lit “Aquatopia”. Trail’s End Pub & Grille is the cool spot to be with its outdoor bar and patio, ski-in, ski-out service and warming fire pits, but there are additional bars and restaurants indoors as well as throughout the ski resort’s many guest lodges. On the slopes, learning programs have been expanded to maintain the mountain’s reputation as a leader in converting beginners to lifetime ski and ride enthusiasts. The snow tubing park is the largest in the nation with 42 chutes and two magic carpet lifts.
A new full service restaurant is on the menu for the new season at JACK FROSTMountain. In winter sports tradition, burgers and flatbreads will top the menu items – finger food that’s perfect for that laid back lunch between runs or while relaxing after the lifts close with a nibble, a toddy and some acoustic music to keep the action alive. On the mountain, it’s back to ramping up the snow with an expanded arsenal of hi-tech SMI fan guns to keep the powder inventory growing. Also look for an expanded stock of new high-performance gear in the rental shop.
At Shawnee Mountain the most popular black diamond slope is getting a major snowmaking boost. Two new SMI Super PoleCat tower mounted snow machines have been planted on “Lower Tomahawk”. Electrically powered, the Super PoleCat is a high-performance, big throw snow machine that is energy efficient and fully automated. Mounted on towers high along the edge of the trail, the radio controlled and oscillating Super PoleCats are expected to quickly and efficiently cover and keep covered, Tomahawk’s steep headwall with a dependable, deep base of machine made snow. To massage the snow into a dynamic skiing and riding surface, Shawnee will unleash a new Piston Bully 400 Free Groomer to put challenge or ballroom conditions on the hill. As part of a multi-year program to modernize its massive ski and snowboard rental shop, Shawnee Mountain has purchased 300 new Elan Exar E-rise skis and 300 new Flow and Rossignol snowboards. The Shawnee Rental Facility is now able to outfit over 4,000 skiers and riders, making it one of the largest rental shops in the country.
In addition to seven major ski areas, the Pocono Mountains offers endless ways to enjoy the winter months including snowtubing, ice skating, snow shoeing, dog sledding, tobogganing runs, sleigh rides and cross-country skiing. For Pocono Mountains ski area and winter information including conditions, rates, directions, ski and stay packages and more, visit PoconoSki.com
About the Pocono Mountains | Pocono Mountains visitor information is available online at PoconoMountains.com or by phone at 800-POCONOS (800-762-6667). Follow PoconoTourism on Facebook and Twitter to stay current with up-to-date information. Established in 1934, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit, membership organization. The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for the four counties of Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne in northeastern Pennsylvania, striving to promote, educate and attract visitors to the beautiful Pocono Mountains. Additionally, the Bureau aims to keep its’ members abreast to the latest in regulation, changes in the industry and business development in the Pocono Mountains.