CHAMPION, PA (KDKA) – With entertainment so limited in the pandemic, local ski resorts are busier than they have been in more than a decade.
Especially on sunny weekends, people flock to Seven Springs in the Laurel Mountains.
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This year, more people are learning to ski and snowboard for the first time or are returning to the sport after a while.
Alex Moser, Director of Marketing at 7 Springs, says, “I’ve been here for 13 years and this is probably the biggest winter we’ve ever had in terms of constant arrival of guests and constant weather.”
Bob and Nancy Ball brought their 13-year-old twins from Baltimore to 7 Springs to learn to ski for the first time.
“If it’s not a pandemic year, there are tons of things going on. In a pandemic year, what you can do and what you can safely do are limited, ”says Bob.
His daughter Miranda agrees. “It was really boring to sit at home and it is a great experience to come here with friends and family.”
Within an hour of class, the girls were taking the chairlift up and down a beginner or “green” run.
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Daughter Kaelyn says, “I was hoping it would be good and I don’t really get bad,” while her father teases her for taking her on a “Black Diamond” which is an advanced slope.
This family came during the work week when there are no queues, but the weekends in 7 Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel Mountain are much busier than a normal year.
Moser says: “We needed patience from our guests because they couldn’t get on the elevator with someone they didn’t know. That’s why the lift lines got a little longer this year and most of the people were very understanding and grateful that we could ski at all. “
You obviously need to maintain social distance when skiing because you have sticks on your feet that stick out 3 feet and as you ski down the slope avoid others.
Most skiers wear a fat alligator that’s a mask anyway, and it’s really one of the few places that doesn’t even feel like you’re in a pandemic.
With 1,800 inhabitants, the ski areas are also the largest employer in the region. So more skiers mean more people are working and the local economy is boosting.
Mama Nancy says: “It’s a piece of cake. We can’t go to the movies. We can’t bowl with allies and feel safe, but when I get out of here I feel a lot safer. I am not that afraid.
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The resorts are open daily through March 14th and will decide whether to stay open after that depending on how long the snow lasts.