Virginia’s ski resorts gear up for super season of snow and fun

Su Clawson-Wicker

Virginia is on tap for snow this winter — lots of it, early weather forecasters say. But whether the snow blasts from snow guns or plops down gratis of Mother Nature, Virginia’s ski resorts are brimming with snow, new gadgets to enhance slope fun, and new attractions. Each of the resorts offers something a little different to enjoy.

Homestead SnowManMassanutten Resort, 2-1/2 hours south of Washington near Harrisonburg, Va., is a full-service resort with enough activities to keep a diverse group busy all week. There’s the ski slope, ice skating, tubing, two thrilling terrain parks, and a spa. What really sets the resort apart isn’t on the slopes at all, though — it’s an indoor water park that allows you to enjoy skiing and waterpark fun in the same day.

The resort has expanded its kids’ zip course twice in the past several years and will keep it open this winter, along with the popular 800-foot Mega Zip Dual Racer line. Nearly everyone can enjoy sliding on snow at the Family Adventure Park, too. Massanutten’s tubing park has a 900-foot-long hill that’s gained lots of plaudits. The resort also has started construction on a new, multi-million-dollar, 13,000-square-foot ski school center. 

On Wintergreen Resort’s projected opening date of Dec. 13, new snow guns will be blanketing the resort’s slopes with white powder, while the Terrain Park will dazzle with 15 new features, bringing the total to well over 50.

Tubing at Wintergreen can be a fun family affair.
Tubing at Wintergreen can be a fun family affair.

Insider tip: Check out the stair step.

New rental equipment is on tap, including boots, skis, snowboards, and helmets, at this mountaintop resort just three hours from Washington, D.C. Ski packages start at $83 per person for lodging, lift tickets, and early access to the slopes on weekends. Wintergreen’s Discover Skiing and Riding Program makes it easy and affordable to learn to ski or snowboard in just three visits.

With 25 slopes, Wintergreen offers skiing and snowboarding, as well as competitions for all levels of skill. The Terrain Park hosts rail jams and slope-style competitions, plus Terrain Park parties. Off the slopes, guests can relax in the spa, ice skate, or pick up an indoor tennis lesson. You can even play a round of golf much of the year.

Bryce Resort, 1-1/2 hours outside of Washington, is the closest of the Virginia slopes and strives to maintain an uncrowded atmosphere with no lift lines and ample room on the slopes — especially important to novices and families.

With new snowmaking guns in just the right places, Bryce now boasts 100 percent snowmaking coverage on its trails.

The learning and children’s centers have expanded, allowing the famed ski school to serve more skiers and snowboarders.

A new streamlined rental system and an online check-in system for people who buy tickets online get skiers and snowboarders onto the slopes in record time.

The Homestead, in Bath County, is synonymous with a luxury family vacation. The resort’s partnership with Rossignol gives skiers access to skis that turn like knives on melted butter.

The resort features 45 acres of ski trails as well as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. For apres-ski relaxation, adult guests seek the spa garden, featuring the resort’s historic hot springs, a naturally-pressurized deluge shower, heated pool, whirlpool, Finnish sauna, and a host of other family activities. (thehomestead.com)

Liberty University’s Snowflex Centre in Lynchburg harbors an innovative system of year-round ski/snowboarding/tubing slopes. A brand new feature, the BagJump, allows skiers and snowboarders to practice jumps and stunts while landing safely in an air bag. Groupon deals, party packages, and other offers allow visitors to try out Snowflex at a discount. 

Take your pick from luxury, year-round skiing, or nearby slopes, and enjoy skiing on a Virginia mountain.

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