Virginia slopes poised for winter

Su Clauson-Wicker 

Tubing is great family fun at Virginia’s Wintergreen Resort. (Wintergreen Resort) 

The calendar may not say winter quite yet, but Virginia ski resorts are poised to deliver the white stuff with or without nature’s help. They’ve also created great packages with discounted rates to lure folks onto those snowy slopes. 

Family-friendly Massanutten

At Massanutten Resort near Harrisonburg, a new 2-mile waterline has expanded the Rockingham County property’s capacity for extended snowmaking by 50 percent. 

Massanutten Resort features wide groomed trails and two terrain parks. (Massanutten Resort)

With all trails lighted for night skiing and boarding, the four-season resort is gearing up for its popular discounted Monday Madness Nights, as well as Wednesday and Friday discount days for college students, both starting in January. On Tuesdays, anyone can tube for $15. 

 Children fare well, too, at this family-friendly resort, which boasts a huge indoor-outdoor water park. On the resort’s Scout Day, Dec. 17, Girl Scout or Boy Scout troops and family members can buy a special package of lessons, lift tickets, and equipment rentals for only $60 per person. 

It also reaches out to little adventurers with its Mini Riders program, designed to help 4- to 6-year-olds develop the skills for snowboarding. 

“When schools close for inclement weather, we welcome kids, parents, and school staff with discounted lift tickets and rentals,” said the resort’s Marissa Andrick. “An eight-hour slope-use ticket is $40 and equipment rental is $20.” 

The resort’s wide groomed trails, a dedicated learner’s area, and two terrain parks appeal to snow sports enthusiasts of all ages. The 14 runs are serviced by eight lifts. Other activities include snow tubing, ice skating, and mountain biking. This year, Massanutten is offering a bike park add-on option for ski season pass holders for $150, a $90 reduction on the bike park season pass.

Wintergreen packages

Wintergreen has completed a new snowmaking system with 400 snow guns, enough to blanket the slopes in a matter of hours. 

The resort’s Winter Escape package, starting at $92 per person, combines lodging and lift tickets. A January “Discover Skiing and Riding” package offers discounts on lessons and two return visits. 

Not only does the season pass pay for itself in five visits, but holders receive reciprocal pass benefits at Wisp Resort in Maryland, Ragged Mountain Resort in New Hampshire, and Mount Washington Alpine Resort, British Columbia. Wintergreen boasts two terrain parks and Virginia’s largest tubing park, a 900-foot mega-hill.

Omni Homestead’s winter fun 

The Omni Homestead Resort will be opening its slopes for the 58th annual ski season this December with an acclaimed ski school, zip lines over the ski slopes, and new fare at its slope-side eatery. 

Even the smallest skiers get into the act at The Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. (Omni Homestead)

Forty acres of trails, a tubing park, a Rossignol Experience Center, snowmobile tours, ice skating, and ski/zip line packages make this elegant historic resort the place for family fun this winter.

Nearby Bryce

Located less than two hours southwest of Washington, D.C., Bryce Resort is a relaxed, family-friendly option where children under 5 and adults over 70 ski free weekdays. Its Horst Locher Snowsports School is legendary for the expertise of its instructors. 

Bryce recently upgraded its facilities for faster snowmaking and has renovated its lounge for prettier slope-side vistas. Menu favorites at the Copper Kettle still include the classic White Lightning Burger, topped with jalapeno jelly and horseradish.


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