Snowshoe Mountain more ready than ever for opening day

Mountain opens at 9 a.m. Friday

SNOWSHOE, W.Va. – We’re still a week away from Thanksgiving but it’s already winter at one of the area’s most popular destinations in West Virginia.

Snowshoe Mountain is just two days away from opening day and after more than 250 hours of snowmaking, pumping in more than 75 million gallons of water to produce about 9 feet of snow, crews are better prepared than ever before.

“It really feels like you’re in another world,” said Shawn Cassell, the public relations manager at Snowshoe Mountain.

“We’re kind of a mountain in the sky,” said Felicia Key, the ski and snowboard school manager.

West Virginia. It’s called almost heaven for a reason.

“You don’t feel like you’re in West Virginia, that’s for sure,” said Cassell.

Workers at Snowshoe Mountain Resort have been working for months in preparation for Friday.

Thanks to Mother Nature and the second winter with a $4 million snowmaking system, “There’s more snow out here than I’ve ever seen for mid-November,” said Austin Barga, Snowshoe Ski Patrol supervisor.

But the other big item on the checklist, hiring, is still a challenge.

“Pocahontas County has about nine people per square mile so we really have to bring in a lot of folks from all over to help make it all work and make it all run,” said Cassell.

About 1,200 people working on all kinds of different jobs.

“The more people we have instructing, the more people we can teach,” said Key.

“We’re out here from 7:30 in the morning till the last skier’s off the hill trying to make sure it’s a safe environment for everyone,” said Barga.

Making sure everything on the slopes is smooth for nearly 400,000 guests, going downhill is the best way possible.

“Snowshoe’s definitely a special place,” said Cassell.

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