Fast Freddie by Pat McCloskey

Fast Freddie

by patmccloskey

The first time I skied with Fred Siget was in Snowshoe, West Virginia with Larry Walsh of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. I had some limited training but had experience as a ski instructor. So, as my maiden voyage with a visually impaired skier, I had the original blind skier in our area in front of me headed down Cupp Run. Right turn, left turn, right turn, stay, stay………..all of a sudden the only tree in play was before me as I yelled “crash” and Fred sat down on his way to running into the only tree within hundreds of yards. I felt so bad, but Fred dusted himself off with a smile and said, ” Pat- don’t worry about it at all. This will be one of many.” And we continued down the slope. This began a 40 year friendship with the one and only Fast Freddie Siget.

Fred lost his vision as a result of an accident with a high pressure hose when he was a volunteer fireman. As devastating as this injury was, he was undaunted. He became the first computer programmer for Koppers Corporation that was visually impaired. He continued dancing, and he learned to ski with guys like Larry Walsh, Jim Conley, Lynne(Kravetz) Hartnett, Shorty Leco and Micky Hutchko. People who took the time to work with Fred and make him into a pretty good skier by the time I came along. Fred always had ideas on how to make things easier for blind skiers and how to improve guiding techniques. He was the first guy I knew that purchased a transmitter where the guide had a microphone and he had an ear piece which made calling out commands easier and understandable with snowmaking machines roaring in the background. I used it one time standing on top of a slope and calling commands to Fred as he skied by himself down to the chairlift. With his” Blind Skier” jacket on, people were shocked viewing his run. In the bar afterwards, we had some fun with Herman Dupre the owner of Seven Springs Mountain Resort. I put the microphone on and guided Fred over in front of Herman and told him to tell Herman how much he admired his red flannel shirt. Herman was stunned and later remarked to me laughing that he was starting to “get hot thinking about all the free passes I gave to Fred and now he is telling me how much he likes my shirt!” Hilarious.

Fred was a bus driver in the old days and always missed driving. One night after skiing, I asked Fred if he wanted to drive again. He was puzzled. I took him to the upper parking lot at Seven Springs and guided him into the drivers seat of my Blazer and let him have the wheel. I gave him commands like skiing. Right turn, left turn, stay straight, …the smile on his face was priceless. Then we did some donuts and the laughter was infectious. Fred never forgot that night.

Fred was always anxious to help new guides. He put himself at risk during the training but always felt that it was worth it not only to train guides that could assist him, but to help the other visually impaired skiers who were beginning to show up at the BOLD( Blind Outdoor Leisure Development) outings at Seven Springs.

Fred was a local legend due to his skiing. People knew him and admired him as they skied past him or saw him making turns from the chairlift. They knew him in Vail, Colorado where he skied regularly with the Mon Valley and Pittsburgh Ski Clubs. But perhaps the most compelling thing about Fred was his kindness and appreciation for his fellow skiers and guides. He always remembered your birthday and when he called me, he sang, ” Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, get plastered, you bastard, Happy Birthday to you.” That made me laugh out loud every year. He would always ask about my wife Janet, and my son Jack. Jack would ski with us when he was a young guy and Fred always was interested in how he was doing in school and in his sports. Fred always thought about other people. He was popular for his skiing for sure, but as a person, you could not get a better guy who was always interested in others and never talked much about himself.

We lost Fred this fall at 94 years of age. Although he had an amazing life, we will miss him. I always think of him when I see people who have heartache in their lives or something that has tragically shaped their future. Fred never let his accident slow him down. He always said that he did more as a visually impaired individual than he ever did before losing his sight. He took a perceived bad thing and turned it into opportunity. Shouldn’t we all learn from that lesson? R.I.P Fred, I will miss you for sure. Thanks for reading folks.

patmccloskey | October 19, 2017 at 11:31 am | Tags: Blind Outdoor Leisure Development, Seven Springs Mountain Resort | Categories: Aging, Blind Skiing, Inspiration, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, recreation, Skiing, Volunteering, Winter, winter sports | URL: http://wp.me/p31Q99-Ri

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September 2017 Real Estate Market Report

This is the September 2017 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are starting this year.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

 

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TAX REFORM

Our National Association of REALTORS has been actively engaged in the tax reform debate. The plan is expected to double the standard deduction and eliminate all personal deductions except the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the deduction for Charitable Contributions. The plan eliminates the deduction for State and Local Taxes. This will be devastating to middle class homeowners by removing economic incentives for homeownership and raising taxes by an average of $851. By doubling the standard deduction, the Mortgage Interest Deduction would only be available to the top 5 percent of taxpayers.

PLEASE LET YOUR REPRESENTATIVES KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!

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The Oldest Guy by Pat McCloskey

The Oldest Guy

by patmccloskey

 

” Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming,” Wow! WHAT A RIDE!”

-Hunter S. Thompson

I have also heard this with the ending, ” missing parts, leaking oil and screaming “Geronimo.” I always subscribe to this way of living because I like adventure, travel and experiences in my own way. However, due to a series of events recently, I have had some thoughts that question my verve. Some of this began a couple of weeks ago when I was discovering that I was the oldest guy on the mountain bike rides. I really should not let that bother me but with the death of my brother in law at 61, and some other news of contemporaries who have had their troubles, I began to question my lifestyle as I march quickly towards 63. Sometimes, I feel like I am in an out of control vehicle and can’t stand on the brakes hard enough. Life is screaming by.

Then God plops me down right in the middle of Somerset county in an old barn for Biff Swager’s 65th birthday party( Is that the greatest name in the world?……Biff Swager!!!). Biff’s wonderful wife Annie organized the surprise party and all the old ski crowd came out in force. The food was wonderful, the band was GREAT, and the group danced their asses off( no other good way to put it), yes they danced their asses off and the joy of life was in full swing. Sue Baum Treacy summed it up best when she marveled at the group and vowed that we all have to get together this winter and ski because that is what brought us all together as kids in the first place. She and her husband John walk the walk by recently retiring and hopping on the back of their motorcycle, touring the west.

So, that was a real shot in the arm and dispelled any thoughts about age when I saw my group of contemporaries really enjoying each other’s company and killing it on the dance floor- of an old barn. Even Herman Dupre who is in his 80s, said he has so much work to do, he wants to live until he is 124. His wife Sis said “I will give him 100 from me and that is it.” We all laughed and as I drove off into the night, I thought what a great group and a great reason to keep living life as large as possible. You don’t have to climb Everest or do something outrageous to be adventurous. For me, taking that first ski turn down a chute out West, or rolling over a giant boulder field in West Virginia on the MTB is adventurous. Just have a positive attitude and engage in new ventures. The joy of a bike ride in cool fall weather can garner the same feeling of adventure that Jimmy Chin feels on a mountain peak. Not as dramatic, not as bold, but still relatively speaking, a personal adventure. Do what you can but like NIKE says…………just do it!!!

I remember asking Scot Nicol, the founder of IBIS Bicycles, one time on a ride,” how long do you think we can keep riding mountain bikes like this Scot?” He looked at me and said, ” Pat- don’t even think about it. Just keep riding.” This is sage advice from a Californian who really enjoys what he does. But what else dispels those internal thoughts that say, ” you are 63- who are you kidding?” Besides the joy of a ski turn and the beauty of the mountains, and the fitness created by riding a mountain bike, there are things that define self worth. The love of a spouse, the caring for friends, volunteering, being there for a cause, and spreading the good word of the Kingdom. True self worth is nothing more that knowing you are loved by the Good Lord. We are so blessed. It is incumbent upon all of us to care for each other, one person at a time, one neighborhood at a time. Make the effort folks, because as I have recently seen, life is fragile and we need to make the most of every moment. The time that is spent with your family and friends is so valuable. Sometimes you don’t realize it until someone is gone.

I know where I am going someday. But in the mean time, I will definitely leak oil, skid broadside in a cloud of smoke, and live life with that promise ahead of me. Who cares if I am the oldest guy? Thanks for reading.

patmccloskey

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August 2017 Laurel Highlands Real Estate Market Report

This is the August 2017 real estate market report. These reports give you the inside information based on courthouse records as to what has sold at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs Resorts. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the highest price that will be successful in the market place. Open the links below for a quick look at how sales are starting this year.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share with the public. If you want the UNBIASED facts of what is happening in your community and property contact us. We tell you what factual research indicates and not what a marketing department wants you to believe.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8535. Open the links below for the reports.

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A Natural Cause by Pat McCloskey


Go to Pat’s blog for the story with photos
A Natural Cause
by patmccloskey

A number of years ago, my wife Janet and I were strolling through Sausalito, California when we came upon a gallery featuring the art works of Grace Slick. Now, I was a huge fan of the Jefferson Airplane when I was younger and Grace fronted the band with her sultry yet powerful voice. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was also a very talented painter held in great esteem in the Bay Area. People surprise you. Not that you think they are not capable, but it is a pleasant surprise to see folks from one genre of accomplishment, move into another with relative ease. Case in point- my friend Angelo Ross.
I first met Angelo while we both were ski instructors and he was making his way up the PSIA ladder to his current position as a Development Team member of the Educational Staff. Angelo always took ski instruction seriously along with his main line of work as an Environmental Science teacher at Greensburg Salem High School here in Western Pa. I also ride mountain bikes with Angelo and on a recent trip to West Virginia, he told me about yet another passion that has turned into a very interesting business.
You see, Angelo is a talented artist whose work has developed over the years and now is featured on athletic and casual wear.
The story goes that Angelo became acquainted with the equally talented folks at Commonwealth Press in Pittsburgh who saw the value of his work and mentioned to him that they should begin the process of marketing Angelo’s art work on casual and athletic wear. Thus was the birth of http://www.naturalcause.org One of the interesting things about this is that Angelo is marketing his art work through the medium of clothing, but he has another cause in mind besides pure mercantilism. You see, he lives Environmental Science – his passion, and therefore is dedicated to furthering the goals of local environmental causes like the Youghiogheny Defense Fund. This is part of the Mountain Watershed Project http://www.mtwatershed.com which preserves the environmental integrity of the Youghiogheny River among other waterways in our region. Whitewater rafting and fishing are prominent in these waterways and Angelo is dedicated to preserving these for generations to come. A portion of all proceeds that he generates through Natural Cause goes to organizations like these. Another cause for his generosity and passion is the Mt. Davis Challenge bicycle race, run in conjunction with the Confluence Tourism Association which promotes recreational activity in the Laurel Highlands. Jim Sota runs the event and it has been a successful race for many years. Angelo supports the cause. The man walks the walk and does not just talk the talk.
I am continually amazed by people. You know them through one area of your life and then you realize that there is much more to this person than you thought. People have abilities that cross over in their lives and it is refreshing to see that a young guy who you know from skiing and mountain biking has such a passion and such a talent and that he is creative enough to market it and donate to causes that reflect his passion.
I love hearing the stories like Natural Cause. I like to hear how they were created and how the business is doing. There is a lot of negativity swirling around these days and I make it my business to always be positive and encouraging. It is great when I see positive attitude and generosity come from others like Angelo. Natural Cause is a breath of fresh air to our local environmental causes and I hope that you all will go to his website http://www.naturalcause.org, view Angelo’s art work, and order some product. You can wear it with pride knowing that your money has been well spent and that the beneficiary of your generosity are the watersheds, trails, and events that make our region so special. Well done Angelo Ross!!! Thanks for reading.
patmccloskey | July 27, 2017 at 11:59 am | Tags: Mt. Davis Challenge, www.mtwatershed.com, www.naturalcause.org, Youghiogheny River | Categories: American Culture, Art, Bicycling, Culture, Cycling, Education, Environment, Friendship, Hobbies, Inspiration, Mountain Biking, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, Pittsburgh, recreation, trails | URL: http://wp.me/p31Q99-Po

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Hidden Valley Mountain Metric

This is a mountain bike “ride” through the Laurel Highlands on July 15! Options include a metric century (100 km/63 miles), a half metric century (50 km/32 miles), and a free shorter option for casual riders and families. Ride is fully supported and includes 6 categorized climbs!  Get your climb on, get out of the oppressive heat of the city and come enjoy the Laurel Highlands with your friends and family! Here’s the link for registration and more details!

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Laurel Hill State Park Summer Fun!

We LOVE Laurel Hill State Park! Here are a few of their offerings for this month! Easy to get to from either resort! Call if you have questions, 814-352-8649

  • July 8 Hemlock Hike 4 to 5pm
  • July 8 Moonlight Paddle 9 to 11pm
  • July 12 & 26 Wednesday on the Water 6 to 7:30pm
  • July 15 Bat Facts 8to 9pm
  • July 22 Learn to Kayak 10am to noon & 1 to 3pm
  • July 22 Wild Teas 7 to 8pm
  • July 29 Beginner Bowmanship 9am to 11
  • July 29 Wildflower Walk 7 to 8pm

 

 

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Route 31 Road Construction

It began May 8 and has a very long way to go!! When you exit the PA Turnpike at Donegal be prepared to experience delays! The project begins just above the turnpike exit and continues down to the turn to Route 711 at Sarnelli’s. In a months time much has been done with much more to come! Please pack your patience and watch out for the workers!

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National Flood Insurance EXPIRES Sept 30!

The last time the National Flood Insurance was allowed to expire approximately 40,000 transactions, a MONTH didn’t happen!! WHY? Because if your property is in a flood zone area AND you don’t have flood insurance, NO bank will finance it! Being active in our local, state, and national Realtor Associations has allowed Abe to meet face to face with elected representatives in DC and Harrisburg to explain WHY it is critical to ensure it doesn’t expire again! Check out the information slides!  

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Transfers Through Aug 31

Through Aug 31 there were 36 transfers recorded at Hidden Valley and 24 at Seven Springs. We offer monthly real estate updates for both resorts so make sure you sign up to receive our e-mail! Or you can stop back and visit  to see what else is happening in and around!

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PENN SCENIC VIEW SOLD!

This incredible 183 acre parcel of breathtaking views, trails and a lake recently transferred. Court house records show the transfer for $999,000. For years it has been a favorite wedding destination with picturesque settings and background vistas. It has a multitude of trails, some rentals, and the main building for entertaining. Records show that the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy was the purchaser.

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Bridge Replacement on County Line Road

Heads up!! Bids just went out for BOTH bridges on County Line Road through the PA Rapid Bridge Replacement site! Here’s a link to the site that talks about how the RBR was created. These are the two bridges you cross if you are going to 7 Springs from Champion. They are in the first 100 yards of County Line Road after east of Route 711.

The first bridge on the schedule is the second bridge before the big curve. This project is referred to as Bridge 498. The calendar shows a start time of May 2016 through April 2017

The second bridge to be replaced is the one right after you make the turn on to County Line Road to head to Seven Springs. It crosses over Indian Creek right by the ICV Trail. This project is referred to as Bridge 497. Start date on this one, Aug 2016 to May 2017.

From my conversations with the project manager there will be temporary lights installed to handle the traffic flow. Stay tuned as we’ll be updating the process. You may want to become familiar with some of our back roads!

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Updates to 7 Springs ski slopes

7 Springs Snowmaking

This is excerpts of a November 15 PG article by Larry Fine. 7 Springs purchased 4 Pisten Bully ParkPro snow groomers and 5 HKD SV 10 Impulse snowmaking tower at the top of North Face. Snow Boarding magazine rated the Spot as the 2 best boarding area on the East Coast. They have created an Uphill Ski Access program from 7 to 9AM for skiers who want to skin up the slopes. They are also opening the Highlands Market on County Line Road just outside of the main entrance. It will have seating for 30, offer house made food, a large craft beer selection, and grocery. Foggy Brews on the second floor of the base lodge will be open every day during ski season.

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Do You Rent Your Resort Property??

Or for that matter, do you rent any property that you don’t live in for short time spans?? Do you advertise your property on Internet sites like Airbnb or Vacation Rental By Owner?? Then read this story! Pennsylvania has a 6% hotel tax that is catching up with individual owners of second homes! Note that the tax is to be passed onto the consumer not the owner but what happens if it isn’t collected? It’s very similar to when tax assessors where searching Google or Bing maps to find additions like swimming pools to properties that were never assessed and adjusting the taxes to reflect their findings. Now rental sites are being checked against payment (or lack there of) of the hotel tax. It’s hard to argue that you don’t rent a property when the site shows that it is booked over certain days! This tax is devoted to

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7 Springs Wine Festival this Weekend

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The Seven Springs Wine Festival, August 28 through 30, 2015, showcases wineries from all over Pennsylvania offering a tantalizing experience for anyone who loves wine. The festival features complimentary wine sampling from 31 wineries, daily seminars, live entertainment, a variety of crafts, and musical entertainment. Go to their website for more information.

7 Springs Resort

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7 Springs Rib and Wing Festival July 24-26

RibandWing

Join us at the annual Rib and Wing festival with plenty of vendors and entertainers at 7 Springs Resort July 24-26. Here is a list and description of the food providers and entertainers.

Armadillo’s BBQ and Rib Company

Over 160 culinary awards, including Best Ribs & Sauce in America, reaffirm Armadillo’s BBQ and Rib Company’s dedication to bring you the very best. Our mobile equipment is state of the art yielding perfect barbecue every time. Weather it is a Big Texas style barbecue, a quaint little steak dinner, or everything in between; “It’s Available.”

Armadillo’s BBQ and Rib Company is the 2006/2007 Pro Football Hall of Fame Grand Champion for the Most Outstanding Ribs and BBQ Sauce. Along with our 160 Awards we were crowned Grand Champion of the Columbus Ribs and Jazz Festival 2006 and Grand Champion BBQ Sauce in the Great West Virginia Rib Cook Off “Huntington 2004, 2005 & 2006″ “Best Ribs 2004 and 2005″ plus many more!

Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ

Basting mop clenched in one fist, steering wheel in the other, rolling cooking pit rattling behind, Butch Lupinetti is back on the road. His destination could be Chicago, Minneapolis, Cedar Rapids or anyplace in between. But the outcome will never change. Butch will pour sweat for 20 hours a day, standing in a cloud of wood smoke, exquisitely charring tons of pork ribs, beef briskets and chickens. When it’s over he’ll be loaded and rolling again; very likely with a huge trophy and a check.

Nationally Butch has been repeatedly recognized as one of America’s great barbecue chefs. Butch has been actively competing in competitions since 1992. He has won over 400 awards, including a Grand Champion win for the State of New Jersey – a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event, the Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ and The Best In The West Cook-Off in Sparks, Nevada, the super bowl of barbecue competition events, just to name a few. During those events, his sauce has won 1st place in contests such as the Great America Rib Cook-Off contest held in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2014, Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ won Best Ribs, Best Sauce and People’s Choice awards at the Seven Springs Rib & Wing Festival.

Pigfoot BBQ

Pigfoot BBQ Co. is owned by Jerry and Debbie Gibson. They started competing in Rib Cook-Offs in 1982 in Cleveland, Ohio at the National Rib Cook-Off, which was the first Rib Cook-Off as we know them now. Jerry and Debbie began competing professionally in 1989 and have traveled the country from Florida to Toronto, as far west as St. Louis and as far east as Boston.

Along the way they have won over 250 Awards for Best Ribs and Sauce. Including seven time winner of the People’s Choice Award in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Best Ribs and Sauce National Ribfest, Naperville, Illinois; Peoples Choice Greatest Ribs in America, Cleveland, Ohio; Best Sauce and Ribs Twin Cities Ribfest; Best Ribs in Ohio six years straight and many more awards.

Smokin Joe’s Hog Wild Barbecue

Joe is a “barbequer” by choice. He loves the art of barbeque.

Joe retired from the State of Ohio in April 2003 with 30 years of service in the Food Service Department at the Richland Correctional Institution and started his business in June of the same year. Operating a barbeque business has always been what Joe wanted to do in retirement, and now he is “Living the Dream!” Smokin Joe’s Hog Wild Barbecue has participated in rib cook-offs in seven states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia. Our proudest award was Best Sauce in 2008 at the Naperville, IL Ribfest, notably the largest cook-off in the Midwest. We have won over 100 awards during the past eight years including: Best Ribs, Best Sauce, Best Brisket, and Best Beans in the Midwest.

Randita’s Food Truck

Randita’s is an all-vegan cafe serving organic, healthful, and delicious plant-based food. In addition to our restaurants in Aspinwall and Saxonburg, our mobile food trailer and catering services are available to provide your next special event with food that is good for you and good for the planet.

About The Rib & Wing Festival Entertainment

Martyr Kanin

Martyr Kanin fans run deep. They’ve compared Martyr Kanin to everything from an acoustic version of the Counting Crows to the mellow stylings of David Grey to Bob Segar to Jack Johnson. It’s tough to classify Martyr Kanin’s music as a specific genre: their plethora of originals can be anything from driving and daring to soulful and heartfelt. They also love to entertain crowds with their own versions of everything from Bon Jovi to Michael Jackson to John Denver.

NOMAD

North Of Mason Dixon, aka NOMaD, made a tremendous splash on the regional country scene in late 2004 after placing third in a highly publicized, country showdown competition; Since then, this steadily climbing, beyond high energy act has garnered a great deal of success and shows no signs of slowing down.

Opening for national acts like Brooks and Dunn, Toby Keith, and Rascal Flatts (to name a few), being solicited by several tourists destinations such as Ocean City, MD and the Poconos, having performed as a featured artist at some of the areas biggest events and venues (Dollar Bank Jamboree, Post Gazette Pavilion, and the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse), and performing for such organizations as the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, this Pittsburgh based band delivers a refreshing and unique sound they call “Hard Rockin’ Modern Country” that defies any other description.

Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers

From the Iron City Houserockers of 1979 to the current incarnation of The Houserockers, this band has always been one of America’s hardest working rock and roll bands. A Rolling Stone review once echoed the words “they are up there with Springsteen, Petty and Seger”. Pretty good company, don’t you think?! From Love’s So Tough to A Good Life, the band has changed but the music remains true to their Pittsburgh, Steeltown roots! Hard edged, rock and roll with fine lyrics from the ringmaster, Mr. Joe Grushecky. More than just a “bar band”, a Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers show is one of the best shows you will see, hands down! And here are the guys that are currently making it happen.

Shot O’ Soul

Formed in Feb 2008, Shot O’ Soul has evolved into one of the top blues bands in the Pittsburgh area. Shot O’ Soul has headlined some of the best stages in the area including Moondogs, Cefalo’s, The Baltimore House, Baja Bar at Fox Chapel Yacht Club, Sharpsburg Guyasuta Days, Millvale Days, Etna Community Park, and various private clubs and charity events. Shot O’ Soul placed 3rd in the 2009 Pittsburgh City Paper Best of the Burgh readers poll in the category of Best Blues Band. A real achievement after so little time on the local scene and a testimony to the enjoyment that Shot O’ Soul brings to it’s audiences! Now featuring it’s most talented lineup since it’s formation, Shot O’ Soul are ready to make their mark on the local Pittsburgh live music scene. This band, fronted by it’s 2 outstanding male and female vocalists and an excellent song selection of original songs and classic favorites, is giving Pittsburgh music fans the best 1-2 vocal punch in the area! Come on out and see for yourself why “everything in life needs a Shot O’ Soul”.

Bo’Hog Brothers

Over its 20 year history, the band got their blues education playing in the Steel City’s smoky bars and still performs up to 100 shows a year. The most recent lineup of the band features the unpredictable Gregg Krupa on guitar, with his ever changing interpretations of the music, and the incredibly musical and creative play of Sudden Steve Binsberger on piano and organ. Hank Raffetto and Nick Crano complete the band with a rhythm section that has worked together for 10 years.

Junction PA

In the early 1970’s six young men came to a small western Pennsylvania town to attend Grove City College. They formed a musical group there that became the most sought after band on that campus.

The band members came from different geographical locations and diverse walks of life. By the time the members met, each had groomed different musical styles. Yet, during their first practices it became apparent that they were developing an unusual chemistry and a unique sound. As one record company exec later stated, “they don’t sound like anybody else!” As they continued working on their original material they sensed that something special was being created. The fusion of their different backgrounds and musical genres became in effect .. different roads leading to this one place. Thus, the band was appropriately named Junction Pa.

Over the years they remained close, occasionally getting together to play some of the songs they had recorded as well as trying out some new ones to see what their combined efforts might generate. In 2011 these “jam” sessions came to full fruition as four of the original members met together to record some of this new material. They also began touring again showcasing their signature vocals/harmony on these outstanding original songs.

The Brighton Boys

The Brighton Boys have been playing around the Beaver County and Pittsburgh area for three years. Since starting as a lounge band at restaurants, they have gone on the share the stage with big names like Donnie Iris and The Cruisers, and play venues such as Stage AE, Mr. Smalls, The Altar Bar and Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. They have built up their credibility as one of the top bands in the region. Their sound combines classic songs with a new fresh style that is popular today.

Walk of Shame

Walk of Shame, based out of Pittsburgh, PA, plays a great mix of “bar/party” rock and is committed to playing all of your favorite songs to sing, dance, and drink along to.

It’s not uncommon to hear “Timber” followed by “Sweet Child of Mine” at a WoS show! The guys try to give something to everyone, and always take requests. Venues like working with the band because of their willingness to play whatever the patrons want to hear. The commitment to forging long-term relationships with places is what has made WoS one of the most sought after bands across the country.

Sydney Hutchko

Sydney has given music a lifetime of dedication, from her classical music education that put her on stage with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Pittsburgh Opera to stints as a Music Row intern while attending Nashville’s Belmont University. While at Belmont, she put a band together, playing shows in Nashville and in the tri-state—Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia area. She threw herself into interning opportunities, including McGhee Entertainment, whose legendary management roster ranges from Darius Rucker to KISS.

In return, she’s already seen the kind of success few singers fresh out of college could even dream of. She has opened for Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge, Charlie Daniels and the legendary George Jones; performed on the long-running Wheeling Jamboree; and spent 22 weeks on the MediaBase country chart with her single “Southern Curves.”

The hard work that ties it all together has her poised for a breakthrough. She continues to shine on stage, both as a headliner and in support of country’s biggest stars.

Chris Higbee

Chris Higbee has a passion for country music. He is a complete musical artist skilled in fiddle playing, singing, song writing, and playing various other instruments. Chris’ passion is deeply felt by anyone listening to his work or partaking in a live performance. Chris’ performance energy is so infectious it has been known to convert the most stubborn non-country music fan into HigBillies, the self-named fan base of Chris Higbee. His performances always draw a large and committed crowd.

Shake, Shake, Shake

A marquee value band who took time off this year to rebuild and reinvent themselves around founder/drummer extraordinaire, Justin Betz. With an extensive talent search, he found the incredibly talented frontman, fresh face, Tim Carty. He has all the moves of today’s pop stars and takes the lead on stage to pump up audiences with his star power and passionate vocals. Shake Shake Shake is back with their best lineup to date.

Scott Blasey

Scott started playing music in 1986 with three guys named Rob, Greg, and Dave. We formed the Clarks at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where we were honored as “Distinguished Alumni” in 2004, and spent the last twenty years traveling around the country preaching our brand of rock-n-roll salvation. We sold a bunch of records, toured with some big names, and played on Letterman. We’re hugely popular in our hometown of Pittsburgh and still play about 80 shows a year all over the U.S.A. – from DC to LA, and Appleton to Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shaker Urgent Care Center Under Construction

Right after you pass the Family Dollar store on Route 31 you may have noticed dirt being moved around. It’s the first new construction project we’ve had in the Donegal corridor for some time!   We’re still working on getting more details for you but if you’re looking for rental space here’s their email, ShakerUrgentCare@gmail.com

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Trillium Time!

For those of you who follow our BLOG you know how much we love the Indian Creek Valley (ICV) Bike and Hike Trail. Most of you will easily find it because it is located across from the Somerset Trust Bank on County Line Road (Please, only use their parking when they are closed). Although there are multiple sections with each one having its own unique characteristics, including FLOWERS! One of our personal favorites is the Trillium and this weekend they will be blooming for all to see! Check out the ICV website!

 

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Construction Ahead!

Fall 2016 is to be the beginning of a very major and long road project for Donegal! Beginning at the Donegal turnpike exit and to Sarnelli’s Market at Route 711, Route 31 is going to get wider and have existing roads moved around. Let’s start with the turnpike exit. Below you can see how the new road will extend past the current one!

1 Turnpike

The next major change is the interchange of route 711 to Ligonier and the school. The old road to the school is to the right of the new highlighted road.

2 711 and school

Then comes Schoolhouse Road which will cut across the farm and end up right outside of the BHHS office (bottom left building)!

3 School house - us

And the last major fix is at the Route 31 and 711 intersection as shown below. Sarnelli’s Market is on the corner of the bottom right.

4 31 and 711 Sarnellis

We think you should explore some other options to consider NOW before the construction gets underway. Try getting off at New Stanton to Route 66 and taking the Mount Pleasant exit. There are multiple ways to get to County Line road from there! Catch up with us and we can share some more back roads!

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Initial Contribution Fees

We recently discovered that several of the home owners associations are now charging what is called an “initial contribution fee” to buyer’s when settlement occurs. In many market places this has been a common expense for years. So far the fees have been accessed for one full quarter of association dues. Those fees are dependent upon which association and or associations your property belongs too. Read your resale certificate closely as it will be noted there. These fees are required to be added to reserve funds. As financing rules have dramatically changed, higher reserves are greatly smiled upon by underwriters!

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Donegal Interchange and Route 31 Construction

Last January we updated you on the proposed construction of the Donegal Interchange and Route 31 to the Route 711 intersection. This Tuesday, March 24 from 5 to 7, PennDOT has a Public Meeting and Plans Display at the Days Inn in Donegal. You may not be a resident but this will impact your visits to Hidden Valley, Seven Springs and the Laurel Highlands!!  According to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission 2015 Twelve Year Program (pages 71-73) this is one of the many projects scheduled in the first phase! Here are some of the major revisions.

We’ll be reporting on the updates but hope to see you there!

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Memories of Brad English by Pat McCloskey

Follow Pats blog by opening this link patmccloskey

It was a bright, sunny day last Sunday in Somerset, Pa. when the clan started to arrive. Heidi and Melissa, Annie and Biff, the Bouchers, Lars and Inger, the Baum girls, Linda Belle, Dixon, Porter,Patty, and a host of others who call the English family their friend. You could feel the warmth of long lasting friendships in the building and in many ways, the group was holding each other tight as mountain life enthusiasts do. Mountain people are a tight knit group all held together through a love of sliding down a mountain on skis, riding knobby tires, hiking, fishing, and otherwise enjoying the mountains as a place of rest, fun, and safe haven with friends.

We lost one of our own last Thursday when Brad English was taken from us so unexpectedly. That is why the gathering at the funeral home was in many ways a meeting of the clans from up in the Laurel Highlands. You had the locals, the weekenders, the commuters, all the folks who forged friendships up at Seven Springs Mountain Resort here in Pennsylvania. The North Hills group, the Fox Chapel group, the Mt. Lebanon group, and of course the Seven Springs and Rockwood group. All close knit friends for many years. It was a homecoming of sorts seeing that some of the group had moved away, but as everyone paid their respects to Greg and Mary Ellen English and their family and Brad’s lovely daughter Jenny, you could feel the warmth in the room and the need to hold on to our life in the mountains. Bill Boucher put it best when he said, ” This one really hurts.” And it did. Brad English was one of the good guys. A friendly welcoming man who grew up in the mountains, built his own house, raised his daughter, and was a friend to everyone on the mountain. He was the first guy standing in line at the Gunnar Chairlift every Saturday when I made my way from the North Face lot to the base of the Gunnar chair. Both of us enjoyed the first chair up the hill, and the groomed perfection that lies ahead for the early birds on the ski slopes. Brad had a great sense of humor when he harassed the ski patrol and lift operators to open the lift up early. He wanted to ski and in his own funny, needling way, the lift guys and the patrol scrambled to make his wishes come true. Brad was a skier, a hunter, a fisherman, all things mountain. Interestingly, when I was a young guy skiing at Seven Springs, the English brothers were in my estimation, the best skiers on the hill. Natural talent. Even when Brad did a stint living in Vail, I remarked out there that Brad was still one of the best skiers in Vail. He was an enthusiast, skilled skier, and sportsman. But most importantly, he was a friend. He was welcoming into his home, and was one of us and now he is gone.

Tuesday there was an on slope service, which is what he would have wanted. Friends skiing, watching the celebration of life from the top of the chair, toasting with frosty beverages and literally and figuratively setting Brad’s spirit free to the Laurel Highlands which he loved so well. The Gunnar Chair and slope will always be home to Brad. I will always think of him while riding that chair on Saturday mornings.

Life is so fragile and the message that kept ringing in my head was what my mother always told me. ” To have a friend is to be a friend.” That is why she had so many friends and it holds true with Brad English. Lots of friends on that mountain. Life flies by so fast and it is easy to get caught up in the day to day. Easy to never make plans to get together with friends, easy to let convenience get in the way, easy to let work schedules dictate your life. But in the final analysis, your family and friends are everything. Cherish them. Cherish the old times and keep the friendships alive with a phone call, a lunch, a ski date, or whatever. I am guilty as much as the next guy. But like Bill said, this one hurt. It makes you think when you lose a friend. Embrace opportunity. RIP Brad. Thanks for reading.

Photos and title courtesy of Melissa Updegraff Thompson and Annie Rose Swager.

patmccloskey | March 12, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Tags: Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Skiing Western Pa | Categories: Friendship, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, Skiing, Winter, winter sports | URL: http://wp.me/p31Q99-EY

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February Financing Report

For the Week Ending February 27, 2015. This report compliments of Kurt Sieg

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen eased concerns of a pending policy rate increase. Her testimony helped to stabilize rates this week.

Durable goods orders rose in January, showing manufacturing may be starting to stabilize. This points to a strengthening of the U.S. economy.

Consumer prices dropped in January, led by cheaper gas. Low inflation means the Fed may have to start the process of hiking rates later than June.

January new home sales fell only slightly despite big declines in the snow-battered Northeast. Supply rose to its highest level since 2010.

January existing home sales were at a 9-month low but were still up 3.2% from a year ago. Tight inventory and low rates continue to be factors.

Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index improved for the 4th consecutive month, showing that housing is stabilizing at a national level.

Teacher: “What is the chemical formula for water?”

Student: “HIJKLMNO”

Teacher: “What are you talking about?”

Student: “Yesterday you said it’s H to O!

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Sincerely,

 

Kirk Sieg
862184/LO.045354/MB800302.019-BR
Equity Resources, Inc.
(724) 799-3465
www.callequity.com
ksieg@callequity.net

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Tales of 7 Springs Past

FOLLOW PAT’S BLOG

Standard Race

For all of us growing up at Seven Springs Mountain Resort here in Pa., Lars Skylling, the Director of Skiing, was like a god to us. Handsome, with the Swedish accent, and great skier to boot, with Stein Eriksen form. We all looked up to Lars and wanted to emulate him on the slopes. Lars is shown here in this picture below, receiving his award for induction into the Pennsylvania Snow Sports Hall of Fame. He has the Tyrolean jacket on with the green tie- third from left in the back. Great guy, we all love Lars. He is retired now but I had the opportunity to ski with him a couple of years ago in Vail and for a guy in his elder years, he still made elegant turns. IMG_4952
So, when we were kids, Lars was the ski school director and he started an open race every Sunday after the day session ended that was called the Standard Race. My buddy Porter said it was called the Head Standard Race but in any event, it was an open, four gate flyer from the top of the front side of the mountain down to the finish line in front of the old warming hut. If you came within a certain percentage of the time that Lars laid down, you received either a gold, silver, or bronze “7” pin that we all clamored for with every run that we made. As we all got older and into our early teens, we were able to finally get that gold “7” because we were catching up to the master. However, Lars threw a surprise for all of us when he added the upper trail on the Stowe slope and jumped the corner when he made a right hand turn down on the Cortina Trail. Whoa!!!!! We all were taken by surprise and the conversation on the hill that day and on the chairlift to the start was whether we had the guts to jump the corner like Lars did. If we didn’t, there was no way we would get the gold so we all had to see if we had the bravado to do it and if we survived, we got the coveted pin. photo
One year, I decided that if I leaned forward at the finish line and tried to break the beam with my hand, I might be a little faster. Unfortunately, I blew out of my bindings when I lurched forward and took out the whole timing device and the electric eye. John Fraser and his dad came running out of the hut to see if I was ok, but the real challenge was to get the timing device up and running again. As we all crossed the finish line, Bob Rose would herd us into the station wagon that he had strategically placed outside the warming hut and the North Hills clan would eventually make it back to Pittsburgh with a dinner for the crowd at my folk’s house. My parents didn’t ski but they sure could cook and entertain. That was their contribution. All the kids talked about the race and how we ended up. If you got the gold pin, you were a stud, and everyone knew that the next step was the day that you would finally be able to beat Lars straight up. That day eventually came for most of us as we got older and faster. But no matter the outcome, we all loved Lars and if we were able to finally best his pacesetter time, it was a milestone in our skiing career that we would never forget.

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NEW $15.00 Hot Dog at the Lift Line Café ?

Frankly, we don’t know nor do we care. This spoof blog post makes fun that the resorts advertise their agents as “Special” and the first to know if something is happening at the resorts. The fact of the matter is that if anything will happen in the way of something NEW in real estate a permit has to be approved in Somerset County and a good friend in that department will make sure we are the FIRST TO KNOW. If you want to know what is really going on in real estate at the resorts follow us, if you are interested in the newest $$$ food item, ask a resort agent, they know 🙂

PS: Ski conditions are great!

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December and all of 2014 Market reports for the Laurel Highlands Resorts

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts. We are the best source for accurate information on property sales in the Laurel Highlands.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

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November 2014 Resort Real Estate Sales

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts. We are the best source for accurate information on property sales in the Laurel Highlands.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

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Seven Springs to start skiing on November 28

7 Springs halfpipe

If you are not on the resort newsletter Seven Springs announced they will open for skiing November 28, and kick off weekend is that weekend. A recent trip to both resorts shows all snow guns going full blast as the snowmaking team takes advantage of early cold weather. The extended forecast shows cold enough temperatures to continue the snowmaking effort up to the holidays with only a few warm days. Photo is of the Seven Springs half pipe LAST YEAR. Sorry riders, will be a few months before that one is ready. Skiii Yaaa.

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October 2014 Laurel Highlands Real Estate Market Update

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts. We are the best source for accurate information on property sales in the Laurel Highlands.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

 

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SKI Mergers are everywhere!

Mergers in the ski industry are becoming the norm. Most recently Vail purchased Park City Mountain Resort and together will offer 7,000 skiable acres. This year New York saw Song Mountain and Labrador ski resorts merge and Indianhead and Blackjack resorts in Michigan just merged into Big Snow Resort. Last year Big Sky in Montana merged together three resorts! And of course we can’t forget that it’s been just over a year since the Nutting’s purchased Hidden Valley. We’ll have to wait and see what all these mergers mean for the customers,  home owners, and their properties.

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September 2014 and first 3 quarters Market Report

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts. We are the best source for accurate information on property sales in the Laurel Highlands.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

Play VisualTour
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ATV CLUB

It is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive, “Where can we ride our ATV’s?” Here’s one option, the Indian Creek Valley ATV Club. Easily found by staying on 711 to White, maybe 8 miles from Sarnelli’s, then look for the sign on the right (if you come to Indian Head you passed it).  They offer year round riding for ATV’s and UTV’s on over 30 miles of “safe and groomed trails.” There’s a mix of elevation and difficulty to challenge any rider. Their website offers more details, check it out and safe riding!

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August 2014 Laurel Highlands Market Report

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts. We are the best source for accurate information on property sales in the Laurel Highlands.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

Play VisualTour
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SB 76 MOVED OUT OF FINANCE!!

SB 76 Picture

It is time for more discussion! SB 76 the NO more school property tax was voted and passed In the Senate Finance Committee 6-5! We were there TODAY. Now it goes to Approbations Committee to see it they will pass it to the floor. Wags and I along with many of our REALTOR friends filled the rooms (yes they had to open up a second hearing room there were so many of us because we were having our State Organization meeting the same day!!) with high hopes! Check out RealReform76 for more information, find your Senator, and to share your story!  Basically, Philadelphia and that area and the teachers union are the greatest opponents, while every retired person with property and Realtor in the state should be for it. Here’s how the finance committee voted:

Yes –
Senator Blake, Democratic chair (D-Lackawanna)
Senator Browne (R-Lehigh)
Senator Brubaker, Republican chair (R-Lancaster)
Senator Eichelberger (R-Blair)
Senator Scarnati (R-Clearfield)
Senator Wozniak (D-Cambria)

No –
Senator Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
Senator Hutchinson (R-Venango)
Senator Smith (D-Allegheny)
Senator Teplitz (D-Dauphin)
Senator Vance (R-Cumberland)

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Senate Finance Committe to VOTE on SB 76 TOMORROW!!

NO TAX SHOULD EVER BE ABLE  TO TAKE AWAY YOUR HOME! Check out RealReform76.com for the details on this bill. It was just scheduled to come up for a vote in the Senate Finance committee TOMORROW! Let your senator know that it is time for school property tax reform!! Tell them you support SB 76 and expect them to do the same! School property taxes are making our seniors homeless! One of our elderly neighbors recently shared they can only pay their school property taxes for another 4 years and then they are out of money!

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Star Market Auction

Star Market

If you come in from the Pittsburgh side of the mountain you know where this is! When you’re at the 4 way stop by the Post Office and Church on 711 the Star Market is on your left. There are two different dates, on-line they say Thursday September the 18th, but the sign says Thursday, September 25 at 5 pm the bidding begins If you have an interest best to catch up with them! Here’s the link to Hostetter Auctioneers. If you’ve never been into the store they carried a line of groceries, meat, had a small diner with lunch specials,  the gas pumps, lottery ticket sales, propane and ice… Sure hope someone sees it as the gold mine we do!

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July 2014 Laurel Highlands Market Report

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts. We are the best source for accurate information on property sales in the Laurel Highlands.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

Play VisualTour
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June and Mid Year Market Reports

This is the June and the first 6 month market stats. These reports give you the inside information based on Courthouse records. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the HIGHEST PRICE that will be successful in the market place.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts. We are the best source for accurate information on property sales in the Laurel Highlands.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

Play VisualTour
Play VisualTour

 

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Pennsylvania Turnpike Traveler Advisorary Panel

The Turnpike Commission is in the midst of the largest capital rebuilding plan in their history! This panel is an on-line research community that will provide feedback from 4,000 customers! We know our readers spend a good bit of time on the PA Turnpike and you may qualify to be a part of the Advisory Panel! Here’s your chance to be heard and to receive some treats in return! The first step is taking a short survey as they want to ensure they have a good mix of different types of travelers sharing their thoughts.

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SB 76 No More School Property Tax Update

The education continues about how this Senate Bill will still fund schools while eliminating school property taxes for homeowners! Right now there are 26 Senators that are endorsing this bill, 13 Republicans and 13 Democrats, YES, you read that right,  bipartisan support!! If you are not sure who your senator is or if they support this bill check out this site, RealReform76.com

On April 30 Kim Skumanick our PA REALTOR® President and many REALTORS® from across the state attended the senate finance committee meeting in Harrisburg. Here’s a recap of our involvement and progress from PAR Just Listed. Needless to say YOUR voice needs to be heard to get this bill passed!

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Communtiy Meeting on Deep Mine Permit

Add a reminder in your calendar that on Wednesday,  May 21 at the Highlands Hall (corner of Route 31 and 711)  from 7 to 9 there will be a community meeting to hear about the planned Deep Mine for Donegal and Saltlick areas. On the agenda are the “people and places” that could be affected. Mining maps will be available for review. The Mountain Watershed Association has more details on their site. 

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty

It is official! You won’t be seeing any more blue and white Prudential Preferred Realty signs. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services The Preferred Realty signs and promotional materials will be sporting cabernet and cream colors. Ron Croushore, our Broker wants everyone to remember that even though our name has changed the agents haven’t! We are excited about the new marketing materials BHHS will offer our clients! Check out Top-10-Reasons-Good-to-Know about a few reasons why you should consider allowing us to help you with your real estate needs!

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March/ 1st Quarter Resort Market Reports

Interested in what is selling at the resorts and in what communities? These reports give you the inside information based on Courthouse records. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the HIGHEST PRICE that will be successful in the market place.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

Play VisualTour
Play VisualTour
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April 2014 Market Reports

Interested in what is selling at the resorts and in what communities? These reports give you the inside information based on Courthouse records. If you are thinking of selling or buying you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the HIGHEST PRICE that will be successful in the market place.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED UNBIASED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts. We are the best source for accurate information on property sales in the Laurel Highlands.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. We help our clients successfully buy or sell at both resorts. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

Open the links below for the reports.

 

Play VisualTour
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Abe and Wags Team Awarded 5 Star Agent 5th Year

The Abe and Wags Team has been awarded the Pittsburgh Magazine 5 Star Agent Award for the 5th year and they are one of the very few who have been given the award EVERY YEAR. Their proven client communication systems and “Key to Closing” marketing program continuously places this team as the very best in the Laurel Highlands for Customer Satisfaction. Five Star Professional surveyed Pittsburgh area residents who purchased a home priced at more than $150,000 within a 6 month period (June 2012 to November 2012). The final list of 2013 Realtors is a select group, representing less than 5% of real estate agents in the area. The Award recipients will be listed in the June Pittsburgh Magazine.

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Proposed Deep Mining In Donegal and Saltlick Twps

Take a look at the map and see where the proposed deep mine boundaries now lie within these two townships. Several years ago Johnstown-based LCT Energy LP hired CME Engineering LP of Somerset to prepare a mining permit application for the project as outlined in this TribLive story from 2012.  The local Mountain Watershed Association offers their concerns in this .
Proposed Mining Map

 

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

BSHH coming signWe are sure you know that there are very few companies that are permitted to use the trusted name of Berkshire Hathaway! Well coming very soon Prudential Preferred Realty will be Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty!! New name, new colors, new affiliation! Stay tuned for more details!

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Donegal Interchange and Route 31 Proposed Construction

Full Project

We are getting closer to a huge construction project from the PA Donegal Turnpike Interchange to the Rt 31 intersection of Rt 711. The featured picture shows 3 miles of the proposed project that will involve adding lanes and stop lights. Our local Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce offered a meeting with PennDot representatives Liberty Hill  and engineers PRIOR to the public meetings that will be happening this spring.  While there are are several options on the table they are awaiting clearances from the EPA.  Construction is tentatively slated for 2016-2018 and the work will be out for bids.

There will be strip takes and some total displacements that will occur. This is considered a  capacity adding and safety project. There were 19 different pages presented for the 3 miles of road changes. Route 31 by the the actual turnpike exchange is going to be moved so that a “flowing T” can be constructed. Stay tuned for more details!Turnpike InerchangeRt 31 & Rt 711

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Market Reports for 2013

This is what you have been waiting for. This is the definitive source for what has been going on in resort real estate. Who is buying what and at what resort? What is the sweet spot in pricing? How has the high end market been selling? Open the report for your resort of interest and get the FACTS about 2013.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts.

 

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PA Senate Bill 76

How much extra cash would you have if you weren’t paying school taxes? Back in October we shared that movement is underfoot to ELIMINATE school property taxes in Pennsylvania. That is what PA Senate Bill 76 is all about! Check out the research on Real Reform 76. After you’ve had a chance to be informed make sure you join in the conversation and let your Senator know where you stand! The 2014 Pennsylvanian Association of REALTORS President, Kim Skumanick shared the organizations support for SB 76 at a bi-partisan policy committee meeting in Dec., read more!

 

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Market Reports for January 2014

Interested in what is selling at the resorts and in what communities? These reports give you the inside information based on Courthouse records, not some guesstimate or Zulia type our best guess. If you are thinking of selling you need to review these reports and contact us for more information to determine the HIGHEST PRICE that will be successful in the market place.

Keep in mind this is just a small window of information we share in the public domain. If you want the DETAILED story of what is happening in your community and property become our client and become one of the CHOSEN FEW that actually knows the facts.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose an experienced TEAM with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the Laurel Highlands. Contact us today at 412-897-8583.

 

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Burton Snowboard Half Pipe Qualifiers at 7 Springs

IMG_1474

If you are snow boarder YOU already know where you are going to be this weekend!! The Burton US Open is happening at 7Springs Jan 31 – Feb 2. Snapped this photo today and if you look closely you can see people at the bottom and a boarder on the second ramp for stunt jumps (looks like a speck of dirt). You really can’t tell how high these are unless you see them in person! The top 6 men and top  3 women for the half-pipe and slope style receive auto invites to the US Open in Vail. BE HERE!!

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Ice Dams

Remember that your second home here in the Laurel Highlands is most likely to experience these when you are not here! Then you come up for the weekend and wonder why the walls on the inside of your home are wet or have water stains and the floors are soaking!! Sara, our local SERVPRO contact shared this article from Mr. Fix It on why the ice dams form and suggestions on how to fix them! The Ice Dam Cometh

SURE TO CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE REP FIRST!!

Buck Dewitt Construction 814-443-3378 / Buck Dewitt

Broad Builders 233-3904/ Jeff Broadwater

Jerry Moody 483-0802

 

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November Market Reports for the Resorts

Here are links to the visual tours which give you the market report for each resort. What is of note is that at the end of November there have been more sales than ALL OF LAST YEAR. What will be interesting to see if the dollar volume has increased for the year or if the consumer is buyer more of the lower priced properties in the resorts.

 

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WHITE FRIDAY expected at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs.

Cold temperatures and unexpected snow have set the stage for both resorts to open this Friday at 9:00 for snow sports. The snow guns have been blasting at both resorts since the first of the week so there is a solid base on limited terrain. Go to the resorts website to see what will be open. Here is a quote from the Hidden Valley Website.

“We are committed to providing our guests with excellent snowmaking and grooming. Over the course of the weekend, our mountain crew took advantage of every opportunity to make snow in preparation for opening day,” said Eric Mauck, CEO of Seven Springs and Hidden Valley. “As of Monday morning, both resorts have at least eight inches of snow and in some places drifts as high as eight feet. Snow accumulations of these amounts are astounding for this time of year. We are anticipating the arrival of an abundance of natural snow later this week, which will add to outstanding skiing and snowboarding conditions. We always strive to open the slopes as early as possible and provide our guests with incredible conditions and this weekend will be a testament to our commitment.”

Seven Springs and Hidden Valley will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri., Nov. 29-Sun., Dec. 1, 2013. Hours of operations for dates beyond Dec. 1, will be available later this week.

 

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7 Springs October 2013 Real Estate Market Report

A strong October closings puts 7 Springs ahead of last years transfers. We reviewed the deeds and have the names and numbers of the Sale of Hidden Valley Resort to 7 Springs. Expect a strong finish to the year but will both resorts do better than last year?? We just returned from the National Association of Realtors annual meets and networking with other resort Realtors we are seeing many resort areas becoming a SELLERS MARKET. What is keeping this market to the buyer’s advantage and when will it change? Check out the bargain 3 bedroom fixer upper at Hidden Valley. Handyman’s special!

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Hidden Valley Sold to Seven Springs

It is official. Yesterday the final papers were signed turning ownership of Hidden Valley Resort over to the Nuttings, owners of Seven Springs. Today the parking lot by the Prudential office is filled and we can see people outside already working.  Eric Mauck CEO of Seven Springs Mountain Resort sent this letter out to priorty7 members this morning. Go to www.7springs.com to sign up for the priority7 updates and make sure you’re in the know!

Dear Hidden Valley Friends and Family,

It’s been an exciting day as the Seven Springs and Hidden Valley resort communities are now officially part of the same family. With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome each and every one of you to our resort family.

I know many of you have questions and concerns about how this purchase will affect you personally and the resort. In the coming days and weeks, we will be sharing details pertaining to things such as season passes, ski/snowboard tickets, lodging, services, amenities and more.

The most important thing for you to know is that we are deeply committed to the long-term success of Hidden Valley, Seven Springs, the local community and the Laurel Highlands. Seven Springs has long held a deep appreciation for Hidden Valley and the family experience it offers.  Moving forward, we want to ensure that more and more guests have the opportunity to develop a lifelong passion for the outdoors.

Over the last five years, we have worked consistently to add to and improve the amenities and services at Seven Springs, which has resulted in Seven Springs becoming one of the top year-round resorts in the region. With that in mind, we will work hard to build on that success as we continue to move forward at Hidden Valley.

I would like to invite you to join us this weekend at Seven Springs for our 29th annual Autumnfest, a family-friendly celebration of all things fall. It’s a great opportunity to spend the day with your family enjoying the fall foliage, live entertainment, delicious festival food, kids’ activities like our hay bale maze and petting zoo, and the keepsakes and creations from more than 50 artisans and crafters. Each weekend has a new theme, making for a new festival every weekend. This year’s themes include Pumpkin Weekend, October 5-6; Chocolate & Chili Weekend, October 12-13, 2013; and Kids’ Halloween Weekend, October 19-20.

Thank you again for your support during this exciting time. We are proud to become a part of the Hidden Valley community and look forward to seeing you on the mountain very soon!

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No More School Tax??

At our state Realtor Association meetings in Harrisburg this September more details on the progress of PA House Bill 76 and PA Senate Bill 76 were disclosed.  The goal is to replace the school property tax with a personal or earned income tax.

Our association is committed to property tax reform and is moving forward with a campaign to support these bills. A presentation was made at our meetings by Jason Horwitz of the Anderson Economic Group. Check out their research on this topic. Soon the PAR Realtor Association will have a website with more details.

If it passes, all homeowners would no longer be paying property taxes to support a school district.  Homeowners without children have long cried, “no fair” to school taxes. Our second home owners at Hidden Valley and Seven Springs would no longer pay a tax to a school that their children do not attend.

The numbers appear to work so keep your eyes and ears open so you can have a say!

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Abe and Wags Team selected as “PITTSBURGH’S TOP AGENTS”

This is the fourth consecutive year that Adrienne “Abe” Wagner,Robert “Wags” Wagner, and Amanda Knepper-Gelpi, Realtors have been selected for their outstanding client satisfaction and real estate market success at Hidden Valley Resort, 7 Springs Resort, and the Laurel Highlands. They have been awarded the PITTSBURGH 5 STAR  AGENT AWARD.  Only 5% of all agents in the Pittsburgh Market are selected and will be listed in a special section of the June Issue of PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE, and less than 1% have been selected every year the award has been given.

This award is determined by independent research with clients, peers and industry experts to determine the real estate agents who are rated highest in overall satisfaction. The Abe and Wags Team are one of the VERY FEW that have been selected EVERY YEAR THE AWARD HAS BEEN GIVEN. If you have a need for quality service and proven performance contact either Abe or Wags. Their team has a proven plan that gets results.

 

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7 Springs August 2013 Real Estate Market Report

Hidden Valley is posting improved numbers of transfers from last year while 7 Springs lags behind. News of Robert Nutting, owner of neighboring resort 7 Springs, buying the Valley should have a very positive impact on both the resort and surrounding real estate. High inventory in both markets is still keeping prices sideways but an improving economy in western PA is increasing buyer activity. With the last quarter traditionally being the busiest time of the year for sales we expect to see positive activity in both markets and a strong finish to the year. View the visual tour for the full report and the latest numbers.

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7 Springs September 2013 Real Estate Market Report

Hidden Valley has been purchased by local competitor 7 Springs Resort. More on the impact that event will have on this resort later. Hidden Valley is ahead by 13 transfers over this time in 2012 and also ahead of 7 Springs. The Springs is lagging behind its 2012 numbers but we are going into the busiest quarter of the year so those numbers could change as buyers move to get in before the holidays and snow. We want to draw attention to PA SB 76, legislation which will remove school taxes from properties and replace it with an increase to the personal and sales tax. This is of great news as the second homeowner has always been punished paying taxes for schools they rarely use. For more detail open the visual tour.

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NEW CONSTRUCTION SOLD BEFORE COMPLETED!!

Builder John Henry has his first newly constructed home in the Green Tee Development at Hidden Valley scheduled for closing at the end of this month. This floor plan has the master bedroom and laundry on the main level.  In this market place we find that many buyers are looking for these features as well as gas heat, central air and a garage. The living room and back deck over look the 15th hole of the Hidden Valley Golf Course! Don’t worry if you’re thinking about a new home there are 23 more lots available! Catch up with us for more details!

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7 Springs July 2013 Real Estate Market Report

With a total of 59 total transfers sales are slightly ahead of last year with Hidden Valley dominating transfers at 36 to 7 Springs 23. Reducing resistance from the banking sector is easing financing with still attractive rates. Large amounts of inventory at both resorts still keep this as a buyers market in all price points. Click the visual tour to the full report.

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7 Springs June/ 6 Month Real Estate Market Report

This report includes both June and the first 6 months of the year with comparisons to last year. Although 7 Springs almost always has more dollar volume if you back out the Pheasant Run and Southwind properties sold Hidden Valley is ahead significantly in both transfers and volume. Open the report for more details.

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RED LIGHT STOP!!

If you haven’t been to Seven Springs recently be prepared for the ROAD WORK! Right now there are 3 temporary stop lights set up, yes STOP LIGHTS!  Here’s what it should look like when it’s completed 7S Road Change. Please wait your turn as you can not see all three lights and if anyone is coming in your direction! Eventually there will be a dedicated turning lane into the main entrance.  Our sources have shared that hopefully, without more rain, the work will finish up this November.

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Lights, Camera, Action!

We are always excited to share good news about the Laurel Highlands! Cami Dibattista reported in the Tribune-Review that filming has been done for a 30 minute segment for PBS “Fringe Benefits” in 2014. Check out the story to see if your favorite destination was highlighted! Television series explores the Laurel Highlands

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7 Springs May 2013 Real Estate Market Report

This report has slides and graphs showing sales and listings at Hidden Valley Resort. There is still ample inventory but we are seeing trends of increasing interesting rates. Remember, every 1% increase to mortgage interest equals 12% increase in the payment or 12% less property that can be bought with the same monthly payment. Although we only had 2 sales at each resort we are seeing an increase in activity and pendings so we expect to see this year another one of an improving market. Open the visual tour for the full report.

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Hidden Valley May 2013 Real Estate Market Report

This report has slides and graphs showing sales and listings at Hidden Valley Resort. There is still ample inventory but we are seeing trends of increasing interesting rates. Remember, every 1% increase to mortgage interest equals 12% increase in the payment or 12% less property that can be bought with the same monthly payment. Although we only had 2 sales at each resort we are seeing an increase in activity and pendings so we expect to see this year another one of an improving market. Open the visual tour for the full report.

 

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7 Springs April 2013 Real Estate Market Report

This report shows the real estate sales at 7 Springs Resort in SW PA by property and price. Ample inventory and great mortgage rates still favor the buyer in this market, but we are seeing national trends in other similar markets experiencing reduced inventory and increasing prices. We just got back from the National Association of Realtors mid year meetings in Washington DC and were getting positive reports in all areas of real estate.

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Real Estate in Pittsburgh Improving

With over 92% of Laurel Highlands homeowners living within 2 hours of the resorts the health of the real estate market follows the real estate market in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties. It is good news to see the numbers in the Pittsburgh market moving the right direction as this market will follow soon. Now is the time to buy in the Laurel Highlands as low interest rates make the dream of a second home even more affordable. Contact us if you would like to buy or sell a home in this area.
April Market Report

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Discover your footprint!

For those of you who haven’t heard Abe is in a Masters degree program for real estate. This class is all about Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, “LEED” and sustainable development, in other words being green, saving our world and reducing our foot prints! One of her first homework assignments was to measure her ecological footprint.  Take the interactive short test (maybe 5 minutes great for kids too) and see the impact YOU are having on the planet!! She’ll share how many earths we’ll need if everyone lives like her, if you share your number!

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Welcome Amanda Knepper-Gelpi, buyers agent with Abe and Wags

We want to announce and welcome Amanda Knepper-Gelpi to the Abe and Wags Real Estate Team. Our aggressive and encompassing marketing and internet presence was creating so many buyer leads for our listings we could no longer handle them all. Amanda joins us with a great deal of personal experience and enthusiasm and the same ethical and professional value system we have used as a standard to provide the client the highest level of real estate brokerage. Here is her story and we are very excited having her part of our team and efforts.

I am an only child who grew up as a Country Girl nestled outside of both Seven Springs and Hidden Valley Resorts.  My teenage years, I aspired to venture into a life based in New York City…I enveloped the Modeling and Acting industry by competing in events such as the Miss PA Teen, I was cast as an extra for the movies, Sudden Death and Wonder Boys, both filmed in Pittsburgh.  I was a Jennerstown Speedway queen for one race season, where I discovered modeling assisted in developing self-confidence.

My high school summer breaks consisted of being a “Shop Girl” at Hidden Valley Resort Golf Club for two consecutive years.  I ventured into the business curriculum at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and Allegheny College of Maryland and still had the desire to head to the big city.

I became a Modeling/Acting Instructor in Pittsburgh for 3 years.  From this experience, it was determined that to prosper further in the Modeling industry, a move to New York was necessary.  My heart kept me anchored in the country lifestyle and to this day, I don’t regret my decision.

I made a choice to deter my intended career path and quickly shifted into the Cosmetic Industry.  I achieved 15 years of successful industry experience.  I was employed by major brands such as, Origins, Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy, L’Oreal, and most recently Bare Essentials.  I managed nearly a 10 million dollar territory, was a road warrior, and with the companies I was employed with, based in both New York and San Francisco, I traveled to the big cities multiple times a year.

I got married in 1999 during Hurricane Dennis, which was downgraded to a Tropical Storm, in Corolla, North Carolina. We bought our first home in 2003, had a Daughter the same year, and I vowed to stay a Country Girl, alongside my Daughter, as my family operates a four generation dairy farm, which is located in my backyard.  The country lifestyle peaked my fascination with Interior Design and Landscaping.   My interest is country cottage and I love to develop my flower beds into eye-catching colors.  Life made a quick change and my creativity sparked…again…Real Estate  was a very different industry from what I was used to doing, but I was, and still very much so, intrigued by the housing industry.  There is so many home options, locations, amenities, characters….all available to just the right future homeowner…the quickest discoverer and the highest bidder!

Regardless of my various industry experiences, I still feel empowered each day by establishing great relationships, I have a great skill in talking, I strive to achieve great sales knowledge, and to obtain successful experiences in both my personal and professional life.

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7 Springs March/ 1st Quarter 2013 Market Report

Open the visual tour for information and graphs on real estate sales activity at 7 Springs Resort for the month of March and the 1st Quarter of 2013. Although we always would like to see more activity the overall look is a strong start to the year with improving numbers. Even with the improving activity excessive inventory still makes this a buyers market in almost every price point and category.

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7 Springs February 2013 Real Estate Market Report

A strong start to the year at Hidden Valley and 7 Springs. Both resorts are on track to improve over a weak 2012. We think that many of the buyers that stayed out of the market during the last quarter because of all the political distraction are coming back in since they know what the next 4 years will be like. Our buyers agent Amanda is booked solid on the weekends so if there is property you would like to tour contact her early to get an appointment. While funding is still the greatest restriction in the market place we do see it slightly improving over the last few sales. Open the visual tour for the entire story.

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All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright 2016.



© 2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered services marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.