7S Market Update AUG 2022

Listing inventory or better said lack of listing inventory has kept this years sales down compared to 2021. All markets change and this one will too.. Check out the numbers!

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HV Market Update AUG 2022

Listing inventory remains at all time lows with multiple buyers in line for the next offerings. Interest rates continue to inch up but how many buyers will it curtail… Check out the August numbers!

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Real Estate Taxes Bump Up at VAIL Resorts 7S and HV

Properties in Hidden Valley sit in Jefferson Township and at Seven Springs Middlecreek Township. Both have seen their millage rates go up this year, Hidden Valley/Jefferson Twp to 64.64 and Seven Springs/Middlecreek Twp to 36.99. The Somerset County Real Estate Search will help YOU figure out your new property tax amount. There’s a box that asks you to “CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE REAL ESTATE SEARCH.” A new page will open and fill in your last name and municipality click the search button. New page opens then find your name (may be more than one Miller) and click the link. Scroll down to the bottom left and click on “View Property Tax Calculator.” If you get lost, catch up and I’ll help:)

2022 NEW MILLAGE
2022Millage

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7S, HV, Laurel Mtn Resorts and Climate Change

From Pittsburgh Magazine comes an article discussing snow or the lack of it and how to keep and maintain it during the upcoming ski season. Some of the changes, opening days will not be when the weather allows, lift tickets will be limited, and extended hours of operation.

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HV, 7S, Laurel Mtn Resorts Ski Schedule Announced

Straight from the Vail Resorts Press Release Days and hours are in the link. NOTE that all 3 sales systems are NOW CASHLESS OPERATIONS!

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7S MARKET UPDATE JULY 2022

Bring your check book with you if you are considering buying at Seven Springs! Take a look at the market update and you’ll see why…

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HV MARKET UPDATE JULY 2022

Listings are still gone within days of hitting the market. Buyers have very few properties to select from, take a look at the results from July.

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PA 1031 Like Kind Exchanges

For years, PA was the only state NOT Fully recognizing the 1031 Like Kind Exchange. For years, our PA Association of REALTORS have lobbied the PA General Assembly to incorporate the Federal Tax Code 1031 into the PA Tax Code. On July 8 the Governor signed House Bill 1134 which is now Act 53 of 2022. It takes effect the beginning of 2023.

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WHAT DOES THE FUTURE RESORT MARKET HOLD?

Hmmm Over my 40 some years in the Laurel Highlands resort markets I have collected a ton of data. I’ve also survived 20% interest rates, sales of both resorts, a great recession, bank failures, and Democrat and Republican governance. From these experiences I have ONE crucial thought for seller’s and their bottom line, listen to the end!

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7S MARKET UPDATE JUNE & 1st HALF 2022

We are beginning see changes in the market place. Will the 2nd half bring in more listing inventory? Check out the market and the numbers for June and the first half of 2022.

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HV MARKET UPDATE JUNE & 1st HALF 2022

First half numbers are in and low listing inventory produces low sales. Check out the market and the numbers!

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HIGHLANDS GOLF CLUB = 7SPRINGS & Hidden Valley Golf Courses

The Nuttings kept a large section of venues and land when they sold the ski areas to Vail Resorts. That includes both 18 hole golf courses now rebranded as the HIGHLANDS GOLF CLUB. Here’s where you will find fees and details about memberships. Golf On:)

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7SPRINGS Upcoming Fun

Since the sale of both Seven Springs and Hidden Valley Resorts ski areas everyone has been wondering what events will be continued… On the 7Springs.com site under events and entertainment here’s what you will find.

Jazz Nights at Helens JULY 13, 2022 – OCTOBER 12, 2022
Foggy Goggle Concert Series JULY 15, 2022 – DECEMBER 24, 2022
Rib and Wing Festival JULY 29 – 31, 2022
Wine Festival AUGUST 26 – 28, 2022

As of today there are no events or entertainment listed on the Hidden Valley site under PLAY.

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7S Market Update MAY 2022

Check out the real estate market update for Seven Springs! This monthly summary of what’s happening at Vail’s newest resorts will keep you in the know!

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HV Market Update MAY 2022

Take a look at the real estate market numbers for May! Limited listing inventory is only offering a few properties for buyers to consider. See what’s up!

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TICKS IN THE LAUREL HIGHLANDS

In the past week I have heard MULTIPLE TICK stories! PLEASE enjoy the outside but understand that ticks carry serious side effects. Here’s a super short video from the DCNR recent newsletter about taking pre-cautionary steps and how to protect yourself!

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7S Market Update APRIL 2022

I can remember the markets where we had over 100 listings and they would sit for a year or two! Times have changed and now listing inventory is almost non existent, buyers are waiting for properties, and many sellers are sitting on a ton of home equity! See what’s up with the April market!

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HV MARKET UPDATE APRIL 2022

Same story, very low listing inventory, buyers waiting for properties, and sellers sitting on a boat load of home equity! Check out the April market report!

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RESORT HOME OWNERS, HOW MUCH EQUITY DO YOU HAVE??

How long will this sellers market last?? No one can say for sure but we do KNOW is that listing inventory is still at historic lows, buyers our waiting for properties, and there’s a very good chance that as a homeowner at the resorts YOU are sitting on a ton of home equity!

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Hotel Tax Update Resort Owners

As reported in the Tribune-Democrat Johnstown, the Somerset County Treasurer is catching up with those NOT paying their 5% hotel tax! In a past post I shared the forms and more details but basically if you are renting your home part time you are responsible to pay up! According to the article one home owner owes 16,000 in back hotel taxes! Here’s the story.

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Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail

One of our favorite adventures in the Laurel Highlands was taking the time to enjoy the wonders of the 70 mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail! We did it in sections and there was one overnight stay. The trail winds through a section of Seven Springs. Below is picture (GO LH) of one of the fern beds, such an amazing sight and there are many! Especially if go in a season when the trees have shed their leaves. Anna Weltz from GO LH put together a FAQ specifically for this trail. Sure hope you check it out!

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7S March and 1st Quarter Market Update

YOU are going to want to see these first quarter numbers! We have MORE EXCITING NEWS! The Josh Crowe TEAM welcomes Sarah Greiner Brown as a buyer’s agent. Selling or buying, on or off the resorts we are here to help you with your real estate needs! Sellers know that you may be sitting on an unexpected windfall of cash! Catch up to see what prices properties similar to yours have sold for recently!

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Hidden Valley March & 1st Quarter Update

YOU are going to want to see these first quarter numbers! We have MORE EXCITING NEWS! The Josh Crowe TEAM welcomes Sarah Greiner Brown as a buyer’s agent. Selling or buying, on or off the resorts we are here to help you with your real estate needs! Sellers know that you may be sitting on an unexpected windfall of cash! Catch up to see what prices properties similar to yours have sold for recently!

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RENTING your place in Somerset County? YOU OWE A HOTEL TAX

Somerset County Treasurer Anthony DeLuca is out to collect from those who may not know they owe! Resort owners at Hidden Valley and Seven Springs who rent may fall into this category. Let’s begin with the HOTEL ROOM RENTAL TAX Rules and Regulations. Effective April 1, 2018 as explained in Part 2 under Rules and Regulations Section D3 is basically saying that anything rented for less than 30 days qualifies for the 5%  tax fee. Then there’s the 2002 Ordinance Section 2 (6) that further clarifies who needs to pay up.  The full story can be found here by David Hurst in the Tribune Democrat Johnstown. Here’s the link to register and the Hotel Tax and Regulations page from the Somerset County Website for even more information.

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Spotted Lanterenfly (SLF)

If you see it REPORT IT! According to DCNR, the map below shows the few counties that this pest has yet to be found! Read the newsletter here.  It was first found in Berks County, PA in 2014 and has a preference for grapevines, maples, black walnut, birch and willows. Read more on HOW it can impact our economy and quality of life!

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Vail Resorts to Raise Wages to $20 For Winter Season

Here’s a follow up link to an editorial about the pay increase from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

According to Sierra Sun  “The new base pay will apply at all the company’s U.S. resorts. Canadian resorts will also increase base pay to 20 Canadian dollars per hour. Those in skilled positions — including ski patrol, drivers and others — will start at $21 per hour. Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch said salaried employees will see wage increases beyond the current rate of inflation. The company made the announcement in a press release on Monday in advance of the company’s 2022 second quarter earnings call.”

Hmmm the employment page on 7S is currently showing $13.50 per hour for most of the open jobs. The article does say “for the 2022-23 ski season” time will tell!

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40 Years of Resort Experience at Seven Springs & Hidden Valley

This year Abe celebrates 40 years of working the resort markets! From 1982 till 2002 she advanced from agent to Broker of Record for the Villages at Seven Springs. From land development, new construction, marketing, and all of the real estate paper work she has had incredible experiences. One of her favorites was lobbing for the new construction company of Kettler Forlines Inc to open their first real sale division. She shared how life long friendships evolved from many of her 1st time meeting consultations. Here’s a quick review!

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7S Market Update Feb 2022

Sellers YOU could be sitting on a TON OF CASH! With very little listing inventory it is indeed a sellers market! Take a look at the February numbers and catch up with me to discuss your options!

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HV Market Update for Feb 2022

Sellers YOU could be sitting on a TON OF CASH! With very little listing inventory it is indeed a sellers market! Take a look at the February numbers and catch up with me to discuss your options!

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DIXON by McCloskey

55+ years of Friendship.

by patmccloskey

My Pal- Dixon Rich

Dixon Rich and I have been friends since the minor league in baseball. We both talk about how we forged our friendship on the bench. I was a fat little catcher and Dixon played out in left field, but we talked a lot about how thirsty we were and couldn’t wait to get to Dixon’s house for a drink.

Fast forward- Dixon senior bought a cabin on County Line Road and all of us neighbor kids spent the weekends crashed out on the cabin floor in sleeping bags. What a wonderful way to grow up. The winters were always special to me and still are thanks to the Rich family and my pal Dixon.

Dixon, Melissa and Jaime. Laurel Mountain friends for life

Dixon is an accomplished attorney and tax specialist. You might not know that if you visited him and he answers the door with a red bandana adorning his noggin and baggy shorts and construction boots doing someone’s tax work. He plays the Dead while he works and really doesn’t know the difference between night and day. He works when he feels inspired and that may be in the middle of the night. Naps are important to Dixon as he takes them between work sessions. He is a character. A skillful tele-mark skier, Dixon likes to hide out at Laurel Mountain where it is quiet, scenic and he has the place basically to himself most days of the winter. He can work from anywhere and the Laurel Highlands are his home for the winter. The other day he pulled out a pair of old 70’s era alpine skis and attacked Lower Wildcat on an icy morning. I have not seen skis like that in a while but Dixon has a whole houseful of 70s era skis which he uses with tele equipment and a few selected pair for alpine outings.

Valuable nap time for the tax man.

Dixon and I have skied together for over 55 years. But we also have had many adventures in cycling. We used to ride from his cabin to Confluence, Pa on our mountain bikes, getting lost on the way home, running out of daylight and crashing exhausted at the Red and White Store in Indian Head hoping to get a ride back. One time in West Virginia at the Wild 100 Backcountry Race, we both ascended Prop’s Run just outside of the Elk River Touring Center. When we got to the top exhausted, Dixon smiled at me with vivid blue teeth and asked if I wanted some bubble gum. That was his ” Power Bar”. He loves Captain Crunch cereal and other sweet treats. I am trying to get him back into riding more and he claims he will join me again this spring and summer. But his antics on the slopes and on the trails are legendary. Ask him about the plastic shower cap he used to cover his fanny pack when riding. A bright floral pattern which protected valuable cargo in his pack. LOL!!

Dixon does not like to be pinned down with a schedule. He is happy to meet you and ski with you but it is on his timing and on his terms. I call it like seeing an “albino deer” – wonderful to see but never planned. Like me- he likes the quiet of a remote ski area and enjoys the scenery without all the hassle of what takes place at Laurel’s sister area – Seven Springs, which can get a bit hectic during the winter. He has a great head of hair and never wears a hat – no matter how cold. I am amazed sometimes but my wife always says that with that great head of hair, she wouldn’t wear a hat either.

But the most important thing about Dixon is that he is a good friend. They say if you leave this world with friends that you can count on your right hand, you are a lucky man. Dixon is one of those fingers to me. I will always remember when my father passed away unexpectedly in his sleep back in 2001. Dixon was one of the first guys there for me and tirelessly helped me to close down my dad’s business. I could not have done it without him and will always be grateful for his kindness, his help, and his expertise.

Friendships are important. Especially as we age. We need to stay active, pay attention to our health, and most of all, spend time in the great outdoors with friends like Dixon. Thanks for reading and if you see the albino deer sometime, say hello. You will instantly gain another good friend.

 

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TAX TIME and RENTAL DEDUCTIONS

Did you rent out your primary or 2nd home in 2021? If so some of you may be wondering just IF and WHAT your deductions may add up too. First YOU should discuss this information with your tax advisor as I am only SHARING information directly from the IRS. This information discusses “Topic # 415 Renting Residential and Vacation Property”  There are multiple links to help you file in April.

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Hidden Valley Real Estate Market Update Jan 2022

More Exciting Things happening in the real estate markets at Hidden Valley and Seven Springs. See for yourself!

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Seven Springs Real Estate Market Update Jan 2022

More Exciting Things happening in the real estate markets at Seven Springs and Hidden Valley. See for yourself!

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30 Year Mortgage Rate Above 4%

Predictions are it will not be going back down anytime soon! 2019 was the last time we saw 4%. More info on mortgage rates from MONEY.  Seller’s, consider the higher the interest rates go up the the number of eligible buyers for your property gets lower.

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NEW GENERAL MANAGER FOR SEVEN SPRINGS, HIDDEN VALLEY, LAUREL MOUNTAIN

According to Ski Area Management, beginning Feb 14th, Brett Cook is the new GM for Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel Mountain. He’s been involved at Roundtop, Liberty Mountain, White Tail and then back to Roundtop as GM when Vail purchased the “Peak Resorts” in 2019. WELCOME Brett!

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How China Made Olympic Snow

Here at Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel Mountain we are all accustomed to man made snow. But for the Olympics’? Here are two stories that feature the how it was done process. NPR and the New York Times

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The Poma by McCloskey

by patmccloskey
The Moment of Truth
Leslie McKee suggested a post on the iconic Poma lift. She said it would be a good post in and of itself and she is right. How many of you who started skiing battled with the monster of surface lifts as a kid? I can remember moving from the rope tow( which itself burned up many gloves) to the Poma lifts at our local resort. Although we got many comments and instructions on how to ride the Poma, it was always a matter of getting prepared in the track, waiting to grab the right one, and presto……off to the races. As a little kid, they always told me if I fell, not to hold on to the Poma- just let go. But what did most people do? See below. LOL!!!
Don’t hold on………LOL:!!!!!
The other frightening thing as a little kid was if the spring in the Poma was quirky, you would oftentimes be lifted right out of the track, high into the air( or so it seemed) and tried to set your feet down in the track again without falling. You never sat down. You would place the platter between your legs and hang on. Never sit down. The mantra for all of us. Poma lifts became a thing of the past in many areas but still are used to get skiers from place to place in the larger areas out west. There is still a need to connect chair lifts and in a lot of areas the only way is to transport people across a flat via a Poma lift. I have so many memories when I step into the loading zone of a Poma lift these days. I am heavy enough now not to be spring loaded into the stratosphere and I certainly know not to sit down or do what we always did and try to move in and out of the track. We all did that and tried to hang on the pole for as long as we could and launch it at the end of the ride up and laugh when we let it go. We were always the same jagoffs who would jump out of a chairlift if it was low enough and ski away from an operator who was yelling at us threatening to take our passes. Kids!!!!
The T Bar
The cousin to the Poma lift is the T-Bar. More commonly used these days and especially in Europe to transport skiers up the mountain and get them across flats between chairlifts. This lift is ridden by two people and if you were a taller person and you rode with a shorter person, it became a difficult task. The taller person had the part of the bar riding up his or her back while the opposite was true for the shorter person. Constant adjusting and laughing in the case of us youngsters at the time and a little more concerning riding it as an adult. Now for those of you who know me, I am not a confrontational person. However, one time in Austria, I happened to be riding up a T Bar with a shorter French guy. He kept jawing at me in his Gallic dialect and basically was trying to get me to adjust the position of the bar to suit his shorter stature. After a while, and listening to his verbal abuse for longer than one should ever have to, I leaned over to him and said, ” If you keep yelling at me, you are gone.” He either didn’t understand or ignored my warning and he caught my left elbow and was sent careening down the slope never to be seen again. Viva la France!!!!!

Surface lifts were intimidating, frightening, and most of all loads of fun growing up as a kid. I don’t even give them a thought today but when Leslie reminded me of all the fun times we had as kids battling the Poma lifts, I had to jot down some memories. One last one was the Poma lift at our smaller municipal ski area where I was trying to get one of our blind skiers up the hill. Regis Sullivan was a heavy guy and I put the Poma between his legs and mine and we rode up together. I screamed ” stand up Regis” because if he sat down, I am sure the ski patrol would have been involved. Another time I had a nun with a colostomy in the same position with me on the Poma. I laughingly suggested that she stand up and don’t fall. I told her I didn’t want the fallout from that one. LOL!!!! She was very open about her colostomy and I was very open about me not wanting to face the consequences.

So, thanks Leslie. I am sure I will have a few laughs like all of you reading this. Think snow and ………..don’t sit down!!!!!

patmccloskey | January 31, 2022 at 6:38 pm | Tags: Poma Lift | Categories: Humoroutdoor activitiesoutdoor sportsOutdoorsSkiingWinterwinter sports | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-1vi

 

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XC and the Olympics

New post on chroniclesofmccloskey

Go Nordic!

by patmccloskey

Olympic Gold Medalist Jessie Diggins,

Years ago, I met a young lady who was a member of the Middlebury College Nordic Ski Team. She was recounting her workout routine while quickly demolishing a half gallon of ice cream right before my eyes. She had to pay close attention to her diet and make sure that she was eating enough calories to fuel her practices and meets. In many cases, they just can’t eat enough. You see, cross country ski racers are a rare breed. Among endurance athletes, they have the most impressive VO2 data and their engines are unmatched in the endurance sports world. We have a real superstar right here in the U.S with Jessie Diggins who is a member of our U.S Nordic Ski Team and a gold medalist from the most recent Olympic games in Korea. She has had tremendous success on the World Cup and is a favorite for gold in the upcoming Olympics in China. These athletes are amazing and their skill and endurance is worth watching on the upcoming coverage of the Olympics in February. Check them out.

More gold in China?

If you take it down several notches, there are opportunities out there for the mortal man to participate in this winter sport. I am an alpine skier and rarely get to go cross country skiing any more but I have always had respect for people who make use of Nordic ski centers like the one we have at Laurel Mountain right here in Pa.

Laurel Mountain Nordic Ski Center

The cool thing about cross country skiing is that you can enjoy it casually like a nice tour through the woods or you can make it a real workout. Traditional skis can be used in the machine made tracks and the feeling of gliding along with your skis floating though the tracked trail is spectacular. Shorter skating skis are also available and you can skate your way along groomed trails which is another great workout. Finally, there are wider touring skis that have metal edges which allow you to break trail on a freshly fallen snow landscape like a golf course. Many ski touring centers offer rentals and if not, most outfitters like L.L. Bean. Public Lands, and REI have equipment for sale or rent. With the recent big snow in the East, I see many people out on the golf courses and on the groomed trails these days trying to make the most of the winter weather.

Tracked Trails.

Years ago, I had touring skis and would ski at night on the golf course near my home with a light on my head. A fun workout on clear, cold nights. Oftentimes in those days, I would also visit my friend Eric in Vermont and as a diversion from alpine skiing at Killington, we would take cross country equipment out of his garage and head to the quarry near his home in Bethel, Vermont. It was there that we skied up and down gravel and sand piles showing off and usually crashing and burning many times until we either had destroyed his equipment or were so stiff and sore and snow covered that we left and headed home for a cold beer. Fun times in those days in Bethel.

I often joke with my friends who cross country ski. I call them communist skiers. They laugh because they know that I associate cross country ski racers with the Eastern Bloc. Most of the success in recent years has been with skiers from the Baltic countries or Russia as well as the usual suspects from the Scandinavian countries. But look out for the Americans. We are coming on strong and the term communist skier jokingly will be a term of the past for me.

As much as I like alpine skiing, I do miss the days when I used to cross country ski. I may take it up again although Janet and I like to snowshoe when we are not skiing. We take advantage of the snow when it comes. If you are looking for a good day in the woods, there is nothing like a sunny winter day with cross country equipment in hand. Try it and perhaps look up your local Nordic ski center or consult with L.L.Bean, Public Lands, or REI and enjoy the winter. Thanks for reading, watch the upcoming Olympics on NBC and Peacock, and think snow.

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Hidden Valley End of Year Market Update

Another year with really big numbers! Take a look I’ve included the deed to Vail Resorts!

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Seven Springs End of Year Market Update

It’s the last real estate market report for 2021! Lot’s of great numbers and news included! I’ve even included the Vail deed for you to see.

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Vail Resorts Closes Purchase of 7S, HV, and Laurel Mtn

According to HospitalityNet, Vail announced on Jan 3 that they had closed the deal. Read the story here.  Somerset Court house records indicate that 392 acres were purchased for $67,730,667. on the 7S side and 230 acres for $13,300,000 at HV.  Watch for my next market update as I’ll link the deed transfers.  Google Maps show the resorts below

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MORE EXCITING NEWS!

As of Jan 1st, I am an official associate of the Josh Crowe Team!

My extensive knowledge of the resort markets and his of the local market allows us to provide our clients with details into past, present and possible future real estate market conditions. He is a long time resident and is involved within the communtiy with a BA in Business from the University of Pittsburgh. We are able to offer buyers and sellers insight into this current competitive seller’s market ON or OFF of the mountain. Our clients include those who are looking for their 1st or 2nd home and those who are transitioning elsewhere.

Combining our years of experience of the resorts and local markets allows us to provide very unique services. These offerings have resulted in multiple 5 star ratings with local, state, and national awards. We may be reached by phone, text, email, and yes, the mail too.

We hope if you are looking to buy or sell property in the Laurel Highlands you’ll catch up with us!

Please request Abe or Josh

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HV Nov Market Update

The year is almost over! Just one more month to see how 2021 compared to last year. Come take a look at what the market was up too!

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7S November Market Update

WOW, just one more month to 2021! Come check out what the real estate market for 7S looked like in November!

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HV Market Update OCT 2021

Listing inventory is at an all time low. This will reduce the number of sales in the upcoming months. Come check out the numbers!

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7S Market Update OCT 2021

With listing inventory still at ALL time lows sales are being reduced. Check out the Oct numbers.

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7S Market Update September 2021

It is the end of the third quarter! Come see how the numbers look!

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HV Market Update Sept 2021

It’s the end of the 3rd quarter! Come and check out the numbers!

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2022 Desktop APPRAISALS Become a PERMANENT OPTION

Say What??? For the Federal Housing Finance Agencey appraisals conducted remotely (NO appraiser going through your property) will be accepted in 2022 for Qualifying Fannie and Freddie Loans. Read More

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Haunted Houses

Thanks to GO LAUREL HIGHLANDS for this compilation of scary places to visit for Halloween festivities. Some are family fun and some are for those with strong hearts! Enjoy! Image from Haunted Hollow

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TREES

Who doesn’t love trees and what they offer us! One of our favorite places to enjoy Mother Nature is Hemlock Trail in Laurel Hill State Park.   Six acres of old growth natural hemocks run along Laurel Hill Creek, 1.2 miles.  Here’s a link for some other eye cathing trees around the world.

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2021 PA Private Roadway Act 75

The quick back story is that there a ton of PRIVATE ROADWAYS in PA. When the sellers go to sell, the buyers financing was able to walk away from the transaction if there was NO agreement as to how the road was to be maintained. Now the GENERAL ROAD LAW – REPAIR OF PRIVATE ROADS AND DEFINITIONS Act 25 provides a minimum standard.

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7S Aug 2021 Market Update

You need to see the numbers yourself! Come take a look!

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HV August Market Update

The numbers continue to impress! Come check out the update!

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7 Fixes to Avoid MAJOR Foundation Problems

From my National REALTOR Association comes these tips on avoiding future fondation problems! There are tips to help you NOT to have expensive issues while you are residing there OR for when you go to sell!  Click here for the story!

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Fall Bike Riding YEAHHH McCloskey

Bring on the Fall

by patmccloskey

Fall Decor

I love the fall. So happy that the steamy, hot, humid weather has ended and the days are sunny, the nights cooler and the leaves are starting to change. Janet does a great job celebrating the season with decorating the house and we both feel the change coming. Love it. Hauling out the fleece, watching college football games, going to the farm markets teeming with pumpkins, cider, apples and people who are celebrating like we are. Did I say I love the fall?

As I age, I also celebrate little things that I may not have paid much attention to in a younger day. Just appreciating what is around us. Little things like a cold beer after a mountain bike ride with my friends. The other night,( in a place which I dare not mention because the local residents would string me up if I gave away information on their beloved trail system,) we all sat around after the ride with our fleece, our camp chairs and various beverages relaxing in the cool temperatures. My friend Sandy McKee told us his daughter lives in Vermont and usually brings a couple of cases of Heady Topper beer from the Alchemist Brewery when she visits mom and dad. Sandy hauled a couple of these out at the ride, and I have to tell you, I was excited. It is not too often we get to sample Heady Topper here in Pa. A very popular beer in New England which almost never makes it out of there because of its popularity. To have a couple of cases make their way here is a real treat and Sandy just made the cool, evening post ride amazing! It’s hard to put into words the feeling you get when you drink in that first sip of a great beer after a ride. But sitting down in your camp chair, drinking in that first sip, looking at the changing leaves and talking about the ride with friends is really special. The post ride is almost as good as the ride itself.

A real treat – Heady Topper
Sandy McKee in the foreground. Made our evening ride more special.

I know I talk a lot about mountain biking in this blog but really, it is a great way to exercise and a wonderful way to take in the trails and scenery in wooded settings all around the country. This time of year in Pennsylvania, the weather is pretty cool and dry, and is actually our best weather in these parts. In my opinion, nothing better than taking it in on the seat of a bike. What makes it even more special is that I got a new bike recently which is light, fast, and enjoyable to ride. I have been riding a monster truck recently (a 29er plus) and although it is great on really rough terrain like we have in the mountains around here and in West Virginia, it is tough to haul that weight around as I grow older. The new light steed brings me back a little. A real gift as I start the fall riding season.

The Transition Spur

So taking that second sip of the Heady Topper, I looked around at my group and was thankful that I had good friends to share the experience of riding and reveling in the post ride. Bob K always brings snacks, and as we all sit around munching and sipping away, time stops for a moment or two if I allow myself to take it all in. I think sometimes that the fall also ushers in the final quarter of a year and as another one slips by, I think how important it is to grab every moment to enjoy what life has to offer. Simple things like trails, leaves, apple cider, and being with friends who value the same things. And of course – Heady Topper. Thanks Sandy. Thanks for reading.

Fall in the Laurels.
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Fall Foliage

Pa has over 130 native tree species! “Beginning September 30, weekly fall foliage reports can be found online and will be updated every Thursday. Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks near the beginning of October across Pennsylvania.” Check out the DCNR website for more details!

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Connecting PA Trails

Did you know, “One of the seven major recommendations of the State Outdoor Recreation Plan is to “Close priority trail gaps in Pennsylvania’s statewide land and water trail network with the overall goal of having a trail within 10 minutes of every Pennsylvanian.” Inside the  Pennsylvania Land and Water Trail Network Strategic Plan (PDF). You’ll find a ” blueprint for state and local governments, trail providers, and other stakeholders to guide Pennsylvania’s trail stewardship and expansion for the next five years.” Read more

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PA Digital Hunting License

This year in PA, for certain species hunters may now carry a digital hunting license! Check it out here!

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Laurel Highlands #8 for Fall foliage USA Today

MORE LIFESTYLES

Laurel Highlands ranks 8th in USA Today’s top-10 fall foliage spots

Shirley McMarlin
   

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TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Fall foliage is seen along Darlington Road in Ligonier Township on Oct. 21, 2019.

Once again, USA Today readers have confirmed what Western Pennsylvanians have always known — the Laurel Highlands is one of the country’s best places for viewing fall foliage.

For the second year in a row, the Laurel Highlands is a Readers’ Choice Winner in the Best Destination for Fall Foliage category in the USA Today 10Best Travel Award Contest, placing eighth overall in voting amid a field of 20 nominees.

The 2021 Top 1o are:

1. White Mountains, N.H.

2. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

3. Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains

4. Gatlinburg, Tenn.

5. Ozark Mountains region, Ark.

6. Taos, N.M.

7. Door County, Wis.

8. Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania

9. Stowe, Vt.

10. Finger Lakes region, N.Y.

The list is mostly a repeat of last year, except in a different order and with Taos replacing Asheville, N.C. The Laurel Highlands and Poconos switched spots in the numerical rankings.

‘Magnificent blanket of color’

“We are extremely honored to have been nominated for a second year and recognized as a top 10 destination by readers of USA Today,” said Ann Nemanic, executive director of GO Laurel Highlands, formerly the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.

“Each season in the Laurel Highlands bears its own unique charm,” she said. “When autumn unfurls a magnificent blanket of color along our rolling hills, through our valleys and atop our vistas, it’s a sight everyone in America needs to see.”

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COURTESY OF GO LAUREL HIGHLANDS
Fall foliage seen along the Great Allegheny Passage in Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County.

But where to go to see those sights?

“Our signature Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway is the ultimate leaf-peeping drive as it extends from Seward, in northeastern Westmoreland County, and winds down through rolling farmlands and charming Ligonier, over the mountain ridges into Ohiopyle State Park before concluding in Farmington, Fayette County,” Nemanic said. “Perhaps take a leisurely scenic drive through parts of Somerset County to the charming trail town of Confluence along Route 281 to soak in the rolling farmlands and mountain ridges in the background.

“Another favorite is Route 40 along the southern Laurel Highlands, which winds past Yough River Lake to Fort Necessity National Battlefield, up to the top of the mountain and the Historic Summit Inn for some amazing views before easing down into Uniontown,” she said.

One of the area’s hidden gems for finding fall vistas is the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, Nemanic said. The trail traverses 70 miles along Laurel Mountain from Ohiopyle State Park to the Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown.

Among Westmoreland County’s more easily accessible and family friendly spots for fall color are Twin Lakes and Cedar Creek parks, she added.

“As we continue to navigate the unpredictability of covid, and mitigation efforts in general, we have the wide open spaces locals and visitors can experience safely,” Nemanic said.

According to the annual Fall Foliage Prediction Map from smokymountains.com, fall colors will be peak in Western Pennsylvania around the week of Oct. 18.

 

The top 10 fall foliage winners were selected by readers via a monthlong online contest that encouraged travelers to vote daily for their favorite place to peep the leaves. The winning destinations were announced Sept. 10 on the 10Best website.

The Laurel Highlands region also holds other USA Today 10Best honors, including one for top Best New Destinations in 2018 for Flight 93 National Memorial’s Tower of Voices and Best Pennsylvania Attractions for Ohiopyle State Park.

The 10Best.com website provides users with original travel content on top attractions and restaurants for destinations in the United States and around the world. The staff includes local travel experts who specialize in the region or city they write about.

For more information on fall in the Laurel Highlands, visit golaurelhighlands.com.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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Days of the Dixon Cabin are Gone McCloskey

New post on chroniclesofmccloskey

The End of an Era

by patmccloskey

So, I was on a mountain bike ride with my pal Steve Gurtner the other day and he said, ” did you hear they tore the cabin down on County Line Road?” I said- “Dixon’s ?” He said yes. “nothing but a big old hole in the ground now” I was a little shocked and took a drive over to see for myself. Sure enough. A big old hole in the ground where once stood the Rich’s cabin or as my dad used to call it…..” The Dixon Hilton.”

The cabin had come into some neglect and disrepair in the last number of years and my childhood friend Dixon Rich said that it was time for it to come down. Dixon bought the cabin from his folks a while back and as the years went on, it didn’t get much use and was becoming a liability. So Dixon sold the property to some friends who will build a new place. As I stared at the hole in the ground, lots of memories came rushing back to me from my childhood weekends in the cabin near Seven Springs Resort where we all skied as kids

.

The old ski lodge and yours truly.

I grew up with Dixon Rich and we have been friends since the minor league in baseball. His dad bought the cabin a long time ago and every weekend, Bob Rose used to take all of us kids up in the station wagon to spend the weekends at the Rich cabin. Sleeping bags all over the floors were common and the bunk beds were filled as well. Usually it was either Sally and Bob Rose, Barley and Dixon Rich Sr., or Ted and Mary Struk who had the chaperone duties and cooking detail to keep all of the neighbor kids from the Berkey Hills area fed and in line. That was the standard weekend in the winter for all of us thanks to the generosity of Dixon Rich Sr. who got the place for all of us to enjoy. I couldn’t wait for the phone to ring on a Friday afternoon when Bob Rose Sr. would call and say- ” 15 minutes- be ready and have all your gear ready.” We would ski Friday nights until 11:00, all day Saturday, Saturday night, and all day Sunday until we would pack up and head back to the burg. That is where we all really learned to ski at Seven Springs, and spending our nights at the cabin on County Line Road. For years!!!!

Dixon and I still skiing together nearly 60 years later.

As the years went on, kids became teen agers and there were all kinds of cars in the driveway. The key to the cabin was always on the top of the entry door and the only rule was before you left, you better put the key back where it belonged. If those walls could talk, you would hear some tall tales from that cabin with all of those raging hormones and visitors coming from near and far to ski weekends with the Berkeley Hills crowd. The parents would still show up from time to time but their git up and go for us had gone up and left as they aged a bit. The Dixon Hilton was party central for many of us growing up on weekends in the Laurel Highlands. Dix and I got into mountain biking around the same time and we used the cabin as a meeting place for our growing number of riding friends. It was cool to have a place to stay and hang out after a big ride from the cabin, over to Hidden Valley and back again. Dixon and I would also take mega rides to Ohiopyle and often get lost on the way back. We relied on the sunset to give us direction and if it got too late, the kindly neighbors from Indian Head would give us a ride back up the hill to the cabin where we were completely exhausted. When they had the NORBA National Mountain Bike series at Seven Springs, Dixon and I raced in our category, and then watched the national class races. The whos who of mountain bike racing came to Seven Springs in those days and somehow they all heard of the parties at the cabin on County Line Road. It was not uncommon to see luminaries of the mountain bike world show up in Dixon’s yard. Maurice and Elaine Tierney of Dirt Rag Magazine, Sue Haywood, Kurt Vooreis, and even Gary Fisher graced the grounds of the Dixon Hilton. The cabin became the meeting place for rides and the after ride festivities for years and it became our little year round resort.

Tough Trail at the NORBAS

Time flew by and our little band of neighbor kids spread out all over the country. The cabin didn’t get much use in recent years and one time Dixon was staying there and he called me on the phone. ” Hey Patrick, you wouldn’t believe it. I was sleeping and at about 3:00 AM the deck fell off.” ” I didn’t know you had to shovel snow off the deck to relieve the weight.” ” All of a sudden it was gone” We both had a good laugh about that one along with some other good memories.

I talked to Dixon the other day and he told me about the sale. I asked him if he kept some memorabilia from the cabin and he said that he had, including the valued pair of Jet Stix. We both laughed and said most people would not even know what they were. For you younger folks- google Jet Stix. Also- he said he kept the flashing yellow light that they used to alert people coming up County Line that the cabin was open and people were there.

Looking at this hole in the ground, I will miss the old days. But I will always be grateful to the Rich’s, the Roses and the Struks ,and my parents, for their investment in the kids in the neighborhood. That cabin was our home in the winter and I could not think of a better way to grow up. I am still skiing sixty years later and my enthusiasm has not waned one bit. That love of the sport was ingrained in us as kids and I will always be thankful for the cabin on County Line Road. Thanks for reading.

 

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Driven Notes on Olympic Mettle


Driven
by patmccloskey

I love the Olympics. Have always been fascinated with them since I was a kid. Love to watch the summer and the winter games and try to see as much of it as I can. I even spent a week at the winter games in Lake Placid in 1980. Long time ago. There has been a lot of controversy around the Olympics especially in these times. Costs, political issues, Covid concerns, but the Olympic spirit in my mind, always remains no matter what. Even though the games have been compromised by outside issues, the fact of the matter is that they are still the visible pinnacle of sport to many around the world and also seem somehow to unite all of us under one athletic banner.

I was talking to a friend this weekend about a book that I am reading about Everest and what drives people to climb such a peak. The drive is the same there as it is in the Olympics or sports in general at a world class level. I am always amazed at the personal interest stories about how athletes make it to the Olympics under great personal hardships and sacrifice. If you ask any world class athlete, they will all have similar stories of practice, missing life events, growing up too fast, spending time in foreign countries in difficult conditions. Love to see the stories of the parents and their sacrifices too. But what does it take to make it to the top? Luck, passion, skill, drive, or a combination of all of these?

I have always been a competitive person. I dabbled in a lot of sports regionally but as I age, my get up and go for a lot of that has gone up and left. But I have always been a fan and when the Olympic theme comes on the TV, the hair stands up on my arms a bit because of my respect for the games and the athletes who have sacrificed so much to get there. I like watching a lot of events that I would not ordinarily have an interest in and the athletes all have one thing in common- drive. Listen to the interviews. You can see the passion and the one sided focus and the stories of personal sacrifice that make up the athletes persona. You can see the tears on their parent’s and coach’s faces as they compete to win the gold medal.

Lots of folks are negative on the Olympics these days because it has been so politicized but I always look at it from the athlete’s perspective. No matter what extraneous issues are presenting themselves, theirs is the story. Not the politics, not the pandemic, not the costs, –

 

for me, just the stories of the athletes and their passion to win with humility and lose with grace. Some of the stories are humorous at the world class level. Take Missy Giove here. She was not happy a few years ago at the NORBA Nationals Mountain Bike Championships when she was beaten in her semi final heat for dual slalom. Missy was always a character on the mountain bike circuit and I loved to hear her interviews and see her compete at the national level. She was tough as nails but when she lost, her humor took over and she gave the crowd a show they will never forget.

For me, again, it is always the stories. The GOATS. Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles, Allison Schmitt, Michael Grady ,Nino Schurter, and a host of other incredible athletes that make up the Olympic games. Weekend warriors like me will never truly understand the competitive drive and the level at which these athletes perform. But in my own way, I can remember what it feels like to have butterflies at the start of an event. The thrill of winning something and more often of losing something. But at the world class level, it is incomprehensible to the mere mortal. But the scenes presented at the Olympic Games are priceless in my book and I am always happy every four years when they come around for our enjoyment. Don’t get caught up in the politics. Just enjoy the games. Can’t wait until February for the winter games either. Ba da bup ba badda, budda bup baddup bup bup badda! Love that theme. It gets me excited. Thanks for reading.

patmccloskey | July 26, 2021 at 4:40 pm | Tags: Allison Schmitt, Katie Ledecky, Nino Schurter, Simone Biles, Tokyo Olympics | Categories: Aging, Exercise, Inspiration, Olympics, outdoor activities, outdoor sports, Outdoors, Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/s31Q99-driven

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7S June & 1st Half Market Update

Lowest interest rates, lowest listing inventory, COVID-19 mix them together for the most incrdible first half performance I have ever seen at the resort!

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HV June & 1st Half Market Update

Factors that have created this once in a lifetime sellers market include, lowest iterest rates, lowest listing inventory, AND COVID-19. The picture tells the story!

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REAL ESTATE TAXES

If you are considering buying property at Hidden Valley or Seven Springs there are multpile factors that should be evaluated BEFORE signing that offer! A big one is real estate taxes. Here we have County, Township. and School property taxes. The County (will have the same millage for both resorts) and Township (HV is Jefferson Twp, 7S is Middlecreek) are based on the calender year. School Taxes (HV Somerset 7S Rockwood) are fiscal running from July 1 through June 30th and those bills are just NOW being sent out.

HV millage for the 2021 year school tax has gone up to 43.24 mills. 7S millage is 21.89 mills. That’s a big difference.

IF the assessed value (the number used to find the tax) were the same say $50,000 th HV tax would be $2,162.00 and the 7S tax would be $1,094.50 

Here’s a link to the 2021 Millages for Somerset County

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AUDUBON URGES REMOVAL OF BIRD FEEDERS

So far no one has been able to figure out why birds are dying in at least 9 states. The PA game commission and  Audubon Society of Westeren PA is recommending the removal of ALL bird feeders including those for humming birds. Image by Brent Connoly

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Mountain Watershed Yough River Float Trip

Enjoy a 4 hour float trip on the Yough River from Dawson to Layton July 11,  10 am. Find out more about the adventure,tickets, and more here! Picture from Sharon Speelman, Laurel Hill State Park

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75% In PA Have Had 1st COVID-19 Vaccination

From Governer Wolfs update today 75% of those 18 and older have had at least ONE COVID-19 vaccination. Check out the story.

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HV Market Update May 2021

Listing inventory continues to decline so expect multiple offers! Not seeing any signs of a slow down yet. Check out the update!

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7S Market Update May 2021

Sellers are loving this fast paced, low inventory, crazy market! Buyers bring your check books! Check out the May numbers.

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Birding By Boat This Sat

Laurel Hill State Park is offering a Birding By Boat experience, Sat 9am to 10:30am! YOU NEED TO REGISTER AND BRING YOUR OWN GEAR! Enjoy a morning paddle surrounded by birdsongs and meet some new friends!

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TICK TIME

The outdoors have many pests! Ticks are one of the worst! They are sooo small YOU have to really look for them or deal with the possibility of Lyme disease.  Here’s more from the DCNR resource newsletter,

Bug, insect, tick, cloth, fabric
Be Prepared and Proactive to Avoid Ticks
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell, and Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam reminded Pennsylvanians that tick-borne diseases are present across the state, and encouraged residents to seek treatment if they have been bitten by a tick and provided tips to prevent tick bites from occurring.
Pennsylvania residents and visitors can take simple steps to reduce their chances of being bitten by ticks by:
  • Covering exposed skin with lightweight and light-colored clothing
  • Avoiding tick-infested habitats such as areas dense with shrubbery or tall grass
  • Using an EPA-approved insect repellent
  • Immediately checking yourself, children, and pets for ticks once returning home
  • Taking a shower immediately to remove ticks that may be crawling on skin
  • Drying clothing and gear in a dryer to kill any ticks
“Taking these precautions and safeguards are important in ensuring an experience free of tick-borne diseases. DCNR remains committed to informing the public and equipping our employees with the necessary tools to address tick bites,” DCNR Secretary Dunn said.

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Greenlees Mountain Bikes

Greenlees Mountain Bikes

From the Best of http://www.chroniclesofmccloskey.com

 

NiteRider2photophotophotophotophoto There is a statistic floating around out there that claims that 90 percent of all mountain bikes sold are never taken off road. Consider what percentage are utilized on rocky, rooty, muddy, eastern trails coupled with doing it at night with lights and you have a small percentage of bicycles and riders. Back in the 90s, I had the good fortune of becoming associated with a group of individuals that took the sport of mountain biking very seriously and became almost legendary in their victories in local mountain bike races in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Their use of these off road machines put the manufacturers to the test every time they had a training ride and some of the best riders and racers at the time belonged to a group started by Chuck Greenlee of Prospect Pa.

Chuck had a small shop and prided himself on carrying the best equipment that could be tested on the rocks of the terminal moraine. The frame to have at the time was either a Merlin titanium or a Yeti and Chuck quickly assembled a group of individuals who supported his shop and ultimately made up his race team. Jonathan Moran, Ricky Haas, Eric Sauereisen, Bob Anderson, E.J Sigety, Steve Wahlenmeyer,Frankie Ross, and Bill Alcorn were all incredibly good riders and the balance of the group were in the older category as veterans which included Chuck, Mike Reidinger, Tim Sweeney and yours truly – truly bringing up the rear. Diane Blackburn was our lone woman rider who could ride most guys into the ground. I first got to respect Diane when she gave me a real ration of grief for getting lost on a Month of Mud course. She was in our group at the time and I zigged instead of zagged and heard it from Diane for weeks. Jonathan and the boys rode the Pro Expert Division and their rides and routes taught me a lot about riding on the rocks. Of course, I was not able to keep up with this group but they all were kind enough to spend the time to teach me the finer points of riding in this treacherous terrain. Often there were several groups riding at Moraine State Park in those days that were associated with Chuck’s team and the fast guys were able to do their thing with the slower guys bringing up the rear and learning all along the way. I had many over the bars experiences much to the amusement of the “A” team but being part of that team of folks was not only an education, but immersing into a culture of ride or be left behind. ” What doesn’t kill you makes you strong” was certainly on display on those rides and the fruits of the work displayed itself in the podium finishes for the Expert Group. Our Vet group held our own and oftentimes won our divisions in races like the 24 Hours of Canaan( see May 15th, 2013 post). The NORBA Nationals, 24 Hour races, Hidden Valley Fat Tire Fallouts and Stampedes, Month of Mud races, WVMBA Series races, all had podium representation by the Greenlee crew in all age divisions. Even our older guys like Tim, Chuck and Mike were always competitive overall as well as winning in the Vet and Master division. Like a blind squirrel who finds an acorn once in a while, I even had some good finishes at the time that showed me that with a little hard work and keeping momentum on rocks and roots, even a schlubb like me can be successful. I was happy to be a Greenlee Mountain Bike Team member.

Besides the victories, the better part of being associated with Greenlee’s Mountain Bikes was the culture created by Chuck and also the team itself. E.J and his wife Sharon would always welcome us back to their home for cookouts after rides and races. Steve’s girlfriend Julie ( now his wife) would always get her parent’s motor home to be the base of support at the races and her immediate family was always welcoming with a great place to rest and have something to eat. The mechanics from the local shops would all set up outside the RV and if there were any issues at the races, it was a communal repair pit for anyone who needed it.

I loved traveling to the events in West Virginia with Chuck and perhaps some of the more harrowing rides in the country were with Chuck trying to catch Sam Dyke and the “Parrot Man” with his super suspended van on the back roads of the Monongahela National Forest. We made it to Davis, Slaty Fork, and other locations in record time. Chuck was always a pedal to the metal guy not only in his riding but in his driving. But the best part of hanging with Chuck was that if we needed anything by way of equipment, parts, etc, Chuck was always there at all times to provide and would work on broken bikes well into the night. When you are passionate about something, it becomes part of your life. You are not just someone who rides a bicycle, you are a mountain biker. It becomes part of your persona. It seems like a long time ago, but a lot of the skills and more importantly friendships have lasted to this day and my passion for riding a mountain bike was first fueled by a fun loving crew from the wilds of Butler County.

These days, my old Merlin hangs from a hook in my garage. If that bike could talk, it would certainly tell some great stories. There are many groups and teams like the old Greenlee’s Team and they all have several things in common- passion for a sport, camaraderie ,laughs, accountability, and great memories that last a lifetime. Unfortunately, Chuck is no longer with us.  He was taken a couple of years ago with heart failure and he is sorely missed.   Cherish your friends.  Thanks for reading.

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HV Market Update April 2021

How long do you think this market is going to last?

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Finally SPRING

The Fresh New Season

by patmccloskey

Floral greetings on the hiking trails.

I am not sure whether I am just taking the time to notice or whether this spring has been more spectacular than most . The blossoms and growth in the woods and along the trails are really exploding and I have been thinking to myself as I hike and ride the mountain bike this year, what a blessing this has been. To have sunny days and vibrant colors emerging from the cold winter is really amazing especially around Western Pa where I live. It is usually rainy and wet in the spring and we all jokingly call it mud season. But, so far so good.

The Happy Hiker

I crowbarred my wife Janet out of the house this weekend and she is always glad that I prod her to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. We have a lot of good hiking right near our house and when you look around, you really could be anywhere as you make your way down the paths and trails sighting new plant growth and the usual visuals of the pine forests near our home. The thing I always have to remember is that we have a lot to appreciate right in our own backyard.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love hiking and riding in other parts of the country. There are so many places that have their own special atmosphere and vistas. Everyone who lives in those parts, are really proud of their landscape and their trails that they love to show us.

Western Vistas

There are really great places out there to hike and ride and the mountain views are really spectacular. But really, everyone in all parts of this country have good views and great trails if you are willing to take the time to spend especially in your own back yard. Copper Harbor, Michigan, Mohican State Forest in Ohio, The Moon Rocks in Davis, West Virginia. I love to visit other places and so do my friends, but there is a reason people live where they live. Family, friends, jobs, familiarity, and other factors generally dictate where people are located. Oftentimes I think to myself that I would love to live in the west. But I would never look down on my local outdoors opportunities and think that there is something better. I try to enjoy my local mountains and parks and be happy that I the health and ability to do so.

The Moon Rocks- Davis, West Virginia.

I watch a lot of You Tube videos of people riding MTB in different parts of the country. And really they have a lot to offer. The thing that is most noticeable is the pride of the locals when they show a newcomer their local treasure of trails. They have an enthusiasm in their voice and a smile on their face that says- ” hey man, this place is the bomb.” And it often is and people are happy to hike or ride there. But is it the ” bomb?” Maybe the ” bomb” is your local scene with your friends in your local mountains or trails. Wherever you live?

Local Laurel Highlands lushness

I always chuckle at the conversations that lead to ” one -upsmanship” You know- like you telling someone from another place what a great time you had on your local trails and they tell you ” Oh man- that is nothing. You should have seen it out here this weekend.” I am sure that it was nice, but there are great hikes and rides everywhere. My dad had a funny saying that said, ” First liar never has a chance.” That is the classic response to ” one- upsmanship.” ” You think that was good? Well, you should see mine” In reality, my friends in Oregon love their trails. My friends in Colorado and California love their trails. My friends in Vermont love the Green Mountains. And I don’t blame them a bit. But I never have that longing to always be there instead of where I am. Love to visit and travel. But I always am thankful for the local scenery and the ability to enjoy it. I never demean the local scene. And there is something to be said for sharing it with my wife and my friends.

Bend, Oregon
Laguna Beach, California

But this coming weekend, I have a friend visiting from Philly and he loves to ride. I will be proud to show him around and let him see the fresh new season we have around here with all the blossoms, flora and everything that is spring on the local trails. I am sure that I will tell him that this is the BEST around here. LOL!! Enjoy what you have- wherever. Thanks for reading.

Laurel Mountain goodness

 

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