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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WHOA NELLIE DAIRY FARM

FALL FUN! Whoa Nellie is a family owned dairy farm that offers a Charlie Brown Corn Maze, horse and tractor rides, a sheep wagon, and a store filled with white, chocolate, and strawberry milk (the old fashioned kind). It tastes like you are drinking ice cream!! Check out the photos and video, better yet go have some fun! Here’s a video of the Corn Maze!

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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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VOTE FOR LAUREL HIGHLANDS BEST DESTINATION FOR FALL FOILAGE!

This is the 3rd consecutive year the Laurel Highlands has been a nominee for the Readers Choice Awards according to GO Laurel Highlands. Here’s how to vote, “Individuals have a chance to support the Laurel Highlands – one of 20 locations selected for the 2022 Best Destination for Fall Foliage award – by voting daily through Sept. 12 CLICK HERE. Photo from GO Laurel Highlands.

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SUNFLOWER MAZE Maple Bottom Farm

This year Maple Bottom Farms planted “more than 300,000 sunflower seeds!” Owners Vickie and Mike Baker want to help others learn about agriculture and dairy which lead to farm tours for visitors. The sunflower maze is just one of their offerings. They have a B&B, picnics in the sunflower and zinnia fields (think date night), room for events and weddings, sell milk and cheeses, special events, and educational offerings! Check out their FB Page

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BEER HERE!

Would YOU believe that PA is second only to California when it comes to number of craft breweries with 486! According to VINEPAIR in their article “Best States For Beer Lovers” they also ranked PA 5th out of all our states. Enjoy the read and the beer!

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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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GO LAUREL HIGHLANDS

If you are looking for something FUN to do in the Laurel Highlands then you need to spend some time diving into GO LH the Laurel Highlands Visitors website. That link will take you to a downloadable visitors guide. Yes we have been members for years and are raving fans of the information they continually put forth ALL YEAR ROUND for residents and visitors to our back yards. ENJOY!

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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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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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PAR CFO Jim Antonio Retires

After 43 years of superior and steadfast financial management for the Pennsylvania REALTORS Association Jim is retiring. For those REALTORS who have never experienced the in person involvement of our state meetings I’m sad that you have never meet this man. He has overseen our associations financial growth from $500,000 to over 7 MILLION today. Speaking as a past financial committee member, he served more than just our top bean counter.  As our leadership changes every year Jim held the memories of past experiences. Not only what happened when but was able to add insight as to the circumstances and share WHY decisions were made. When I was going through my masters program Jim helped me analyze our new PAR building as an income producing property for our membership and an A for me. His insight, dedication, and friendship will be greatly missed. Thank you Jim!

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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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4507 Swiss Mountain New Listing

Buying or selling, we are here to help you! Check out our newest listing,

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Encouragement McCloskey

Affirmation

by patmccloskey

Affirmation with the Cow Bell.

So the other day, I was riding my mountain bike at our local park trying to get back into some semblance of shape after a tough winter on our trails. Once the snow came and the thaws and freezes, the ice on the trails was too tough for me because I don’t have studs. So with the recent spring like weather, I figured I would go out again and start riding. I was making my way up a hill when a guy who was hiking with his wife said, ” Hey!………..good job”. I kind of chuckled at that comment and said thank you and kept riding. It kind of reminded me of the old mountain bike racing days when I would be killing myself up a hill and some kind soul observing on the side of the trail would look at me and say………..” Hey- good job.” Those kind of comments kind of spurred me on to the top of the hill and then helped me make my way enthusiastically to the finish line. It is amazing how a little positive commentary can spur you on.

I always returned the kindness at the World Cup Mountain Bike Finals in Snowshoe, West Virginia with my cowbell. When the pros would be making their way up a heinous climb, I would encourage them with my cowbell. Many of them were so focused that they they never wavered in their concentration. Others like American Haley Batten would smile and enthusiastically say “thank you” and keep riding spurred on by the pro-American spectators wishing her well.

The Shark and the affable Haley Batten

Affirmation is usually the result of the acclaim of a job well done. At Snowshoe, you can see the result of hard work of the world class athletes, and the support they got from their home team and trainers. We cheered them on- affirming their hard work. Affirmation comes after the support of someone trying to do something positive. Support them first- then affirm them.

We all have the opportunity to support people on their way up or maybe on their way back. For instance, I have a neighbor who had a severe stroke and is making his way back. He has been through a lot along with his supportive wife. The guy is a noted, retired orthopedic surgeon who has had some tough breaks with his health. I have tried to support him as well as his wife in different ways, but the other day- I saw Dr. Tim out on a walk using his walker encouraged by his ever supporting wife, Joyce. I looked at him and said, ” Good job, TIm.” You could see the smile on his face because I affirmed the hard work he has done to make it back. When I was at his house the other day, he showed me his strength by pulling me with his arms. The guy is a big strong guy and although he is in his 80s, he has made a remarkable come back. He deserves affirmation and we give it to him.

I have another friend who has had a stroke as well and he is making his comeback. Although he is younger, he has worked hard to come back. He is an avid mountain bike rider, skier, backcountry adventurer, snowmobiler, and traveler. He has his moments of despair, but I always affirm his hard work and tell him that he will be back stronger than ever. People need support when they have difficult times and we all can give that support. And when they make their way up over the hill metaphorically, we can give them the affirmation that they deserve.

Jeff on the comeback trail.

There are a lot of people today that can use our help. Friends who have had a death in the family, are having health issues, maybe are going through a divorce or other personal issues, or people that just need a boost up that hill. We can make the effort to support them and when they make progress, we can affirm that progress with a kind comment like- ” Good job- keep up the good work.” You may not need to use a cowbell to affirm them, but you can certainly recognize that people go through a lot and can use a word or support, a kindness afforded to them, and affirmation that gives them that boost that they need. To have a friend is to be a friend. Thanks for reading.

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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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Getting the most skiing on busy days

 

How to Ski an Area Effectively

by patmccloskey

Whiteface , NY

Jon Weisberg from http://www.SeniorsSkiing.com suggested that I write a piece for him on how to effectively ski a given area. Interesting topic which can be shared in his magazine and also on my blog here. Kind of kill two birds with one stone so to speak. So here goes.

Let’s start with the smaller areas like we have here in Western Pa. and Western New York. Moving from slope to slope or trail to trail regularly can be an effective way to maximize the satisfaction out of an area with a smaller vertical drop. I also try to make as many turns as I can in order to really utilize the terrain. Maybe a ski with a tighter turn radius can be used and often if you combine the tactic of ” keep moving” and “make turns”, you can see where the best snow is at a smaller area and then focus on lift lines and crowded conditions. My favorite local area has one really good slope- the best slope in Pa. It also has a number of trails and glades as options, but really, I like to lap Wildcat at Laurel Mountain and utilize its steeper terrain to the best of my ability. People ask- ” Pat- how can you ski the same slope all day long?” I tell them it is the best slope in Pa. and I change up my lines every run. Skiers left, middle and skiers right always yield a different challenge each run and really you can make the most out of limited terrain if you vary your lines. I mix it up with some selected runs down the trails at Laurel- often taking in great views of the Ligonier Valley. But for the most part, you can see me lapping the Cat each time from a different line.

Mammoth Mountain, California

Moving on to larger areas, a number of tactics come into play to effectively ski an area. The first one is to get there early to beat the crowds. This is true everywhere you ski. Oftentimes the best grooming is available in the morning or the morning’s best powder stashes can be accessed if you get up early and get to the parking lot and on to the slopes early. Once there, I often follow the sun. Look for where the sun shines first and go there for good visibility. If the slopes are not crowded, feel free to rip some big GS like turns because there is no fear of lots of people impeding your progress. Once the slopes begin to assemble people, those moving targets need to be respected and you can move on to another area which may not be as sunny and perhaps less crowded. I try to avoid the crowds at all costs. At Deer Valley a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the lifts servicing the black diamond slopes seemed less crowded. The reason is that the entry to those slopes were pretty icy and people tended to avoid another run. For me- that is the green light to keep skiing them. If you can stand a little bit of adverse conditions, you will have a particular run or runs to yourself with no lift lines.

Steins Way at Deer Valley

Skiing at lunchtime is another tactic where you see the lines dramatically disappear. Make use of the time and pump in a snack bar or some fruit that you have packed in your parka and wait until later in the day to eat lunch. It is amazing how areas empty at lunchtime and then especially on a Sunday, when people tend to leave for home, you can access a lot of vertical. I remember being in Austria with my friends Mark Singleton and Kenny Griffin. The local lift attendant looked at us quizzically and asked why we were skiing so much at lunchtime? We were supposed to be taking a “siesta” but as Type ” A” Americans, we were trying to access the most vertical we could get and take a break from the Euros stepping all over our skis in the lift lines. People want to ski and they want to get by you. Sometimes your skis tended to take a beating. LOL!!

On a powder day- people tend to hunt the fresh lines and leave perfectly good snow behind that is cut up from the masses. I ski with wider skis ( 107 mm under foot) on powder days and no matter how the new powder gets cut up from the crowds, the wider skis just plow through without even a thought. People with narrower skis tend to egg beater and disappear when the smooth, powdery, runs are cut up. But if you have the right equipment, you can continue to ski the cut up lines and avoid lift lines and the rush by the locals for new lines.

Arapahoe Basin ,Colorado
Northstar, California

Also- don’t be afraid to try new areas. It is easy to get into a rut and ski all the same areas on a trip or regularly in your home region. But the more terrain you can access that is different, the more your skiing will improve. I have skied in a lot of different areas in my lifetime and I am glad that I took the time to do so . I get in a little bit of a rut locally but even at that, I try again to mix up the lines, and the runs for maximum use of limited terrain.

When skiing with my wife, I also employ another tactic in that I check the area grooming report. I see where the most recent grooming has occurred and head there. She thanks me for the recon. Lastly- another tactic that can be used is to ski the lower part of the mountain after most of the crowd have moved on to the upper portions of the mountain. People will take a few runs down below and then head up to the rest of the terrain. Oftentimes if you ski the upper part early, you can come back down and the lower half of the mountain is empty. And the best is that- most of it is usually still in the sun on a good day.

Think ahead. Out think the masses and you will have a good day or week navigating the areas the most effectively. Ok Jon? LOL. Thanks for reading.

patmccloskey | February 28, 2022 at 6:25 pm | Categories: outdoor activitiesoutdoor sportsOutdoorsSkiingUncategorizedWinterwinter sports | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-1vU

 

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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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SHEETZ BREAKING GROUND IN DONEGAL

There have been rumors for years and NOW it is finally happening! SHEETZ is coming to town! The parcel is larger than most. It will be on your right when you take the Donegal turnpike exit at the stop light by the PNC bank. There will be a dedicated exit lane to skip the stop light IF you are headed to the resorts. Watch for the earth movers this March!

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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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Trout Stocking Schedule

It’s time! The 2022 trout stocking schedule is NOW available. Use this LINK to search by county! The first day of trout season is April 2nd. Good Fishing!

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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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MORTGAGE RATES INCREASE

Up, up and away we go. We all knew these HISTORIC LOW mortgage interest rates were not going to last forever. According to Mortgage News Daily  3.7% is now the average rate on popular 30 year mortgages. Last year around this time that percent was closer to 2.7%! What it means to YOU if buying, you’ll be paying more to borrow money for your forever home. Sellers are likely to see the beginning of fewer offers on their properties. The Federal Reseve Board meets next Wed to discuss next steps.

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Fannie Mae Appraisal Changes

Many of our resort and cabin properties have spaces with ceilings that slant, most of these are in upstairs bedrooms as pictured. Beginning April 1, if the buyer is financing through Fannie Mae the appraiser has to follow new rules. Check out the section in this link, How Well Do You Know ANSI which details measuring space and what counts as a basement. The MLS may have to revise rules on what is considered a bedroom….

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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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FLOOD RISKS INCREASE IN PA

A study just released states that, “Most communities across Pennsylvania will likely face higher flood risks by the end of the century due to climate change, according to research from Penn State.” Check out the story by Rachel McDevitt I’ve shared many stories about flood insurance and our National Association of REALTORS active involvement with the changing rules. Best advice, check your POLICES!

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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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Jeff Wuerthele- aka ” The Ride King” McCloskey

The Return of the Ride King

Jeff Wuerthele- aka ” The Ride King”

You know, you have to be a special kind of enthusiast to get two knee replacements and then come out on a 28 degree morning to bounce around on the rocks and roots of Laurel Mountain in November on a mountain bike. Jeff Wuerthele is that kind of person. In fact this whole crowd of guys who are in their 50’s and 60’s are enthusiasts who think nothing of weather and just appreciate the opportunity to ride in the Laurel Highlands on one of the last nice, sunny days of the year. From this point on, the weather here gets a little sketchy but these guys take it all in stride. They are also skiers and snowboarders so it stands to reason that they are not inhibited by weather that would make most people shy away and just sit on their couch watching SportsCenter. These are fun guys and I am happy to call them friends. In fact, my doc who is also in this group, commented that we all are good friends united by the sport of mountain biking. Guys like Jeff Wuerthele kept us all together for years with rides in the mountains and I am happy to have him back on the trails. He said it was the first group ride he has done in a while and he was happy he showed up.

Just to give you a snapshot of how these guys tick- lets take a quick look at this group, of which I am the elder statesman soon to be 67 years young.

Jeff Wuerthele- retired, former bike industry luminary and overall fun guy who lives full time in the Laurel Highlands and enjoys snowboarding and riding a mountain bike- again after two knee replacements.

Angelo Ross- the youngster in this crowd. A true renaissance man who is a retired school teacher, is currently on the Alpine skiing education staff for the Professional Ski Instructors of America. He has his own podcast, his own clothing business, and is also a guide for Wilderness Voyageurs in Ohiopyle, Pa. Very talented in a lot of areas.

John Cassucio- successful businessman and mountain bike and skiing enthusiast who is in excellent shape and fuels himself on Hammer products and vitamins. He is a testament to living cleanly and respecting his health as he ages. Not to mention a fun guy with a great sense of humor, and a skilled videographer.

Mark” the Shark” Sauers- mentioned many times in this blog. A true character who is a successful sales guy in the medical field, a certified snowboard instructor and excellent mountain biker. Perhaps his greatest asset is his willingness to share his faith on the trails with all those who ride with him. He walks the walk for sure.

Steve Gurtner- dentist and enthusiastic skier and mountain biker. Great sense of humor and a really skilled rider. His famous self deprecating line is ” Pat- we are bringing our B game to an A ride.” Not quite true in his sense because he is a fit, skilled rider, but funny all the same.

The Doc- Syed Hyder- seen here on the right. Syed is always on a busman’s holiday on our rides because he is always patching up people. The story of him inserting a presta valve into some guys chest on a ride to relieve air pressure is legendary in the medical community. An excellent and skilled rider and a really funny sense of humor always entertains us on the rides.

5 old ding dongs trying to repair Syed’s tire. Jeff working hard- LOL!
The Doc prior to Wolf Rocks eating his tire.

While we were all out in the woods as far as we could be from the cars trying to repair Syed’s tire in many different ways, we all remarked that just hanging around in the sunshine in the Laurel Highlands was enjoyable enough. Nobody cared that we were temporarily dead in the water as it was all part of an adventure for old guys out in the wilderness. That is the cool thing about mountain biking. Probably more than any venture I do outdoors, this community is responsible for fostering many lifetime friendships. Hard to explain – you have to be a mountain biker to understand. But, the adventures, the laughter, the camaraderie and the ability to participate as we all get older is fantastic. Most of my friends are either mountain bikers or skiers or in many cases, both. Lots of gray hairs under those helmets.

The wonderful end to the day of adventure was eating at the Out of the Fire Cafe in Donegal with our good friends – Julie and Jeff Chetlin. Jeff is very much like the Ride King in that he is the lynchpin of many cycling groups. Currently rehabbing from a health issue, Jeff is anxious to rejoin this group of merry men as well as others in the expansive network of Chetlin ride partners. He and Julie were so happy to see everybody and hear the stories of mishap on the trails. He is missed and we are all sure he will soon return to full health. Like Syed, he remarked that he has met all his good friends through mountain biking. Again, there is something about this sport that is uniting in many ways and we all feel it one way or another.

Angelo, the Ride King and Cassucio- just hanging around.

So, as I finish my rambling this week, I guess the point of all of this is that there is value to being active outdoors that extends beyond the health benefits. To participate in a healthy, challenging sport and to foster life long friendships as a result, is a real plus as we all age. I always remember Scott Nichol, of Ibis Bikes, stating a simple encouragement. When I asked him how long did he think we all could do this at this level as we age? His simple remark was,” Pat- don’t think about it- just keep doing it.” That has been my mantra for sure- just keep doing it. And if I can do it with friends like these guys, I will be a happy man living a long, healthy, fruitful life. Thanks for reading.

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Loving Fall McCloskey

Gore Tex Days

by patmccloskey

Pennsylvania Foliage

In the last week or so, the foliage has been spectacular here in Western Pa. There has been a lot of comments on how late the changing of the leaves came due to the warm October and climate change in general. However, almost on cue, the leaves around here have changed in a dramatic way. I love the fall and to hike or ride a mountain bike viewing the leaves is a great way to spend some time in the outdoors.

Jill Lake at The Lodge at Glendorn.

,However, as much as we like to enjoy the fall and the changing foliage, there invariably comes the change in the weather where the leaves are brown, the rains come, and in general, a feeling of despondency on the part of a lot of folks who know that the winter is not far behind. We tend to get some pretty nasty weather here when ” the winds of November come early.” Now I am a winter guy and enjoy the snow and cold weather for various reasons, but what to do when it is not quite winter and we are in the “tweener” season here in the Keystone State? We can hunker down and binge on Netflix, or we can make the decision to continue to be active. I tend to focus on the latter as many of you know from my blog.

When it rains in Ireland, the locals refer to it as a “soft day”. That’s a lovely thought isn’t it? A soft day. I can just hear them say it. If you don’t like it, just wait a few minutes and it will change. Back and forth, but it will change. They don’t let it bother them and I tend to think in a similar manner. Especially if you invest in a good rain suit and well………….get out in it. I have several friends who hate the rainy late fall weather here and I constantly tell them that the only way to beat it is to get out in it. My wife and I donned the Gore Tex and got out in the rain for a really visually spectacular hike this weekend. Janet is starting to realize the functionality of a good rain suit and how you can always adhere to the old saying,” there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices.” The leaves are still colorful in the rain and when you have finished the hike or whatever outdoor activity you choose, you have the feeling that you got over on something. You beat the bad weather and got some exercise. This is a well beaten mantra of by blog, but I focus on it to give the naysayers some incentive to change their thinking.

Time for the lights.

The time change is coming this weekend too. And instead of spending the next 5 months hibernating in a gym, why not get some lights and ride or hike? Light technology has changed immensely since I first started riding in the dark way back in 1988. Do some research and see the amazing changes that have been made and the increasing lumen capacity and battery life that now exists with lighting technology. The cost has come down significantly.

 

Wolf Rocks – Laurel Mountain
Top of North Face- Seven Springs, Pa

 

So I guess the message here , short and sweet, is don’t let the rain, cold, and nasty weather get you down. Take the offensive and get out in it. Invest in some good foul weather gear and some lights. You won’t be disappointed. And if you see my pal Pete and me hosing off our rain suits in the car wash after a ride, don’t laugh. You could have a smile on your face like us. Thanks for reading.

 

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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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Loving Pittsburgh McCloskey

Why I like Pittsburgh

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

IMG00035IMG00012-20091025-1208Giant Rubber Duck's American Debut Goes Swimmingly - Wired Scienceneil_walker.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxphoto Imagine if you will coming into the airport in Pittsburgh,Pa. and not knowing much about our fair city. The first two guys you see are shown above. One is George and one is Franco. Now George made a big splash here in 1753 as a surveyor and almost literally drowned in a big splash in the Allegheny River. But he went on to great notoriety as a British officer and helped to secure the cornerstone of our city’s early existence -Fort Pitt. He later made many trips to our region and Pittsburgh was near and dear to his heart. The other guy, Franco made a great catch in a football game against the hated Oakland Raiders that went down in gridiron history. If you ask most older Pittsburgers today, they will all tell you, in a friendly way, that they were at the game and saw the “Immaculate Reception.” Now if that were true, I would estimate that there were 600,000 people at that game. Wow- that must have been crowded. I don’t remember it being THAT crowded because I was there. ( Yea – sure you were Pat). But I was.

As you make your way through the tunnels, you are treated to a spectacular collage of buildings and 3 rivers that form the “Point”. You can see the most beautiful baseball field in the country( PNC Park), as well as Heinz Field that is the home of the Pitt Panthers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But as you make your way to the Strip District and perhaps the South Side, you will begin to notice what makes Pittsburgh so special- the people. Pittsburghers are a friendly lot and will be glad to help you find your way even take you there if they have the time. In many larger cities, folks are in survivor mode and will hip check you to get a cab, or they will do whatever they can to get over on you just because there are so many people. It is survival in the bigger cities, but Pittsburgh is just small enough that the pressure of urban civilization has been lost a little bit on our community.

To go along with the friendliness of the city are the neighborhoods.  Everyone thinks that Pittsburgh is all about Primanti sandwiches, but as good as they are (late at night), there are so many more eateries and establishments in Pittsburgh’s many neighborhoods that can be enjoyed.

Pittsburgh is an enthusiastic town. When the steel industry went in the tank in the 80s, Pittsburgh was resilient and vowed not to be a “rust belt” city. The city fathers welcomed construction of new residence communities to encourage surburbanites to think about living and working along the rivers and supporting the new life that was sprouting up out of the coal and dust of the industrial evacuation. Pittsburgh quickly became a white collar community with the UPMC Medical Facility expansion and the rise of the financial markets in town. Along with this entrepreneurial excitement and resiliency, was the spirit of our community in it’s tireless support of it’s sports teams. The Steelers are having a rough start, but that does not stop the Black and Gold faithful from attending in sell out conditions and having their beloved tailgates at every home game.  The Penguins opened their season this week and Stanley Cup fever is in the air and Pittsburgh fans hang on every word that comes out of Sidney Crosby’s mouth.

We even had a 40 foot rubber duckie moored in the water!! Pittsburgh was the innaugural bathtub for the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s duck and Pittsburghers lined the rivers and the point by the thousands welcoming this piece of inflated art that was here for a month. Shaundra Miles of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust says it best when she remarked that the duck was a “reminder with all that is going on in the world, that there is joy, and joy in simple things.” That is what defines a person living in the ‘burg. We have joy in our communities, our city, our sports teams, and in our lives in general. There is a spirit in Pittsburgh that is most evident in the happiness that a kielbassa sandwich brings at a football game, the micro-brews that are enjoyed at the many local establishments, the thrill of a home run in the post season, the visual bonus of fireworks over our three rivers, the colorful buildings, and the fellowship in the streets during a game or in the work place in anticipation of a win on the ice, field, or gridiron. That spirit is alive in me because of the many nights I sat up and listened to Bob Prince (The Gunner) broadcast a Pirate game and announcing after a victory that ” we had then alllllllll the way!!!” That red plaid sportcoat is etched forever in my memory.

Pittsburgh also has a vibrant outdoor community. Visit http://www.ventureoutdoors.org to see the many hikes, beer tasting hikes, bike rides, snowshoe events, and other outdoor instructional outings that this organization so aptly make available to visitors and locals alike. Janet and I like to use the many bike paths that wind their way through the city. You can park up river and ride to the games, leave your bike in the racks at Kayak Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River, and then return without having to worry about parking. Ride to the Red Fin on Herr’s Island and take in a good lunch while looking at folks enjoying the river on their boats and jet skis. Get involved with the rowing clubs on the island and get instruction on how to take part in a great activity on the river. You don’t have to go to an Ivy League school to learn to row. You can do it on the Allegheny River with a local club.

Well, I may have exhausted that visitor who first stepped off the plane and met George and Franco in the airport. But there sure is enough for him or her to do and maybe, just maybe, they will begin to have that great Pittsburgh spirit as they enjoy dahntahhn with a chipped ham sandwich and some Blend an at. Be glad that you have experienced the “Most Liveable City in America” Thanks for reading.

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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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Bear Season Opens Today

Here’s some really good information if you have your license! Check out this release from the PA PRESS ROOM  And something NEW for 2021  “hunters in 2021 will be able to harvest them on the opening weekend of deer season, both Saturday and Sunday.”

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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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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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Organizing the MTB Ride Mc Closkey

HSD- High Speed Dirt

by patmccloskey

John Palmieri – the man behind HSD.

You know, it takes a special kind of giving person to organize anything these days. People are so busy that they hardly have time for anything and to organize a weekly mountain bike ride schedule is almost unthinkable. Enter John Palmieri. The man behind what is probably the most organized mountain bike group in Western Pa, West Virginia and Eastern Ohio. High Speed Dirt or HSDMTB as it is known on Facebook, is an amazing juggernaut of cycling activity. With at least 4 organized rides per week advertised on FB, John has assembled an amazing group of kids, parents, women, and generally a diverse group of riders all displaying his reasons- to get people together by riding mountain bikes. It is not so much the organizing of rides that fuels John’s passions, but the mantra of seeing to it that people meet people and make friends for life.

Rides with 50 or more people are not uncommon for HSD.

By profession, John is a 33 year employee of Allegheny Technologies Incorporated serving as their Senior Director of Ethics and Compliance. He and his wife Dana, who shares his passion for people, are busy people. What started out as an email group of 20 people who wanted to get together to ride, HSD has grown to a Facebook Group of 3000 riders in the tri-state area. John is amazed at the growth and interest and it is all because of his infectious enthusiasm for people…….via mountain biking. He laughingly calls himself the ” deputy weather man” because he is always checking the weather before posting a ride which he usually always attends. That is commitment. From family rides, to women’s only rides, to beginner rides, the schedule usually allows for at least 3 groups to form based on ability and speed.

The next generation of riders.
The Women’s Ride

John claims that he is most proud of the women’s rides because the turnout has been great with at least 12-15 scheduled rides so far this year, all led by women of all abilities. Mountain biking tends to be more male involved and it is encouraging to see the participation of the ladies on the HSD schedule. The other popular rides are the family rides where parents bring their kids to enjoy the trails introducing the next generation of riders to the great sport of mountain biking.

John not only organizes rides but also the popular apre’ ride which includes the grill, beverages and the ever popular “Send It Sausage” an adaptation of the popular hot sausage sandwich which always brings out the crowds when advertised.

Send It Sausage
The ladies sending it in North Carolina

John says the ever popular Chili Ride is coming up soon with the coveted Chili Trophy presented to the winning entree. HSD now has apparel including jersies, socks, and now fleece hats for apre’ ride merriment. This guy thinks of everything. I wish I had half his energy!!

Riding recently with John down in West Virginia where we attended the UCI World Cup Final at Snowshoe, I found a very engaging and friendly captain of the HSD squad. John always says he likes to ride with the new people so that they feel welcome and not intimidated on any rides. He loves the family rides and has said that people have come up to him and stated that the ” the impact on their lives has been very personal.” This fuels John in his mission to get people to meet people as first and foremost. As he expands his “mission” he is now including some “road trips” to places like Sedona, Asheville, Jake’s Rocks and Raystown and coming up next spring or summer, he will include Bentonville, Arkansas to the mix. John says these trips are basically his vacation which he and Dana enjoy together. Not many people would dedicate their vacation to see that people meet people- John and Dana do. That is what I find most endearing about these two as they ride though life on their knobby tires. Through HSD and it’s now 3000 strong membership, the rides are scheduled all year to include the popular snow rides. HSD has fun all year long and it is all due to an enthusiastic normal guy and his wife who put others first instead of their own wants and needs. Isn’t that what we need today more than anything? Someone who is willing to give up their time so that other people can come together? Not many people like John Palmieri. HSD is a fortunate organization and growing. Go to Facebook Groups and look up HSDMTB and join up if you are interested. John is the moderator who approves applications and he will do it with a smile as he sees another person joining up to ride and eat some Send it Sausage and enjoy a post ride beer. . Thanks for reading.

 

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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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