NEW SKIS & SNOWBOARDS FOR THE HOLIDAY?

Something very new, skis and boards that can “change physical performance characteristics on demand.” So say Verispellis Skis + Snowboards Inc. check out the article as found in Yahoo Finance. The magic happens with “digital electronics and metallurgical technology. The shape shifting skis and snowboards allow them to change in response to the temperature ups and downs.” Nitinol is the material that allows this to happen.

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Vail says YOUR PHONE WILL BE YOUR TICKET TO THE SLOPES

Imagine not having to find a place on your gear to attach your pass so that it doesn’t hit you in the face, get tangled in something, or misplacing it somewhere! From Vail Daily comes, “Vail Resorts announced Wednesday its plans for a future without physical lift tickets and passes with new technology that will allow guests to store their pass or lift ticket directly on their phone.” Good to know (according to the story) that they will still issue plastic cards IF requested.

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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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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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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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Mountain Watershed Association: A Year In Review

Mountain Watershed Association: A Year In Review

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Dear Reader,

For all the years we lived in the Laurel Highlands this organization did the most to maintain and improve the natural beauty and assets of the Laurel Highlands. We encourage you to JOIN and CONTRIBUTE.

Although this past year presented challenges, our dedication to advocacy, conservation, and clean water led us to new accomplishments. A few examples include:

– Fundraising efforts for the Steyer Bridge were successful; we will begin construction this year. We’ll continue to fundraise to resurface the trail leading to Steyer Bridge in 2022.

– We completed installation of the pilot phase of the Rondell-Correal Pilot Mine Drainage Treatment System. It is expected to remove 262 lbs. of acid, 97 lbs. of iron, and 6 lbs. of aluminum from the Indian Creek Watershed each year.– We completed the Indian Creek River Conservation Plan: The Sequel, a document loaded with information that will guide our work in the watershed for years to come. You can read the full document here.

– Eric, our Youghiogheny RIVERKEEPER, hosted multiple river cleanups in the Spring and Fall, removing hundreds of old tires along with metal and other trash. Spring cleanup dates are:

    •  April 30 – Casselman River in Meyersdale
    • May 21 – Yough River in West Newton
    • June 18 – Yough River in Connellsville

– As a direct result of MWA’s advocacy, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection altered the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for MAX Environmental, the only permitted hazardous waste landfill in Pennsylvania.

This is merely a drop in the bucket when it comes to the hard work and dedication shown by the MWA team last year. Our 2021 Year In Review covers the work done in advocacy, conservation, biodiversity, trails, and more.

To showcase the diligent work done by our advocacy team at MWA, we have created a video, “Year in the Yough”, to point out threats to the Youghiogheny River watershed and the actions our team is taking to make sure our beloved land and water is protected from pollution. You can view the video and the annual report on the homepage of our website: www.mtwatershed.com.

If you don’t already receive our monthly emails, sign up on our website to be added to our mailing list. The monthly email blasts contain calls to action, recent blog posts, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and other announcements.

We hope to see you around the Yough watershed this year. Together, we can fight for clean water and a healthy environment.

 

With deep gratitude,

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Ashley Funk

Executive Director

Meet Taylor Robbins

Taylor is stepping into the new role of Conservation and Recreation Manager at Mountain Watershed Association.

You’ll see Taylor throughout the watershed, monitoring water quality and managing the Indian Creek Valley Trail and Yough River Water Trail.

Read Taylor’s Bio

Mountain Watershed Association

PO Box 408
Melcroft, PA 15462

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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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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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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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All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright 2022.



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