Whitetail packs them in

December 30, 2000

Whitetail packs them in

By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Skiers basked in relatively sunny weather at Whitetail Ski Resort Saturday, but by late afternoon the weather quickly took a turn for the worse.

Grey clouds moved in, and the wind blew hard down the giant 935-foot slope in front of the lodge.

Patricia Clifford had just arrived, and was standing in line with a crowd of people waiting to buy lift tickets.

"When that sun goes down, it's going to be brutal," Clifford said.

But for Clifford, the night is about the only time she can ski. She works during the day, then drives up to Whitetail from her home in Silver Spring, Md.

Nobody seemed to be bothered by the plummeting temperatures. Skiers constantly zipped down the slopes into the large crowd gathered at the chair lifts. Some stood for a few moments talking to each other while others immediately jumped on the lift for a ride back up the mountain.


The scene was making owners of the ski resort very happy.

Managers of the resort said the past Christmas week was the best they have had at the resort. About 2,000 people came to ski Friday, said marketing coordinator Kim Rosenberry.

When the ski resort is having a good day, up to 7,000 people can be on the slopes, Rosenberry said.

It has been a good season overall for the resort. Thanks to the early arrival of cold temperatures this year, Whitetail was able to open by Thanksgiving, a month earlier than the previous year.

Rosenberry said the resort has its best crowds when school is out and government offices are closed.

Today, Whitetail is hosting a New Year's Eve party for skiers. For $59, revelers can enjoy a buffet and a lift ticket to ski from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Rosenberry said. The 250 tickets for the party are sold out and there is a waiting list in case anyone cancels.

"Everything's in our favor at this point. As long as we keep the cold weather and snow, we're doing good," she said.

Skiers packed into the Marketplace Food Court Saturday afternoon for sandwiches and hot drinks to take a break from the slopes.

Julius Anongos drove 2 1/2 hours from his home in Richmond, Va., Friday to enjoy a weekend of skiing. Anongos, who is staying at the Ramada Inn in Hagerstown, said he planned to ski through Monday.

"It has some really nice runs," Anongos said.

A few skiers complained about a little bit of ice on the slopes Saturday. But they said that is expected in East Coast resorts, where the weather is not as cold. At ski resorts in the West, snow is softer, they said.

"Considering the number of people they are putting up and down it, it's pretty good," said Casey Peltier, who was skiing with her husband, Alec.

The base at the resort is currently between 30 and 34 inches, Rosenberry said. About 5 to 8 inches of snow is manufactured every night.

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