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Some think winter is more fun when it's snow fun

Riders join together to take on the snow tubing slope at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Sean Stipp / Tribune-Review

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Where to go

Boyce Park Snow Tubing: Hope to open soon. $12; $8 for age 12 and younger. Hours: 3:30-6:30 p.m. and 6:30-9:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 9 a.m.-noon, 12:30-3 p.m., 3:30-6 p.m. and 6:30-9 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. 724-733-4665 or www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/fees/snowtube.aspx

Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort: Open now. $19; $17 for age 17 and younger per two-hour sessions Fridays, $15 for all ages Saturdays and Sundays. Hours: 6-9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 814-443-8000 or www.hiddenvalleyresort.com

Seven Springs Mountain Resort: Open now. $22; $19 for age 11 and younger per two-hour session Mondays-Thursday and Fridays until 5 p.m.; $27, $22 for age 11 and younger per two-hour session Fridays after 6 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Hours: 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. 800-452-2223 or www.7springs.com

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort: Open now, reservations required. $15 for a two-hour pass. Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays and Mondays, with a break between 1 and 2 p.m. all days. 800-422-2736 or www.nemacolin.com

Wildwood Highlands: Hope to open by mid-January. $17.95; $15.95 for age 9 and younger on Fridays-Sundays and holidays. $15.95, $14 for age 9 and younger Wednesdays-Thursdays. Hours: 5-9 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays, 5-10 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays. 412-487-5517 or www.wildwoodpa.com.

Blue Knob All Seasons Resort: Open now. $20. Hours still being determined, check with the resort. 800-458-3403 or www.blueknob.com

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By Chris Ramirez

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 10:00 p.m.

Attention, snow fans!

It's time to go totally tubular.

Mother Nature had been stingy with snow through much of December, but that changed last week and over the weekend, when she decided to drop several inches on Western Pennsylvania.

And that means snow-tubing and sledding fans, and the resorts that serve them, are gearing up to thrash the slopes.

“It's easy ... fun and doesn't take a lot of practice,” Anna Weltz, communications manager for Seven Springs Mountain Resort, says of tubing. “On any given weekend, tickets go pretty fast.”

Snow enthusiasts likely are eagerly checking weather websites for when chances are best for them to get the most powder and air.

Seven Springs got a jump on the season by cranking its snow machines earlier in December to meet the demand of the Christmas holiday rush.

Last week's snow was good news for resorts, lodges and ski areas all over the state, some of which have so far made due with machines to make snow to offset the scant precipitation.

At Boyce Park in Monroeville, ski slopes and snow-tubing runs remain closed, despite the Christmas week storms. County officials there were hopeful to open the runs soon.

A combination of snowfall and man-made snow helped Nemacolin Woodlands Resort kick off its snow-tubing season on Christmas Eve, even when daytime temperatures were still slightly above freezing. There, they need temperatures that are consistently in the upper 20s to produce the minimum of 2 feet of snow needed for tubing.

Crowds this season already have been heavy at Nemacolin, mainly because of the re-opening of the Sundial Ski Resort, which was destroyed by fire in February. Still, visitors and guests already have gobbled up each reservation slot on the snow-tubing lanes.

“It's busy. People are everywhere now,” says Grace Shaffer, marketing manager for the Farmington-based resort. “We're sure more people will come as the snow begins to fall.”

Chris Ramirez is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at cramirez@tribweb.com or 412-380-5682.

 

 
 


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