Wintergreen, 29 Dec 2011: A Wee Bit of Winter Fun, A Lot of Frustration (P366D7)

Last year, another family and mine took a short vacation to Wintergreen Resort for some skiing.  We put our kids in Ridgley’s Rippers, the ski school class for their age and ability level.  Our girls and their son enjoyed it and they all seemed to be learning fairly well.  They spent almost all day in the little kiddie area making short 15′ runs just to practice pizza slice and french fries…which most of us know as snow plowing and parallel.  Our older daughter got to make a run or two down the beginner slope and ride back up the ski lift.  We extended their tickets and they both got to make a couple of those runs before we called it a day.  At the end of February, we went back with the same couple, sans kids, and a couple other adults.  You can read a bit about our trip and how much we liked the Copper Mine Bistro in the post I made last March:  Wintergreen – A great place to eat.

Shortly before Christmas (2011), we decided to go skiing again with the same family from last year.  We decided to save a little money by crashing at their place on the night of the twenty-eighth and driving out about four in the morning on the twenty-ninth…which we did.  With no traffic on the roads that early, we made it to Wintergreen early enough to try to find something to eat.  As we neared the resort, I pulled up their website and downloaded the copy of the Copper Mine’s menu and saw that they opened for breakfast at seven-thirty.  The group decided to just get some snacks from the grocery store on site, get suited up, and get the kids to the Treehouse (the location for day care and kids ski school) early.  With the kids dropped off, the adults hit the slopes…and found that even with all the snow machines going, there were only really two runs open:  the beginner run and Eagle Swoop, which is an intermediate run.  Even the beginner run was trickier than usual due to the high amount of ice on it and the wait for the three person ski lift was ridiculously long due to not having more runs and lifts going.  For lunch, we headed to the Copper Mine, our favorite place for food on the mountain and were a bit dismayed to be told they were not open and that we could go to the cafeteria or the other restaurant, The Edge.  As we headed to The Edge and then waited to be seated for over thirty minutes, we discussed that their website said nothing about the Copper Mine not being open, on the front page or the Copper Mine’s page.

Of course, that wasn’t the only issue we had with their site.  We also found nothing on their site about the poor slope conditions or the limited number of runs.  We were told later that the ski conditions can be found on their website, but you must have to know where to look because it certainly doesn’t jump out at you.  Even at the windows for purchasing lift tickets, it has no information about the slope conditions.  I realize that most businesses don’t want to put unfavorable information on their site, but in this case, their lack of information sharing led to some unhappy customers.

Even though the sun came out and somehow made the runs better, the only real plus for the day was that our kids enjoyed their ski school a lot more this year and we got to see them make a number of runs down the beginner slope with their class.

We called it a day, hit the indoor pool at the Holiday Inn Express in Waynesboro, VA, where we spent the night, ate dinner at Plaza Azteca right across the street, then called it an early night…exhausted.  The next day we hit a couple wineries on the way home.  An all around great trip, even if the skiing for the adults was a bit disappointing.



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