- Overall Rating 4
- Family Friendly 5
- All-Mtn. Terrain 4
- Terrain Park 3
- Nightlife 1
Pros: No lift lines, good weekday and night prices
Cons: no food in the bar, bit pricey on weekends for whats offered
Recommended For: Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Mar 1, 2011
I'm a pretty big fan of Hidden Valley as a local hill. Each slopes is different in one way or another unlike the other resort the next mountain over. HV's slopes are pretty short, before you know it, you are at the bottom. To rectify this, ride on the north summit. They have a longer slope, a nice winding trail through the woods or two, another steeper slope over further that you ride to get to for awhile along a nice beginner trail. When you finally get bored with this, you can rejoin the rest of the world over on the front face, ride some shorter but steeper intermediate slopes, or cruise along the longer trail that winds around with houses on the edge. There are also very short but semi challenging steep slopes on the front at the end of this trail, and one very mellow intermediate trail that cuts between the two hills that is Hidden Valley.
Weekday and night pricing is inexpensive although the night session most days is only 4 hours long, but for the price it's worth it.
I think anything longer than 5 hours in Pennsylvania gets boring anyway, unless you are working on tricks, jumps, technical carving etc, and lets face it if you ride like that 4-5 hours later you are tired. I do like to take alot of breaks when I ride but due to the night skiing being only 4 hours, I learned to only take a quick bathroom break and maybe grab a sip of caffeine before I head back out.
After a full year of riding at this hill, only one thing sticks out in my mind as being a real stinger in my thoughts. One day, I arrived after it rained two days prior. It got pretty darn cold and I was hopeful that the cold would firm up the once powder that I missed that was probably mush. I paid for my ticket , only to find out that the mountain was a COMPLETE solid sheet of ice. It was complete not ridable by any stretch of the imagination. People were taking two runs and leaving. The people said nothing about this and no attempts to shut down slopes, send out the groomers to break this up occurred at all. People were getting pretty beat up. I asked for a refund which I've NEVER done at a resort as I know the rules, this was ridiculous. They agreed cheerfully but never sent the coupon for a free ticket in the mail as promised.
Also, for some silly reason, their nice little bar slope side doesn't serve food. The people working here look like deer in headlights as two guys try to serve 50-60 patrons. Literally took 20 minutes to get a drink. After one drink we left. Even during the weekday one time, it was painfully long to get waited on and out of there. A bit TOO laid back. If they served food and had at least another person working there during busier times, it would have been great.
The staff is very nice I must say, better than any resort I've been to. The entire cafeteria complex is rather dated but the rest of the place looks pretty nice. I dont care what the cafe area looks like honestly. It's fine although some have complained it is run down. I really dont know what they are expecting. Brass railings and marble floors? Who knows. The rest of the place is very cool looking and has a mini village appeal even though it's very small.
The parking here is very good. No matter how busy they are, it always seems like you dont have far to walk. this is because they do not have a very extensive complex and all the condos etc are off along the side away from the slopes. The farthest walk is compared to the shortest walk at 7 springs. Which is nice when you dont want to have to carry everything like extra clothes, drinks etc with you, and you can leave these things in the car for later.
My biggest recommendations for success for them would be:
1. open that new territory up.
2. dont reduce the hours as planned, extend them! You guys are shooting yourselves in the foot.
3. serve food in the bar and hire another person
4. open a ticket booth and hire a person to serve food on the north summit, especially if you open the new territory.
5. put 'real' conditions reports up where you buy tickets.
6. quit moving the place that you buy the tickets depending on how busy it is. One day the ticket window, next day in the rental shop, next day in the ski repair shop. Gives the sense of a floundering business run with bare minimum employees
7. make sure your employees have proper outfits to wear. Most had uniforms, some looked like Carni's with gloves that had holes in them and wore sweatpants. That just looks sad and bad..even the kids are commenting on this and they just dont care about stuff like that (young kids)
Like I said, all in all Hidden Valley is a gem ... I love coming here but would hate to see it get too populated or go under. Been coming here way too long, and keep coming back. I did go to other places this year but Hidden Valley by far was my favorite.