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Mountain Message Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dining & Shopping / Sales & Specials

What would a resort experience be without dining and shopping?  Wisp offers plenty of options for both so you can please your palate and practice a little retail therapy.  

Dining

DC's Bar & Restaurant - McHenry Lodge

Wispers Bar - McHenry Lodge

Food Court - McHenry Lodge

Mountain Park Cafe - Mountain Park

The Pumphouse Cafe - Mountaintop

Shopping

Outdoor Elements - lMcHenry Lodge

Rossignol Concept Shop & Demo Center - McHenry Lodge

Mountain Park Shop - Mountain Park

Sundown Village Shop - Nordic Yurt in Sundown Village

Vertical Drop Shop - White Water Lodge

Sales

20% off select Outerwear in Outdoor Elements & Rossignol Concept Shop*

Season Pass Holder Special:  10% off purchase in Outdoor Elements & Rossignol Concept Shop*

Season Pass Holder Special:  $14 Demo Day on Sunday, January 22 in Rossignol Demo Center - limited availability*

*Sales cannot be combined with other discounts.  Pass Holders must present valid 16.17 Wisp Season Pass to receive offer.  Sale offers valid until January 31, 2017.

Weekly Specials at DC's Bar & Restaurant

Mountain Monday - A mountain-high sandwich creation of  the day with fries $9.99

Taco Tuesday - Taco creation of the day with sides $9.99

Wisp Wednesday - Burger creation of the day with fries $9.99 & $1 off Maple Ridge Amber Ale with burger purchase

Prime Rib Thursday - Hand-cut Prime Rib with baked potato and house salad $29.94

Fish Friday - Hand-battered Scrod with fries and slaw $16.94

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Make the Most of MLK Weekend

We hope you're as amped as we are about the upcoming long weekend!  Our Mountain Ops Team has spent the week setting the mountain up for prime conditions by opening more terrain including the East Ridge.  Here is some helpful information so you can make the most of this MLK weekend:

MLK Weekend Flash Sale at The Lodge at Wisp

Reserve a 2-night stay at The Lodge at Wisp and get the 3rd night for half price from January 12 thru 16, 2017.  Hurry, rooms are limited!  Call 800.462.9477 to reserve today. More details here. 

Terrain Openings & Mountain Report

The East Ridge opened this week with Main Street, Eye Opener, Down Under, Highline Pass and Odin's Chute.  Possum is expected to open this weekend and Central Park got a complete makeover with 11 new features.  Stay informed with the daily Mountain Report by having it delivered directly to your inbox - sign up here.

Mountain Park

Beyond skiing and snowboarding, there is an entire park dedicated to winter fun.  It's called the Mountain Park!  There's snow tubing, ice skating and the ever-popular mountain coaster.  Best deal going is the Winter Adventure Combo that includes all 3 activities.  Reservations are recommended for snow tubing - call 800.462.9477 to reserve today.

Events

Kick the long weekend off with the Stage Wisp Concert Series on Friday at 6:30pm in Wispers Bar located in the McHenry Lodge.  

Attention all freestyle skiers and riders - the BlackStrap Rail Jam Series #1 is Saturday, January 14 in Central Park.  Get the low down here.

Hours of Operation

There are lots of moving parts and outlets at Wisp Resort - stay tuned in with all the openings and closing times here.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Terrain Opening Update & Thank a Snowmaker

With extremely cold weather for the past four days, Wisp's Snowmaking Team has done some hard core snowmaking!  The photos below that were taken today show the massive piles of snow this hard-working crew has created over the past few days.  (And Bear, the dog, who was properly dressed for the weather and loving it!)  These snow piles are often referred to as whale-backs and some of them resemble volcanos while others like sculptures.  Soon, these piles will become beautifully groomed trails to ski on!  And that's the big question - when will more terrain open?  

We plan to open the East Ridge on Tuesday, January 10 with Down Under, Main Street, Highline, and Lower Eye Opener along with Chairs 4 and 5.  Snowmaking continues on Upper Eye Opener and Odin’s Chute which may come online later this week.  Possum trail was loaded with snowguns last night with a goal to open for Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend.  

The Snowmaking Team is a group of hard working dedicated individuals that perform their job in some of the most extreme conditions. They work through the tough elements of nature for 12 hour shifts to turn our mountain into a winter wonderland.  A shift will usually start with a quick review of the weather forecast, the snowmaking plan, and work assignments while all of the crew is putting on layers of clothes before heading out to the slopes.  The crew is usually sent out in teams of 2, this is due to the many potential hazards of the job. The snowmakers will be encountering icy slopes, cold temperatures, high voltage equipment, and high pressure water. 

Once out on the mountain, the crews trek down the trails on foot or sometimes snowmobile.  The Controller in the Pumphouse will wait for requests from the team on the ground to turn on the guns.  Only after hoses are attached to the guns, power turned on to the equipment, and water put to the guns; does the magical plume of snow shoot from the snowmaking gun.  Snowmakers walk out to where the plume is falling and check the crystal formation then adjusts the water flow in the gun to control the quality and quantity of the snow being produced. This is a process that will continue throughout the entire shift as the temperature and humidity constantly change, which affect the type of snow being produced. 

Snowmaking is one of the hardest physical jobs on the mountain. Wet, cold and frozen are all daily occurrences in the life of a snowmaker.  A veteran snowmaker was once heard interviewing a new recruit, “So you want to make snow? Have you ever ran thru a car wash at 10 degrees in your underwear? Well, that is what snowmaking can be!”  Snowmakers have a strong passion for making snow. They take great pride in watching the trail grow from blades of grass to massive piles of snow and watching people ski and ride on what they produce.  Next time your see a bundled up frozen Snowmaker checking their plume of snow, stop and thank them.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Sunday, January 08, 2017

Saturday, January 07, 2017

A nite's tale - Groomer / Snowcat Operator

A NIGHTS TALE – A SNOWCAT OPERATOR
by Director of Mountain Operations, Artie Speicher

To the vast majority of us who leave behind carved-up slopes and return the next morning to find smooth perfect corduroy surfaces, what happens under the cover of darkness is a little like magic. In reality, it’s not, grooming is part snow science, part instinct, long high-energy playlist, much caffeine, and—even though those tough-as-nails groomers might not admit it—a lot of love for the mountain and snow.

Set the scene:  It’s now  9:30pm and velvety dark has swallowed the slopes, save for the snowcat’s headlight beams, which lead the way uphill, then downhill, then uphill again. On the back of the snowcat is a tiller, which first churns the snow, then presses it into corduroy. Marshall Lewis is using it to groom Wisp Trail, one of Wisp’s green-circle runs. Marshall is the grooming supervisor leading a team of hardy men, who seem to thrive on a lack of sleep. 

His job seems as rad as everyone says it is, but he does not seem bothered by its oddities: working almost solo, in the dark, and all night long. The night is the opposite of the hectic busy day that had occurred on the resorts slopes. It is a peaceful night, the stars, the wildlife, the graveyard shift’s sunrise; the views from the top of the mountain all are some of the reasons why he and his crew love what they do. However, it runs deeper than that, they take great pride in providing smooth perfect corduroy runs behind each pass of the machine.

He gets a radio call from one of the other snowcat operators working in North Camp, where snowmaking has been running most of the night, he asks for some help as the piles of freshly made snow are quite large. Marshall aims his machine and heads to the North Camp area. When he arrives he raises the tiller and starts to spread the snow across the slope. He moves the snowcat back and forth across the trail each time pushing the snow from the huge pile to spread it to an even coverage on the grassy slope with precision, his hands moving like grease lightning as he controls both the power to the tracks and the blade on the front of the machine which seems to move in many directions but always leaving a smooth even surface.

The crew will continue the process throughout the night 10 to 12 hours on the shift. They will generally meet at the shop for a dinner break and to re-fuel their machines. It is a job that requires long hours, but like the snowmakers, the groomers are an integral part of providing a great snow surface and are an important part of Wisp’s Mountain Operations Team.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Saturday, January 07, 2017

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Ready. Set. Snow!

Looks like Mother Nature is giving us her first taste of Winter for 2017 starting today!  The temperature is steadily dropping and our Mountain Ops Team is poised to make snow.  Snowmaking will continue into the weekend with temps forecasted to range from the low 20s to single digits over the next couple of days.  Plus, we may even see a few inches of natural snow. The Snowmaking Crew will first focus efforts on already open terrain with thinning coverage then move to unopened terrain.  Our Grooming Team will be looking to massage those large piles of snow so we can open more terrain as soon as possible with a goal to have the majority of trails open next weekend for Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday.  

Speaking of Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday Weekend - make your plans now!  The newly renovated slopeside Lodge at Wisp is THE place to stay during your winter getaway. With 100 completely renovated rooms, new entrance and check-in area plus, a cozy Court Yard with a fire pit that just screams apres ski, you'll appreciate the comfort and convenience it has to offer. The indoor pool and hot tub is always a great activity before or after skiing to get your muscles loose and stretched out.  The Lodge at Wisp is connected to the McHenry Lodge where of most the skier / rider services, dining and shopping outlet are located.  Give us a call to book today - 800.462.9477.  

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Thursday, January 05, 2017

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year - Welcome to 2017!  As the holidays come to a close, we want to thank all of our guests that visited the resort during the holiday season.  We appreciate you choosing Wisp Resort as the gathering place to spend your precious time with friends and family and hope you will be back again this winter season.  With a new year, comes new opportunities for change and in our case, we are waiting on a change in weather.  This roller coaster of weather will take a turn midweek and is forecasted to bring favorable snowmaking conditions starting Wednesday evening, January 4.   Wisp's Mountain Ops Team plans to make snow on the currently open terrain with thin cover then begin snowmaking on unopened terrain in hopes of having all slopes and trails online for Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Weekend, January 13 - 16.  One of the job perks of being a Snowmaker is to witness incredible sunrises like the one pictured below that was taken by Snowmaker Colby Broadwater just a few days ago.

There are a few activities at Wisp Resort that don't require any snow - Ice Skating and the Mountain Coaster.  Both activities are located in the Mountain Park and operate on the same schedule as Snow Tubing.  The 50' X 85' oval Ice Rink creates it's own climate with a 100 ton chiller and uses a mini-Zamboni® to groom the surface.  The Mountain Coaster is a gravitational hybrid of an Alpine Slide and a Roller Coaster boasting a 1,300-foot uphill track while twisting, turning, dipping, and rolling for 3,500-feet downhill over 350 vertical feet.  Individual tickets are available for both activities or save a few dollars with the Winter Adventure Combo that includes an Ice Skating Session with skate rental, a single Mountain Coaster ride and a Snow Tubing session.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Monday, January 02, 2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

Storm Update

As of noon on Friday, December 30, Wisp has received approximately 6" of fresh snow and it continues to fall.  A Winter Storm Warning is still in effect and is forecasting accumulations of up to 10 inches!  We say, 'Bring it!"  The cold temperatures that the storm brought have also allowed us to turn on the snowguns and we will continue to make snow as weather (and winds) permit.  Without a doubt, today is the best day of the season so far!

In other news:

Now is a good time to demo skis if you are in the market for a new pair.  Swing by the new Rossignol Concept Shop and Demo Center, located on the upper level of the McHenry Lodge, to demo a pair of new Rossignol Skis.  David Hall, Retail Extraordinaire, Aspiring Golf Professional and Freestyle Skier, will be happy to outfit you with a pair of Rossignol Demo Skis.  Don't forget Wisp Season Pass Holders, you receive a special demo rate all season long.  

New in the world of adult beverages -- Wisp Resort has partnered with Jailbreak Brewing Co. of Laurel Maryland to bring you an exclusive seasonal beer -- Maple Ridge Amber Ale.  Made with pure maple syrup, this medium body Amber Ale has a deep amber appearance followed by aromas of caramel, maple, and pie crust.  Maple Ridge Amber Ale is only available at Wisp Resort and Jailbreak Tap Room in Laurel Maryland.  Stop in to DC's Bar, Sundown Cafe or Wispers Bar (where you'll find Happy Bartender, Jordan, pictured below) for $4.99 pints all day, every day - Cheers! Please drink responsibly. 

Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse-open-sleigh at Wisp Resort!  Ray Miller of Pleasant Valley Dream Rides is offering Sleigh Rides on Fridays and Saturdays this weekend starting at 1pm from the Nordic Yurt at Sundown Village.  Guests can bundle up under blankets and enjoy the sounds of sleigh bells as Bill, the 14 year old Belgian Draft Horse, pulls the sleigh through a winter wonderland.  30-minute rides are $19pp and can be booked directly with Mr. Miller at the Nordic Yurt.  Over the fields we go, laughing all the way...

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Friday, December 30, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Winter Storm Watch in Effect!

There's just something about that blazing red text and loud capitalization of a Winter Storm Watch that gives skiers and riders chills - good chills!  As your eyes scan the information for the forecasted snow accumulation, your heart quickens and thoughts of powdery turns immediately fill your head.

As of 12:00pm, Wednesday, December 28, Garrett County is under a Winter Storm Watch from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon.  The National Weather Service has forecasted a potential snow accumulation of greater than 6 inches.  Keep your eye on the storm, book your stay at the Lodge at Wisp quickly as rooms are filling up and head to Deep Creek Lake for the first, and probably last, snow storm of 2016!  (2017 arrives on Sunday - wink, wink)

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Season's Greetings from Wisp Resort

Season's Greetings from Wisp Resort!  With a week of skiing already in the books for Winter 2016.2017, we are gearing up for an amazing Holiday Week.  Wisp's Mountain Ops Team is turning on the snowguns at every opportunity and the slopes are in great condition.  The Grooming Team received their holiday gift yesterday and immediately put it to the test last night (December 22)!  Groomer, Jared Feather, took the photo below this morning (December 23) of the new Prinoth Winch Cat with a beautiful mountain sunrise as a backdrop.  Jared said, "We tested the winch on Squirrel Cage last night, then ran it around the mountain."  Based on the photos below of Squirrel Cage this morning, it works great!  The shot of the whalebacks on Squirrel Cage was taken Wednesday and the groomed shot of Squirrel Cage was taken today (December 23).

The Holiday Season wouldn't be complete without a little shopping and dining!  Wisp's retail outlets are chock-full of amazing winter gear, trendy fashions, souvenirs and gifts.  Browse around our many outlets including Outdoor Elements, The Rossignol Concept Shop, Sundown Village Shop, The Mountain Park Shop and The Vertical Drop Shop.  After working up an appetite from all the shopping, relax in any of our dining outlets including DC's Bar & Restaurant.  DC's is featuring a special 4-course Christmas Dinner Menu on Sunday, December 25 from 11am - 9pm - bon appetit!

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Friday, December 23, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Opening Day - December 16, 2016

Maryland’s Wisp Resort will open for the 2016.2017 Winter Season on Friday, December 16, 2016 for skiing and snowboarding from 9am – 5pm thru Monday, December 19.  Beginning Tuesday, December 20, skiing and snowboarding will be available 9am – 9pm thru Saturday, December 31, 2016, then regular season hours will commence.  Standard and Premium Day pricing will be in effect with lift tickets for Friday and Sunday at $59 per day for adults and $49 per day for juniors ages 6 – 12; Saturday’s lift tickets are $79 for adults and $59 for juniors.  The Mountain Park will open on Friday from 4pm – 8pm with Snow Tubing, the Mountain Coaster and Ice Skating.  Rates for the Mountain Park include Snow Tubing at $34 per person per 2-hour session; Mountain Coaster at $14 for a single ride and $19 for double rider; Ice Skating at $14 for a 90-minute session with skate rental.  The Mountain Park will operate Saturday from 10am – 8pm and Sunday from 10am – 5pm then reopen Wednesday, December 21 for the remainder of the season.

“We anticipate opening Squirrel Cage, Grouse Way, Wisp Trail, Sunset Blvd and the Wisp Kids Learning Terrain for Opening Day, Friday, December 16.  On Saturday, we will add Central Park Terrain Park along with 8 trails in the North Camp area:  Happy Camper, Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Backbone Pass, Ace’s Run, Whip Saw, Over the Edge and Ridge Run.  More terrain will open as snowmaking progresses,” commented Mountain Operations Director, Artie Speicher.  Wisp Resort began snowmaking on Thursday, December 8 and as of 11am Thursday, December 15, a total of 43 million gallons of water has been pumped producing 282 acre feet of snow while running the system for 123 total hours. Wisp Resort’s General Manager, Jerry Geisler stated, “Being able to open a ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic by mid-December is always a challenge. Mother Nature has cooperated and our Snowmaking and Grooming Crews have done an exceptional job in difficult conditions. Over 500 employees in departments ranging from Parking, Ski Lifts, Snow Tubing, Ski Rentals, Food and Beverage, Retail, Ski and Snowboard Instruction, Ski Patrol, Mountain  Hosts, Hotel and Facilities are excited to welcome guests and we all look forward to a long snowy winter.”

ALL OPERATIONS ARE TENTATIVE AND WEATHER PERMITTING.  For the most up-to-date conditions, lift operations and trail openings visit Wisp Resort’s mountain report.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Snowmaking Update and Fun Facts

As of 3:00pm Sunday, December 11, snowmaking operations are shutting down with temperatures reaching above 28 degrees.  The next anticipated snowmaking round looks to be shaping up for late Tuesday, December 13.  What a productive past couple of days our Mountain Ops Team had!  Here are a few fun facts to digest as we get ready for round two:

  • Snowmaking system ran for 73 hours
  • 638 worker hours
  • 31 million gallons pumped
  • 203 acre feet of snow produced

Wisp Resort and the Deep Creek Lake area are home to generations of families that have made their living in the tourism and hospitality industry.  Many siblings have influenced the career paths of their family members and Wisp's Snowmaking Team boasts several brigades of  brothers.  Four different sets of brothers totaling half of the overall snowmaking team are brothers:  The Cosner Family includes Jerry, John and Tarry; The Broadwater Clan has Colby and Cory and their half-brother Dan Kerr; The Sines Men are Jonathan and Jerhett and The Stephens Crew have Andrew 'AJ' and Nate.  These ten men, along with ten others, produce the quality snow product that we all love to play on. Thank you Snowmaking Crew, keep up the good work!

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Monday, December 12, 2016

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Snowguns Blazing!

Snowmaking is underway for the 2016.2017 Winter Season.  At 1:00pm on Thursday, December 8, Wisp's Mountain Ops Team turned on the snowguns and will be concentrating most of the effort on front side trails including Squirrel Cage, The Face, Sunset Blvd, Wisp Trail, Central Park and the Snow Tubing Park.  Weather conditions are looking ideal for snowmkaing all through the weekend and our Mountain Ops Team will be working around the clock to lay down a quality snow product in anticipation of Opening Day which is tentatively set for Friday, December 16.  Follow the Snowmaking Team's progress by checking out the webcam over the next few days.  Let Winter Begin!

Check out this 24-hr time lapse of the first snowmaking of the season!

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Friday, December 09, 2016

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Happy December and The Science of Snowmaking

Happy December!   Wisp Resort and the Deep Creek Lake Area have seen a few cold spells and flurries of snow which means Winter is near. Our Mountain Operations Team is poised to begin snowmaking as soon as the weather conditions are just right. There are many factors that go into the Science of Snowmaking. We asked our Director of Mountain Operations, Artie Speicher, to give us a quick tutorial on what it takes to turn on the guns.  "We make snow based on what is called a 'wet bulb' which is a combination of ambient temperature and humidity.  For example: 32 degrees with 100 percent humidity would be a 32 wet bulb; 32 degrees with 90 percent humidity would be 31 wet bulb.  Roughly, for every 10 percent of humidity drop, the wet bulb temperature will drop one degree.  Wisp's snowmaking system ideally needs a 26 or lower wet bulb to have any real production," he stated.  Another major factor to add into the mix is wind.  The direction and speed of wind can greatly impact snowmaking operations.  Artie finished by adding, "starting next Thursday night, December 8, good snowmaking temperatures should be consistent enough and we plan to hit it hard if the forecast holds true."  Once snowmaking begins, the Mountain Ops Team will be seen all over the mountain and in the control room of the Pumphouse.  

While you uncover your skis and snowboards for the upcoming season, consider treating them to a tune up from The Tuning Center at Wisp Resort.  It's essentially a spa for your gear!  Clean sharp edges.  Fresh coat of wax.  Check and adjust on bindings.  Your well tuned equipment will treat you better on-snow!  Bring your equipment by The Tuning Center located on the lower level of the McHenry Lodge.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Saturday, December 03, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

Welcome to Our New Website

We are elated to debut our new website to bring you easier navigation, more accessible social feeds, current happenings and events with our blog and big beautiful photos!  Please browse around and let us know what you think via any of our social networks or write in to  info@wispresort.com.  As we transition into the winter season, you'll find more engaging content and exciting material. Speaking of NEW, here's what's on tap for this coming winter season:

  • Rossignol Concept Shop

    Wisp has partnered with Rossignol to open a Concept Shop to outfit the entire family in gear and apparel. Plus, skiers and riders of all levels can demo equipment.

  • Prinoth Winch Cat Groomer

    Wisp is adding a new Winch Cat to the Groomer Fleet. This new machine can groom both up and down the mountain.

  • Introducing the Lodge at Wisp

    As part of a 3 year $3.7 million renovation, Wisp Resort recently announced a rebranding of the Wisp Resort Hotel which will hence forth be known as The Lodge at Wisp.  The renovation project on the hotel began in the Fall of 2015 and will continue thru Spring 2018.

  • New Ski & Ride School Uniforms

    Wisp's certified Ski and Ride Instructors are being outfitted with new uniforms. Look for them over at the Sundown Village area at line-up each day or out on the hill making beautiful text-book turns.

  • $125,000 New Skis & Boards added to the Rental Fleet

    Shiny new equipment joins the Rental Fleet to provide the best gear for your on-snow experience.

  • Addition of a variety of Snowmaking Machines

    We've added more muscle to our already 'beefy' snowmaking system. We are excited to turn on the guns and start the 2016.2017 Winter Season!

  • New Wisp Website

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Wednesday, November 30, 2016