When Jim Wiseman bought what would become Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area in 1968, it consisted of a dilapidated farmhouse and seven rope tows. A mere day before opening, five of the tows were condemned. But Jim remained undeterred, forging ahead with a humble inventory of 122 pairs of rental skis. Today, that number has grown to 2,000, in addition to 500 snowboards, which plunge down 11 runs and a 225-foot peak that also allows guests to test-drive the equipment and practice their yardstick skills. The terrain parks, one of which was added in 1997 to reflect the resort’s devotion to freestyle skiing, greet visitors with new challenges such as tabletops, high spines, grind rails, and pyramids.
Whether skiers tackle the stunt-ready equipment or seek out beginner lessons, they’re guaranteed fresh powder thanks to Swiss Valley’s expert method of snowmaking. The technology ensures enough snow for winter fun, as long temperatures allow and no salt giants attack the slopes. After their frosty jaunt, visitors can warm up in the fireside lounge, dotted with freestanding fireplaces and picture windows that overlook the snowy terrain.