FEB. 17, 2012 -- New for the 2012-2013 ski season, Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Wildwood will open with two new ski runs, a new ski lift and a renovated cafe.
Tim Boyd, CEO of Peak Resorts, which owns Hidden Valley, shared plans for the West Mountain ski area with reporters and local officials on Friday morning. The $2 million expansion increases the property's skiable terrain by more than 30 percent, he said.
One of the new ski runs will be the longest run on the property at almost a half-mile long.
"This is going to be a great family run because it's wide," Boyd said. "It's not a very steep run, even though it's long. It's what we call a cruiser-type run."
The run will be great for beginners that want to get off the beginner runs but are intimidated by the most challenging runs, Boyd said. "This will be the premier run that we have in the entire area."
A second run will also be open on Hidden Valley's West Mountain, and skiers and snowboarders can access West Mountain through a new four-person chair lift, which is more than 300 feet longer than the existing three chair lifts.
Much of Hidden Valley's investment in West Mountain is going into snow-making technology, Boyd said. West Mountain will have the same snow-making capacity as the rest of the resort--it's technology that has allowed Hidden Valley to remain 100 percent open despite this season's warm weather.
"It's been a challenging year weather-wise, but the [snow-making] technology is better," Boyd said. "We make a much higher quality product now, and we actually get a lot of positive feedback on our snow."
Hidden Valley plans to ask its customers to name the two new runs during a contest later this year.
"This expansion is going to enhance not only our customer experience for all of our St. Louis customers, but I think it's going to build the attraction for the entire region where we actually draw from," Boyd said. Currently, Hidden Valley Ski Resort draws customers from state's to Missouri's south, including Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.
"Every time you increase skiable terrain and uphill capacity, that's a huge positive for your customers," he said.
The 2012-2013 ski season marks Hidden Valley Ski Resort's 30th anniversary. The resort opened with just 15 skiable acres, and in the fall of 2012, it will have about 50 skiable acres, Boyd said. This marks the second major expansion in recent years. In January 2011, Hidden Valley Ski Resort opened the Polar Plunge Ski Tubing Area.