From the calendar
"It's a real nice gentle blue," said Bill Brandes, general manager of Hidden Valley. "It also has a terrain park on it. It's what I would call a transitional."
Visitors can access the slopes using the new four-person chairlift, which is 300 feet longer than the existing chairlifts and provides a glimpse of the St. Louis skyline. A portion of the expansion also includes snow-making technology for the West Mountain, which enables the resort to stay open even in mild winters. After a long day of skiing, visitors can enjoy a pizza or a black angus burger at the resort's newly renovated cafe and retail center.
Hidden Valley attracts skiers throughout Missouri, as well as several states to the south. The expansion is designed to provide more opportunities to local skiers and to build upon and expand the resort's out-of-state clientele.
"On an average weekend, we will track skiers and customers from 13 states; on a holiday weekend that number goes up to 17," Brandes said. "If you take an average ski season, let's say 62,000 skiers and snow boarders, a good 33 percent of those people come from outside Missouri and Illinois. We draw a tremendous amount from Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, even Texas, so we get quite a bit of traffic, and obviously that benefits local restaurants and hotels."
Hidden Valley offers something for visitors of all ages, interests and abilities. The Snow Sports Academy provides group skiing and snowboarding lessons for children ages 4 and up, and private lessons for children as young as 3. Adult lessons are also available.
"Three to four is usually the ideal age to begin teaching children the fundamentals of skiing," Brandes said. "The longer you wait, the harder it is to learn."
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Hidden Valley offers tubing on the Polar Plunge; after the thrill ride down, a carpet lift takes visitors back to the top of the run for another go. Most importantly, Brandes said, Hidden Valley gives families a place to have fun together, regardless of the weather.
"It gives young people a chance to have a winter sport, rather than being a couch potato during the winter," Brandes said. "It helps children to get out and enjoy the outdoors."
Hidden Valley Ski Resort is located at 17409 Hidden Valley Drive, Wildwood, Mo., 63025. Visit hiddenvalleyski.com or call 636-938-5373.