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With eye on 60th anniversary, Woods Valley set to glide into future

Marissa Carollo, Special to the Daily Sentinel
Posted 3/3/23

Woods Valley, 9100 Route 46, will celebrate its 60th anniversary next winter, in 2023-2024, with a slew of exciting improvements and changes.

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With eye on 60th anniversary, Woods Valley set to glide into future


WESTERNVILLE — Woods Valley, 9100 Route 46, will celebrate its 60th anniversary next winter, in 2023-2024, with a slew of exciting improvements and changes.

Tim and Nuala Woods are the third owners of Woods Valley, purchasing the ski area from the Olney family in 2011. Tim Woods’ parents started the business in 1964. It was then sold to the Olney family by Tim’s mother after his father passed away. 

Last year’s ski season (2021-2022) was fairly typical. While they had a later than normal start, they did ski through the beginning of April. The current season (2022-2023 ski season) started on Dec. 17. “This season has been going well despite the challenging weather (warmer temps, low snow, rain events, etc.),” states Tim. “We have made snow at every opportunity, and our trail count and snow conditions have been excellent. Attendance over the Christmas holiday and during the month of January was strong.”

Woods Valley has been very busy over the past several years with major upgrades and improvements. Over the past few years, they expanded their lodge, which included a new kitchen, prep kitchen, additional bathrooms, and spacious outside heated patios. They also rebuilt the bar, seating area, rental shop, and ticket lobby, along with improving the parking. The new lodge has more than twice the square footage of the previous building. Woods Valley has been busy hosting several private parties, including wedding receptions and Christmas parties, in the finished building. They are currently taking reservations for 2023 and 2024.  

But with growth came trials. A major challenge for Woods Valley was when an F1 tornado hit the property and the village of Westernville on July 8, 2021, which forced additional major building projects, including a rebuild of its 7,500 square foot maintenance barn, all three bottom lift terminal enclosures, and the Alpine Race Foundation building, as well as the cleanup of over 1,000 trees.

2022 brought the completion of their building project and tornado repairs. New drainage was installed around the building, as well as grade work. They finished all interior trim work and installed granite veneer stone to the chimney and stair columns of the building, as well as commissioning their new elevator. Flooring was installed in the banquet spaces, ticket lobby, and rental shop. A new storage system was installed for rental equipment. The front driveway of the lodge was paved, and the west half of lot number 3 was completed. They also installed a new carpet lift in the beginner area and built a new timber frame enclosure for both carpet lifts.

Plans for 2023 include an additional pump to increase snowmaking capacity, additional low energy guns on the slopes, a new cable for the T-bar lift, new furniture for the banquet space and outside patio areas, along with a new attendant building and deck at the top of the main chairlift to accommodate summer and fall chairlift rides (for the public and wedding parties). They are also in the planning stages of installing one of the two four-passenger lifts they have recently purchased. There are no final plans in place for this yet, however. As always, their summer projects will depend on how this current ski season finishes up.

Long-range plans (in addition to installing the two quad lifts they purchased) include a new building that would serve both the snow tubing area and offer a second space for summer and fall parties. The main lodge is large, and they are focused on bigger parties (150 to 200 people). The lodge can accommodate parties of 250, but their target is 150 to 175; as Tim explains, quality over quantity matters most. A second venue would allow them to book smaller parties and provide another place for their winter visitors to warm up and grab a bite to eat. They are also planning to add a refrigerated ice rink in the next couple of years.

Tim and his wife love doing what they do. “Woods Valley is a place where people go to have fun with family and friends, and to make memories,” says Tim. “Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing connect people and provide a wholesome getaway at a time of the year when we all need it most.” He continues, “Creating this new banquet space will allow people to come together here for some of life’s most important and memorable events. We like being able to make that happen.”

When asked what he most looks forward to this coming year, Tim replies, “a vacation.”

We sure do hope it is somewhere warm!


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