Wintergreen Resort

Wintergreen Resort

Infobox ski area
name= Wintergreen Resort

picture= Wintergreen-Resort-Eagles.jpg
caption= The Peak of Eagle's Swoop
location= Virginia, United States
nearest_city= Nellysford, Charlottesville, Waynesboro
lat_degrees= 37
lat_minutes= 55
lat_seconds= 48
lat_direction= N
long_degrees= 78
long_minutes= 56
long_seconds= 30
long_direction= W
top_elevation= 3,515 feet
number_trails= 25
longest_run= 1.4 miles
liftsystem= 5 chairlifts
external_link= []

Wintergreen Resort is a four-season mountain retreat on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a "top down" resort in which practically all of the amenities are built on the peaks and ridges, rather than at the base like a traditional ski resort.

The Resort

Wintergreen offers 45 holes of championship golf; seasonal skiing, snowboarding and The Plunge snowtubing is a 900 foot snow tubing hill which consists of 10 lanes; a Terrain Park with jibs and rails; an award-winning tennis program; a full-service, destination spa; convert|40000|sqft|m2|-3 of meeting and event space; lodging; and a variety of dining options. The resort rises from approximately 600 feet above sea level in the valley at Stoney Creek to an elevation of close to 4,000 feet on the mountain, and hosts 300 villa-style condominiums and rental homes, from studio suites to seven-bedroom homes.

Due to its elevation, the resort has a very seasonal climate, with mountain cool temperatures and low humidity in spring and summer. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 82 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder temperatures in winter, combined with the mountain elevation, allow for various winter sports December through March.


In 1969, a 10,000-acre (40 km²) tract of land known as The Big Survey, located in the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and home to a wide variety of forestry, timberland, and wildlife, was purchased by a group of investors. Within a few years, Cabot, Cabot & Forbes of Boston purchased The Big Survey, and the planning of Wintergreen began. The Sea Pines Company soon joined the group to plan and market the area and a new community.

By 1975, the grounds sported a large ski area, consisting of eight slopes and three chairlifts, which opened with much fanfare and Virginia Governor Mills E. Godwin in attendance. The resort's first restaurant, The Copper Mine, was open to the public only during the winter months.

The following year, however, Melba Investors, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bankers Trust Co. of New York acquired Wintergreen from Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, and Mr. L.F. Payne founded Wintergreen Development, Inc. to operate the resort and serve as the developer and managing agent.

Within a year, the resort could beckon summer vacationers and residents with the completion of the new Ellis Maples-designed Devils Knob golf course (June 1977) and the opening of the mountain tennis center (June 1978). In January 1978, Wintergreen hosted its first Winter Special Olympics. There was also an ongoing plant transplantation project, which began to save native plant species, and use them in the resort's landscaping.

It wasn't long before the Mountain Inn and Conference Center was completed (December 1980), allowing the resort, now owned and managed by Wintergreen Partners, Inc. (WPI), to host conferences and meetings, expand its target markets, and begin the trend of becoming a year-round vacation destination


Most of the mountain resort ranges from 2500 to 3500 feet in elevation and therefore average considerably cooler than the nearby valley towns such as Staunton, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg. Temperatures on average fall about 4 °F for every thousand feet of elevation making Wintergreen's summit typically 10-15 degrees colder than the valley towns. This allows for ample winter snowmaking and increased natural snowfall. However, due to its location well east of the highest ridge of the Appalachians, Wintergreen receives nowhere near the quantities of snow that fall at similar elevations to the west in places such as Snowshoe Mountain, Canaan, and Wisp. Wintergreen averages only about 35 inches a year of natural snow versus some 175 inches in prime spots convert|75|mi|km|0 to the west. However, Wintergreen is much sunnier and easier to get to than the snowier West Virginia areas.

With one golf course nearly 4000 feet above sea level and another 27 holes (Stoney Creek) at only 1000 feet, golfers can essentially choose their weather for playing. The Devil's Knob course typically is in the cool low 80s when Charlottesville is pushing 100 in the hot summer months. In winter, skiers can be enjoying excellent snow with temperatures in the 30's while at the same time, golfers at Stoney Creek are only slightly chilled with temperatures in the 50s.

Related links

* Blue Ridge Parkway
* Shenandoah National Park

External links

* [ Official website]
* [ The Wintergreen Nature Foundation]
* [ Wintergreen Performing Arts Society]

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