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Liberty Mountain enjoying the winter snow

James Rada Jr.
News Correspondent

(1/10) Liberty Mountain in Carroll Valley, Pa., opened on Dec. 12 just in time to welcome the big snow storm a week later. The winter storm on Dec. 19 dropped 20 inches of powder on the mountain and allowed the resort to open all its skiing trails and 15 snow tubing lanes. The natural snow added to the two feet of snow the resort had been manufacturing in preparation for the opening.

The resort has also started hosting events, such as the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge.

Liberty Mountain Resort covers 275 acres, of which over 100 acres are set aside as trails for skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. The resort has 16 trails with the longest run being 5,200 feet. The difficult levels of the trails are relatively evenly split. The resort's nine different lifts can take 13,400 skiers uphill per hour.

The resort sees about 200,000 visitors a season with an average of 5,000 on weekends, according to Carroll Valley Borough officials. As a local benefit, the resort employs more than 50 full-time personnel and as many as 1,500 seasonal jobs.

"Most of the jobs provided by Liberty are to local residents and students who find Liberty their first-ever employment," said Carroll Valley Mayor Ron Harris.

When the skies are scarce of snow, there is now more automated snow making to help Mother Nature keep the trails open. Four of the trails have new automated snow guns. This brings 60 percent of the mountain into automated snow making so there should always be trails with plenty of snow during the season. When the weather conditions are right for snow making, the computers start the snow guns and keep them running at optimal efficiency.

Visitors will also find plenty of improvements to help make their visit enjoyable. The Alpine Room, the Bakery and Alpine Market have been given a makeover. The Alpine Patio was enlarged to accommodate more people and give them a better view of the slopes.

Many of the visitors also enjoy the businesses in nearby Carroll Valley and Fairfield.

"As a ski resort and conference center, they attract thousands of people tothe Fairfield area which benefits other businesses such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores," Harris said.

The resort also acts as a good corporate citizen lending personnel, money and supplies to help with many Carroll Valley events, such as the Carroll Valley 4th of July Celebration and the Fairfield School Parent/Student Challenge.

"Liberty makes significant voluntary contributions to local charities and organizations. Over the last five years, Liberty's cash contributions totaled over $380,000," Harris said. "Seldom, if ever, has Liberty said 'no' to a request by Borough of Carroll

Valley," he added.

The ski season is expected to last until sometime in the middle of March.

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