Hidden Valley ski area in Wildwood welcomed its 30th anniversary of operations this winter season. This is a popular recreation area for skiers from Ladue and Frontenac. Ladue Middle School has taken annual trips their from the very first year on.
As part of the celebration, Hidden Valley owners executed a $2 million expansion over the summer that increased the resort's terrain by 30 percent.
The new area, named West Mountain, includes an 1,800-foot blue trail called Route 66 and a black diamond trail called Cold Rush. The new Route 66 run is the resort’s longest. (Blue trails are rated as such because they are considered “intermediate” trails that are steeper than beginner trails, and are popular at most resorts because they provide skiing that’s fun but not scary. Black diamond trails are difficult and are for advanced skiers. They can be steep, narrow or ungroomed.)
Hidden Valley skiers also are enjoying a remodeled dining area, bar and retail shop, called Napoleon's Nook.
"The expansion has been especially meaningful for snowboarders, as The Outlaw terrain park on new West Mountain offers many challenging, additional features," said Kathleen Beardsell, a Wildwood resident whose son, Allyn, skis so often at the resort, he is included in the photo currently used on Hidden Valley's Facebook page—which emphasizes the first chair to go on West Mountain.
Hidden Valley general manager Bill Brandes indicated they also secured improved snow-making equipment as part of the expansion. The resort now employs approximately 350 people, with the majority of those as seasonal workers.
"As a mom of a teenage boy who learned to ski at Keystone and has snowboarded at Breck, Taos, High Cascade, and Park City, I really appreciate Hidden Valley being so close!" said Beardsell. "It has a very positive, upbeat environment, with a variety of healthy outdoor activities for all ages."
She said Hidden Valley has become a real destination where she has met people who traveled from Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas just to ski here.
Hidden Valley offers the following services:
- Ski Club
- Ski Team
- Lessons for skiing and snowboarding
- Snow Tubing
- Group Events
- Gift Certificates
- School Programs/Field Trips
For college students back in the area, Hidden Valley will offer a 50 percent discount off snow passes and/or rentals from Jan. 7-11, when a valid and current college identification is presented. Every Wednesday until Hidden Valley closes is College Appreciation Day, starting today (Jan. 2). College students receive half off of snow passes and rentals on those Wednesdays, too.
Brandes has told St. Louis media representatives the resort brought in 84,000-plus visitors during the 2011 fiscal year.