If you don't après ski, were ever really skiing at all? That's kind of our mantra over here at All About Après. A true ski day is never really complete without at least one beer to help you relish in its awesomeness. In fact, just to hold true to form, I even après skied once prior to boarding at Eagle Airport after a morning ski sesh at Beaver Creek. We had to leave the mountain too early to catch our transport and I could not miss out. That day would have never counted otherwise.
It recently came to my attention though that there are resorts that exist where après-ski cannot actually happen, not necessarily because of choice but rather the law. I know what you are thinking, a law that prohibits a ski resort from having a true après-ski scene is blasphemous. However for Whitetail Resort, this was all too real. Real, that is, until nothing short of a miracle took place two weekends ago.
Wet Borough, but a Dry Township Sends Skiers Searching for Bevvies
Whitetail is located in a dry township in Pennsylvania. In this weird and somewhat backwards way, although many boroughs in Pa. are wet, the townships can regulate their own laws about selling alcohol. This law made for quite the quiet scene after a day of shredding Whitetail mountain. "People would ask us where they could have a beer and when we informed them of the situation, the next question would be, 'where else then?'" said Katrina Gayman, Director of Marketing and Sales at Whitetail. This had a huge affect on the après-ski scene at Whitetail and ultimately eliminated a major source of revenue in alcohol sales for the ski resort. "There were not many things on site, elaborates Katrina. We would direct them to local places to have beverages, but other than snow tubing and a really nice coffee area, we didn’t have anything to keep them here." I'm a big fan of coffee and all but sounds like a bit of a ghost town after hours. That is until now.
The Miracle Referendum That Changed it All
Recently, legislation was passed to allow ski resorts and golf courses to sell alcohol and keep the township dry. This was quite a lengthy process though. First they had to get the question on the ballot through a referendum, and then once on the ballot had to get a yes vote - one for golf and one for ski. In nothing short of a miracle both ended up passing! Now after many dry years, skiers and riders can now enjoy a proper pint or two after skiing a day at Whitetail. Right now they are currently operating out of two temporary bars in the Solstice restaurant and offering beer and wine, but visitors don't seem to mind. Says Gayman, "They are very excited to be able to purchase a drink - it has been very well received!" I'm not surprised, après-ski is as much as part of ski culture as the actual skiing and riding itself and thanks to the change in the law, Whitetail is all in. Building on this excitement, and looking to establish something a bit more permanent, the resort is currently looking into architectural designs to install a bar this summer in the same location as the current portable ones they are using now.
There is no holding back now. Après is here to stay at Whitetail. No heading elsewhere for drinks. No more coffee after hours. And, most importantly, no longer the need to question whether, without après-ski, they were ever really skiing at all. Just good times and good adult drinks shared among friends at Whitetail Resort from here on out.