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TRAVEL/The Charlotte Post
Thursday November 13, 1997
Ilf you can’t Ski, try your luck
|at snow tubing in "^st Virginia
By Angela Charlton
; THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
They’re grooming slippery
chutes of snow and inflating their
•waterproof canvas inner tubes.
And West Virginia’s winter
resorts are hoping hard that their
first foray into snow tubing is a
Some dismiss it as bobsledding
for babies. It certainly doesn’t
demand the skill and stamina of
skiing or snowboarding. But it
doesn’t require special training or
gear, either, and it costs less than
$20 a day.
■ Snow tubing has been gaining
momentum around the country,
and four West Virginia resorts
are joining in this year: Snowshoe
Moimtain Resort in Pocahontas
County; Canaan Valley Ski &
Golf Resort in Tucker County;
New Winterplace at Flat 'Ibp,
Raleigh County; and Coolfont
Resort in Berkeley Springs.
“You don’t think it’s going to be
too wild, it just looks like sled
ding. But it’s a total rush if you go
on your stomach, headfirst,” said
Doug Stapler, 14, of Charleston.
The teen-ager has been snow-
tubing in Pennsylvania and plans
to drag his parents and younger
brother to Snowshoe this year to
check out the new runs.
A rider sits, kneels or plops
stomach down on a truck tire
inner tube covered with water
proof canvas or vinyl. Perched
atop a chute that resembles a
luge run, the rider then pushes off
and whooshes downward.
There’s no steering, no brakes
and a good chance the tube will
start spinning, sending the rider
careening down backwards.
Then the craft hits a snow bank
at the bottom and the 20-second
ride is over. Riders then latch
themselves onto a surface tow
and are whisked back up the hfll
to start again.
“The whole family can do it,
from the grandmother to the 3-
and 4-year-old,” said Joe Stevens,
spokesman at Snowshoe. “It pro
vides another opportunity for peo
ple to have fun at a resort.”
Wanda Boster, co-owner of the
Four Seasons Ski Loft in
BarboursviUe, isn’t sure how to
prepare her business for the tub
“Everyone’s talking about tub
ing,” she said. “The ones who
aren’t will be as soon as they find
out” about the state’s new tubing
West Virginia’s resorts will pro
vide their own tubes. And since
tubing requires no special acces
sories, Boster doesn’t expect it to
be the financial boon that snow
boarding has been for stores Hke
Martha Ashelman, president
and chief executive officer at
Coolfont, said, “The only invest
ment tubers have to make is long
Tubing may not be as terrifying
as skiing, but it comes with risks
of its own.
'The pillow-Uke tubes boimce
over just about anything but are
difficult to control and have tum
bled more than a few riders.
Injuries have dogged tubing
parks around the country, espe
cially among begiimers and yoimg
people more Hkely to ignore
guidelines and take bigger risks.
In response, tubers at West
Virginia’s resorts will have to sign
liability waivers saying tubing is
a dangerous activity that can
cause serious and fatal injuries.
Snowshoe’s four 600-foot-long,
eight-stoiy-high tubing runs are
part of a $12 million expansion it
began this siunmer. Several hun
dred thousand dollars went to the
tubing park, which is being
installed on a former ski trail at
Silver Creek, Stevens said. The
park will open by Thanksgiving.
Detroit announces new slogan
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DETROIT - Cars and the
Motown sound don’t figure in the
phrase consultants have come up
with to sell Detroit to the world.
The city’s new slogan is: “It’s a
great time in Detroit.”
'The Metropolitan Detroit
Convention and Visitors Bureau
developed the Une - at a cost of
$400,000 — as part of an effort to
promote the region as a destina
tion for business and pleasure.
The slogan best conveys the
feeling that the area is undergo
ing “tremendous positive change,”
Rick Binford, president of the con
vention bureau, said.
More than 3,500 consumers and
1,000 meeting planners nation
wide were surveyed as part of the
creation of the slogan, logo and
marketing campaign. Irma S.
Mann Strategic Marketing Inc. of
BIG LEAGUE SPORTS ARE HERE
WHICH WILL COME FIRST?
COMMUNITY RELATIONS DIRECTOR
OFA&W CLINIC, HELPS KEEP KELVIN’S BACK IN SHAPE
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OUR STAFF WILL TREAT YOU LIKE A WORLD CHAMPION
* *■ I..
“This portion of the winter
industry is still kind of new,”
Stevens said. “We’ll find out how
popular it is with our first sea
It’s the second venture into
snow tubing for Snowshoe’s par
ent company. Intrawest Corp. of
Vancouver, British Columbia. Its
Copper Mountain resort in
Colorado opened one last year.
TVibing at Snowshoe costs $8 for
a two-hour pass, $12 for a four-
hour pass and $18 for a nine-hour
Coolfont, a popular destination
for tourists from the nearby
Washington, D.C., and Baltimore
areas, will have 10 runs 800 to
900 feet long with a vertical drop
of about 95 feet, Ashelman said.
'Tickets will run $15 for four
Canaan Valley plans to offer'
600-foot runs and 200 tubes when ,
its tubing park opens the week
end of Nov. 15-16.
New Winterplace is opening
eight 600-foot runs, but prices
have not been established, said
spokesman Terry Pfeiffer. The
resort expects to open Dec. 5.
Tell us about it
What’s your most memorable
travel experience? The Post would
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- and print it in our travel section.
Please type your experience and
send it to Travel Section, c/o The
Charlotte Post, P.O. Box 30144,
Charlotte, NC, 28230. Or you can
drop it by the office at 1531
Camden Road. If you have pic
tures, send those also. If you want
them back, send a stamped, self
addressed envelope or come by the
office after the article runs.
Boston developed the theme.
The initiative will be officially
unveiled Nov. 18 and officials are
asking local governments, busi
nesses and attractions to use the
new Detroit trademark- in mar
John Dechart, area director of
sales and marketing for Marriott
Lodging, says he plans to use the
theme in brochures and corre
spondence for 22 hotels and inns.
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