Friday, June 6, 2008

History of the Wisp Ski Resort

History of the Wisp

Over the years the resort has grown from a former cow pasture into one of the premier destinations in the Mid-Atlantic. Below are some of the many historic landmarks:

Winter 1955 - 1956: Mr. Heise forms Recreational Industries, Inc. and offers skiing on Marsh Mountain for the first time. A cow pasture owned by a local farmer becomes a makeshift ski area. A one room hut with a pot-bellied stove serves as the first lodge and the bed of a pick-up truck operates as the first ski rental shop. One slope, The Face, is serviced by a rope tow.

Winter 1956 - 1957: Recreational Industries first attempts to make snow, using equipment resembling lawn sprinklers, which emitted frozen pellets of water.

1965: The first double chairlift (Chair #1) is installed. For the first time skiers are able to ski from the top of Marsh Mountain.

1969: WISP offers night skiing, with the addition of lights on the slopes

1971-1979: Wisp expands to 16 trails and adds snow makers, more lights, and two additional chairlifts. The first motel, The Village Inn, opens at the base of the ski mountain. The snow making system is converted to an airless system, increasing power and efficiency.

1981: Wisp opens its 18 hole golf course, and is now recognized officially as the only four-season resort in the State on Maryland.

1985 - 1986: The Village Inn Motel is renovated and transformed into a Condo Hotel and is renamed the Wisp Resort hotel.

Winter 1987 - 1988: The East Ridge Trail and Life System are added, with 2 triple chairs.

1994: Developers purchased 2,400 acres of land adjacent to Wisp.

2001: DC Development, LLC purchases the Wisp from Mr. Heise and begins a major capitol improvement project. Chair 5 is extended, Chair 4 is relocated and Highline Trail is added. Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park opens.

2003: The Lodge undergoes renovation and is expanded by 11,000 sq.ft. Triple chairs replace the double chairs of 2 & 3 and a ski carpet replaces the rope tow.

2004: Completion of 8500 sq.ft. "State-of-the-art" pump house increases snow making capacity by 18% and is fully automated. Recreational Industries assumes management of Wisp Resort Hotel.

Winter 2005 - 2006: Opening of the first two phases of a four-phase ski area expansion. New beginner and intermediate terrain with 10 new trails, adding over 25% more skiable terrain and 2 quad chairlifts.

Summer 2007: Opening of White Water Course

Over $30 million in renovations and capital improvements since June 2001.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350


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