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Ski resorts prepare for summer crowds

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By Bob & Sandy Nesoff
Members: North American Travel Journalists Association
American Society of Journalists and Authors

For most ski areas throughout the country there are four seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer and Mud.

As the snow begins to melt off the slopes and trickle down the mountainside, it pools at the base and soon rather large lakes, puddles and ponds are formed. In some cases the ski resorts go into hibernation until the following winter. Others work with the season and welcome guests almost throughout the year.

As mentioned previously the advent of zip lines at a number of resorts has given them the opportunity to attract guests 12/12. Others have taken a different approach that accommodates far more guests.

Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville, PA and Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, NY are two resort areas that have embraced the “All-Season” concept for recreation.

Camelback is an easy ride from New York and North Jersey with the easiest route being Rt. 80 to the Tannersville exit. The resort is only minutes away…that is if you can manage to keep going as you pass the huge Crossings Outlet shopping center.

Charles Blier, Camelback’s GM, commented that the ski season had been spectacular, due in large measure to the number of snowfalls over the winter.

Crews are now at work removing plywood and more than 3,000 50-gallon drums that had covered the beach area for use by skiers. Now the 1,000-foot-long Blue Nile Adventure River is seeing sun once again as it readies for Camelbeach visitors.

Camelbeach lays claim to being the biggest waterpark in Pennsylvania with 37 rides, slides and attractions. Offerings include Sandstorm and Dune Runner family raft rides, a Flow Rider surfing simulator and Kahuna Lagoon, a 73,000 square-foot wave pool with private cabanas.

For the more adventurous there are the zip line and mountain coaster, both of which are designed to work up a steady flow of adrenaline. The mountain coaster can best be described as an Alpine Slide on steroids.

Early next year, in partnership with Wisconsin Dells based Waterpark Ventures, Camelback will open a $163 million lodge and indoor waterpark providing excitement no matter the outside weather.

There is a ticket discount for purchasing in advance on-line. The difference is only a couple of bucks, but use the money to buy a candy bar. For information and reservations, go to HTTP://www.camelbeach.com. Children two and under are admitted free while other charges are height based. Those over 48-inches tall pay a premium and those under get in for less. The charge for the mountain coaster is on-line $45.98 and at the gate $49.98. Other charges range from $37.99 to $39.99.

Heading north up the New York Thruway to Exit 19 and then west on Route 28, Belleayre Beach near the base of the ski resort. Located at 33 Friendship Manor Road in Pine Hill, NY, Belleayre Beach boasts a waterslide that climbs to six stories high and brings those brave enough to try it down at just below the speed of sound.

This is truly a waterfront park with boat rentals available and a large body of water that in winter supplies the mist for snowmaking equipment and in summer is one of the bigger bodies of water in the area.

Belleayre charges either for individuals or by the car load. So if you can emulate college students of years ago stuffing themselves into a phone booth, or the clown car at the circus, you can save a few bucks. Those 70 and older get a discount but that is only good Monday through Friday and on non-holidays.

For more information on Belleayre, go to Belleayre.com/summer/lake.htm.

Both Camelbeach and Belleayre Beach are ideal for day trippers. There are comfortable accommodations at the mountain’s base at Camelback. Belleayre is somewhat lacking although there are B&Bs in nearby Fleischmans, about 20 minutes west at Emerson’s and at the base in the Alpine Osteria, one of the better B&Bs to be found.

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