Features > Resorts > Canaan Valley, West Virginia

Canaan Valley, West Virginia Hot

thumb_tuber“The number one thing that sets us apart from other resorts is affordability and the way that we cater to families,” says Canaan Valley Resort’s general manager, Dave Bostic. “If you have a family of four or even two and you’re going on a vacation, especially for more than one or two days, it’s got to be wallet-friendly. You have to be able to afford to go. Not only is the skiing affordable at Canaan, but so is the lodging, food, and beverage. Our service staff is geared around families, taking care of and knowing what they need.”


Over the past five to ten years, Canaan Valley Resort has found great success in the industry. Their secret, according to Dave, is that they don’t try to reinvent themselves every year through every fad. “We know what we are, and we know that we market to families. People know what they are getting when they come here,” he says. “We stay affordable, and we like for the guests to experience West Virginia. This is a state park, so we like visitors to experience what it is and walk away with great memories.”

big air skiLocation plays a big part in what guests will find when they come to Canaan, and of course, so does the mountain. It helps enhance the family-friendly vibe through its variety of trails. “The whole family can ski the mountain together rather than having to be separated because of the layout,” says Dave, “which helps promote family togetherness.”

But he also notes that the resort has a little bit of everything for everybody. “It is a beginner-to-intermediate mountain, but we also have more challenging trails too; such as Gravity or Dark Side: ones that have deeper terrain, moguls through the woods, narrower paths. So there’s still fun for the adrenaline junkies if they want to break off from the group and get that speed rush.”

The comfort of Canaan’s surroundings also lends itself to everyone feeling part of a family. “The resort feels welcoming - like a hometown, rustic, state-park - which you get when you walk in. It’s almost like you’re going home,” says Dave. “It’s like you’re walking into your house seeing your old friends and family members: the ambiance of the people around you, the staff, the way you are treated. There are no strangers when you come to Canaan, and I think that’s the main thing you see when you get here.”

CanaanResortAirboard-def-014The resort staff is made up of regional folks. In the wintertime about 260 employees are onsite; in the summer, it’s around 180. To motivate such a large contingent of people, Dave makes sure that everyone feels like they are a part of the big plan, within the big picture. “I let them know that everything they do affects what happens in here, so they feel like they have a share of either the success or failure of the resort.” He also prides himself on trying not to micromanage. “I let the staff make their own decisions, and then I back them up a hundred percent.” Part of this staff includes PSIA instructors for ski, air boarding, and snowboarding. They are part of the National Ski Association and are all accredited.

multiCanaan is a full-service, four-season resort with 250 rooms, cabins, a camping ground, an 18-hole golf course, ice skating rink, a couple of different game rooms, indoor pool, outdoor pool, spa and fitness center, and sauna. Activities such as tubing, a climbing wall, cross country skiing, air boarding, and the state park hiking trails are also very popular with guests, in addition to regional offerings such as horseback riding, river runners, and fishing. The Ski and Play program is a great option for kids. Parents looking to spend a bit of time solo on the slopes, and those who want their kids to learn how to ski, can make a reservation to check their children in and have them taken care of for the day.

mellonThe resort hosts several events during the year to get guests going as well, including summer barbecue and chili cookoffs, wine weekends, holiday celebrations, and more. Many of these events are produced in partnership with other local companies and businesses. Canaan has established over 15 partnerships to offer activities such as mountain biking and snowboarding gear. One of these collaborations with Highland Prospects has resulted in Rail Jams for boarders and skiers (this competition comes complete with some cool prizes).

skier1The resort is also involved with several art museums and galleries in the towns of nearby Davis and Thomas, so guests can attend workshops, classes and sometimes artists even come to Canaan. Dave says the resort became involved in these partnerships for marketing purposes and they are integral to its success. “This gives our partners an opportunity to advertise in a bigger market and gives us a chance to build packages in-house with their services. For example, now we can build a rafting trip into your stay if you’d like to include one.”

Among the resort’s amenities are wireless Internet, shuttle service, housekeeping and an assortment of culinary options, including fine casual dining at the Hickory Room, a grill menu at Laurel Lounge, coffee and pizza at Caffe Siena, a pub experience at Quenchers, and the Bear Paw Food Court. There’s also The Clubhouse Grill at the golf course clubhouse. All menus are geared around comfort food and local dishes. For more information log onto

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