Now that temperatures have dropped, snow has fallen and winter wind whips through the air, it’s time to bundle up and venture outside to enjoy the slopes. Ski resorts are now open, and resort members and guests are packing up their skis and snowboards. Many wait the entire year for the thrill of zipping down the steep slopes.
But not all runs make it; most local residents are not aware that a now-defunct ski area called Mountain Run Inc. is tucked away on Moreland Gap Road in New Market.
No longer a functioning ski resort, the slopes and surrounding land are privately owned by Terry and Linda Cox. The couple purchased the property in 1999, hoping to build their home at the top of the slope — where skiers used to zip around on snow drifts is now a driveway.
Terry Cox explained that Mountain Run was developed in the late 1960s, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The original plan was to divide the property into two different working sections: one commercial and one residential.
The commercial side consisted of 147 acres and was designed to function as not only a ski resort, but to add other attractions such as a golf course, petting zoo, trails, shooting ranges and lodging, according to Cox.
On what once was the commercial side, a large red and rusted ski lift still holds 66 seats and ascends 960 feet up the mountainside. This lift once transported skiers to the top, where they had the option of eight different runs to glide down, he explained.
A hay wagon was used to shuttle the skiers back to the ski lift since there was just one lift for the many slopes across the span of the mountainside.
The original owners ran the resort from 1971-72, before funds ran dry.
When the couple purchased the overgrown property, it took a lot of time and many work-filled weekends to clear the matured trees and brush from the trails.
They now use what was formerly the ski lodge to house their “toys”: dirt bikes, racecars and a boat.
Although this ski resort is no longer hosting skiers, as the Cox family hikes and dirt bikes through the acres of nature and trails, they keep the resort alive.