Over the years the Pocono Mountains have seen many highs and lows, with once extremely popular resorts and businesses falling by the wayside into disarray(Penn Hills, the Strickland’s, Pocono Gardens Lodge, Caesar’s and many more), and others resurrected and rebuilt from the ground up (Mount Airy Casino and Resort). As a Pocono resident, nothing makes me happier than to see someone take a neglected business and turn it around into something that is basically brand new – enter Alpine Mountain. Over the course of many years Alpine Mountain started to fade from its former glory, a fact that many of us locals know and could see living here through the years. After the previous owner (who also owned Penn Hills) passed away it changed hands a few times until it was finally purchased by Kevin Fabiano and his son last fall.
“Alpine Mountain has been purchased by a local family” was the story that made headlines and brought hope to many locals that were wishing that someone would have the time and money to put into restoring it. Well, we’re here to tell you that you can stop crossing your fingers, and that renovations are well underway and will be completed by this winter of 2014 just in time for the upcoming ski season.
Eric and I met with owner Kevin Fabiano over the summer who walked us firsthand through Alpine Mountain to show us the changes that were underway, as well as the plans for the future. You can tell that Kevin really has heart and passion behind this project, taking the time to talk about, and show us, each and every change that was happening.
To get started, first and foremost they will be keeping it under the same name as Alpine Mountain. They will also continue catering to families, focusing on kids 10 and under, but it will also be a great mountain for beginners of all ages. Tickets are going to be affordably priced, with the mountain being open 7 days a week with night skiing available.
As parents of 4 small children, even the thought of taking our kids anywhere is exhausting, getting everyone dressed and out of the house is truly the Olympics of parenting. This is especially true when you add a baby into the mix and need to carry around all of the additional food, bottles, snacks and diapers with you as well. Most of your time is spent getting ready and getting to your location and just a fraction of the time is actually spent enjoying the activity itself by the time you settle in. Kevin and his son understand these needs and the others families face, and really have put families in the forefront of their minds with everything they are doing.
Moms and dads visiting will rejoice knowing that there will be family bathrooms (with changing tables) handy directly from the mountain, so after you spend 20 minutes getting your child fully geared, only for them to tell you they have to go to the bathroom, you can quickly take them and get back on the slopes. Do you have little ones that are not old enough to ski yet? No worries, there will be a fully staffed nursery. Are you a nursing mom that does not want to miss out on the family trip to stay home with baby? Alpine Mountain will conveniently have a private mothers room that you can use, which for any nursing mom on the go can understand just how truly amazing and thoughtful that is.
Trips are all about memories, and Alpine Mountain will be capturing them throughout each day by taking photos which you will be able to view once you get off the slopes, and then can be conveniently purchased.
In addition to all of the thought out family features, they have partnered with Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery and a Pennsylvania favorite, to offer the very first Yuengling branded Bar & Grill that will be open year round. Their style will be based on a 1920s microbrewery and the decor and employee attire will include the history of Yuengling. This gives a great opportunity for you and your spouse to enjoy a nice quiet meal while your kids are skiing, all while being able to watch them come down the slopes.
Sit down eating will be available, but if you are looking to eat at an affordable cost or quickly, the cafeteria will be available with a few different affordable food options including hot dogs, sandwiches and more. Food options at Alpine Mountain will also include a Starbucks, Wall Street Deli and Waffle Cabin. The cafeteria will have a per order menu where you will be able to order your meal and then watch your family’s meal be prepared right in front of you through an open window.
If you don’t plan on skiing or snowboarding you can always grab a drink and watch from the open bar deck. Or, if you prefer, you can relax in the lounge where you can comfortably watch your loved ones and friends as they hit the slopes, all while enjoying the open fireplace.
Skiing will be available of course, as well as a full snowboarding park. There are BIG plans for the snowboarding park that we’ll announce as soon as they’re set in stone. Some of the plans for snowboarders will separate Alpine Mountain from their competition.
One of the more exciting new features is that a NASTAR race course will be available and FREE to use. If you’re not familiar with NASTAR here is an explanation directly from their facebook page: “Developed by SKI Magazine in 1968, NASTAR (NAtional STAndard Race) is the largest recreational ski and snowboard race program in the world. Our mission is simple – to provide a fun, competitive and easily accessible racing program that, through the development of a handicap system, allows racers of all ages and abilities a means to compare their race results to other competitors across the country regardless of when and where they race.”
One of the biggest features Alpine Mountain has been known for is snowtubing which will definitely still be available and is currently getting revamped. Outdoor activities will include a new outdoor ice skating rink, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Yes, you read that right an ICE SKATING rink!
Seeing the changes firsthand was really exciting, and there are so many more plans in the works, so we will be watching the progress to keep you updated as we learn more.
The bridge coming into Alpine Mountain was shut for a little bit as it was temporarily repaired, but it is scheduled to be worked on more in the near future.
The winter will be full of plenty activities, and in warmer months in the off season you will still be able to access the Yuengling Bar & Grill and attend events including a Latin Festival scheduled for August 2014. There will be many more events to come in the near future and Kevin was adamant about their plans to make Alpine Mountain not just a winter resort but a four seasons resort as well.
Although Alpine is not the biggest mountain in the area, they cater to a much needed group of people – families and beginners. They are making it as easy as possible to bring the whole family skiing, whether it is for the first time, or every weekend as seasonal pass holders. A new magic carpet is being installed for beginners and there will also be fully trained instructors available as well. Alpine Mountain makes it easy to have family fun by streamlining the entire process so you’re not waiting hours in line to get a ticket, or scrambling around trying to find a place to change your baby. The fact that Alpine Mountain is set back from more crowded areas will allow for some breathing room so you can take your time while visiting and truly enjoy your trip.
The photos below are of the work in progress and we’ll bring you updates as they happen. Kevin and his family truly have their heart, sweat and a lot of time and money wrapped up in this project. It was great to see his excitement as he talked to us about all of the changes that were underway and upcoming. We really hope that you, like us, are excited and encourage the positive changes that are being made to Alpine Mountain. Supporting local businesses that make the Poconos a better place to live, visit and work really is vital to keeping our area as beautiful and amazing as it is.
Connect with Alpine Mountain: