SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
VERNON – How would you like to ski at your own ski resort? You can. Simply join the Hidden Valley Club here in this quiet Sussex County community.
The Hidden Valley Club, you see, is actually the Hidden Valley Club ski resort (thehiddenvalleyclub.com), a relatively small semi-private ski area situated here in the shadow of the sprawling and well-known Mountain Creek ski area. As a semi-private New Jersey ski area, the Hidden Valley Club is not merely a members-only ski area. Non-members can ski here, too!
With an elevation of 1,450 ft. and a vertical drop of 640 ft., the Hidden Valley Club sports 13 trails serviced by two double-chairlifts, a triple-chairlift and a surface lift. Each trail has 100 percent snowmaking coverage. The ski area opened for business in 1976 as the Great Gorge-Vernon Valley ski resort.
“We’re just like a golf course at a country club,” explains Shannon Heidebrecht, Hidden Valley’s resort services director. “Anyone can ski here, but, like a country club, we have some facilities and services that are available only to our members.”
According to Heidebrecht, these VIP facilities and services include a private locker room, ski valet service, preferred member parking and lift access and a private dining room on weekends. What’s more, she adds, members receive lower rates than non-members on many club services.
“Members pay a small initial deposit and yearly dues of $950 for the first adult, $575 for the second adult, and $225 for each child aged six and over,” Heidebrecht says. “Children under six are free, and if the second adult doesn’t ski he or she pays only $100 to join.”
Membership today stands at a mere 50, according to Heidebrecht.
“The perfect number would be 250 members, which would allow us to be completely private,” Heidebrecht continues. “But for families, it’s just like having their own ski resort.”
Heidebrecht explains that, unlike many recreational ski areas, the Hidden Valley Club draws a slightly different demographic – the younger skier and snowboarder interested in its racing program.