How an Indiana family saved a derelict ski resort in West Virginia

“My dad always says if it was easy to own a ski resort, everyone would do it.” – Paige Perfect, director of marketing for Timberline Mountain.

In 2019, the future of Timberline Mountain in West Virginia looked bleak. Their elevators and facilities were run down as one of their chairlifts malfunctioned even with people on them, resulting in injuries. The mountain went bankrupt and was then auctioned off.

Join the Perfect family that owns Perfect North Slopes in Indiana. After winning Timberline at the November 2019 auction, they kept the mountain closed for a year to spend millions reviving the mountain. Timberline Mountain reopened in December 2020 and has been impressing guests ever since.

Northern Virginia Magazine spoke to Paige Perfect, whose family has made Timberline Mountain one of the top ski resorts in the Southeast. She described her father’s (Chip Perfect) reasoning for saving Timberline:

“My dad loves the ski industry – he can take one look at a ski resort and immediately know what it takes to make it work. Our family had been coming to Timberline for years, so Dad had an eye on it before the auction. The site is spectacular and he knew that with the right investment, Timberline could be incredible. People have loved this mountain for decades, so it was heartbreaking to see it fall.”

After purchasing the mountain, the Perfect family immediately invested $15 million in various improvements. The new lift facilities include a fixed-grip quad chairlift and Doppelmayr’s first high-speed six-pack in West Virginia. They expanded and renovated Timberline’s base lodge and upgraded their snowmaking network. The end result is one of the best ski resorts in the Southeast.

Their other big addition of the past off-season is night skiing. At the weekends they have opened the quad chairlift, which gives skiers access from the low mountain range down to the valley. They hope to open up the whole mountain to night skiing in the years to come.

Thanks to these additional snowmaking improvements, Timberline had its earliest opening ever this week. Timberline Mountain had its Sneak Peek Day on Wednesday, was closed on Thanksgiving and has its Preview Weekend Friday through Sunday. Their official opening day will be weather dependent.

Mountain Stats:

Hiking trails: 22

Elevators: 3

summit height: 4268′

Vertical drop: 1000′

Average snowfall: 170″

The old trail map from 2016 shows what the lift and trail network used to look like.

Photo credit: Timberline Mountain,