10 Winter Adventures in the Mountain State

first_imgWho says only kids have snow days? In the Mountain State, winter means the rolling hills transform into a playground for adults (with plenty for the kids, too.)Explore everything from simple sledding to world-class skiing and snowboarding in the mountain wilderness. Here are the best winter adventures:Skiing & More1. Canaan Valley Resort State ParkBest for: A remote winter wilderness escapeTucked into the beauty of the Mountain State’s wildest landscapes, Canaan Valley Resort State Park’s snowy scenery is lined with 47 carved out trails for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The less adventurous can swoosh down the bunny hills on inner tubes, or ice skate. 2. Winterplace Resort Best for: A romantic, relaxing retreatEnjoy an extra-long day of Winterplace tubing, skiing or stunting in the snowboarding terrain parks, exploring into the moonlit evening hours. Then stow away in a cozy cabin, or in the luxury of the nearby Resort at Glade Springs, where you can relax at the spa or sprawling leisure center.3. Snowshoe MountainBest for: An all-inclusive getawayEnjoy 1,500 vertical feet of Snowshoe Mountain skiing, snowboarding, inner tubing, freestyle terrain park stunts, and backcountry snowmobile or RZR rides. Kids can play in the outdoor pool (yes, in the winter— it’s heated!) while you relax in the sauna or hot tub. Stroll the streets of the mountaintop village for unique dining and shopping.Snowshoe-3-08-sjs-319_24. Timberline Four Season ResortBest for: Wild play and fun nightlifeTake the finely groomed paths or trails less traveled, through the untamed, wooded snow glades. Timberline has slopes for all skill levels, from short, simple runs to some of the most advanced trails in the region. After conquering the winter wilderness, enjoy the eclectic live entertainment at Timbers Pub & Fireside Grill.5. Oglebay ResortBest for: A holiday trip with the family Circle around Oglebay Resort’s fire pits to share tales as the sun sets on a day of skiing the slopes and boarding over the snow jumps. Add a holiday sparkle to your little ones’ eyes with the intricate Festival of Lights displays illuminating the mountain, the playful critters at the Good Zoo, and skating at the nearby ice rink.XCSkiingWhitegrass-_MR_-sjs-02Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing6. White GrassBest for: A budget-friendly vacationMiles of carefully manicured, open mountain trail— all for you! Near the lively small towns of Thomas & Davis, White Grass offers big excitement for only a little investment. Never cross-country skied before? A $6 lesson will teach you all you need to know in 15 minutes!7. Pipestem Resort State ParkBest for: Experienced cross-country skiersMother Nature is the only one who grooms Pipestem’s 7 rugged ski trails! Roam the golf course or the rim of the gorge in their winter beauty before relaxing at the lodge or in your own personal cottage. 8. Alpine Lake ResortBest for: Carefree cross-country trekkingTuck into a remote Alpine lakeside chalet for a leisurely cross-country skiing or snowshoeing escape. Enjoy the calm mountain mornings and stunning lakeside scenery from this secluded haven.Timberline-3-08-sjs-2139.Elk River Touring CenterBest for: A remote, scenic ski tripHave you driven along the stunning Highland Scenic Highway? Come enjoy it as a winter wonderland. The untamed trails criss-cross the snow-blanketed route along the National Forest grounds. Stay on the farmstead at the quaint mountain inn. 10. Blackwater Falls State ParkBest for: A unique winter viewDid you know the powerful falls at Blackwater State Park freeze completely during the winter? Take in the marvel of this frozen wonder with a visit to the full-service sledding and cross-country ski center.  The winter fun extends beyond the slopes. Find all the best winter events, activities and more in the Mountain State at gotowv.com/winter.last_img read more

Proven strategies to create fiercely loyal members

first_imgCommitment sounds like an obvious part of any business plan, however for many Credit Unions it’s not always so easy. If you want commitment from your members in the form of loyalty, you’ll have to give commitment in return. Here are a few commitments your credit union can make to aid in creating loyalty:Commit to being the best at what you doCommit to the member relationshipCommit to your Brand3. Maintain a Relationship Mindset The first step in creating a fiercely loyal member is to build an emotional connection. When you are able to tap into a consumer’s emotions, you’re often able to influence their purchase decisions. A few ways to establish an emotional connection with members:Build CredibilityProvide ValueBe TransparentLive Your Brand2. Be Committed Think about which brands you are most loyal to, and why. Apple, Amazon, and Southwest are some of the top brands that often come to mind. Most likely your “why” revolves around product quality, experience, and/or convenience factors. Now think about what it would take to make you become disloyal to your favorite brands. One way to keep a finger on the experience pulse is Member Experience Mapping. Member Experience Mapping is a great way to gather a 360° view of what your members are experiencing when they interact with your brand. Mapping your members’ experiences is a crucial step in showing the gaps between consumer expectations and perceptions of the actual experience along the way. Closing these gaps will help your credit union achieve peak member loyalty.The best kind of member loyalty comes from an exchange of value between the member and the Credit Union, where conversations revolve around how you can better serve the member’s needs, and not so much focused on the business results. When the relationship is valued more than the sale, loyalty is sure to follow. 36SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Hilary Reed Hilary Reed, founder of EmpowerFi, is an innovative thought-leader who has been involved in various aspects of strategic sales and marketing for 15 years. Her career began in 2000 when … Web: www.empowerfi.org Detailscenter_img Everything your organization does, internally and externally should revolve around building deeper relationships. From internal staff relationships, to member relationships, and relationships with other brands (i.e. community, vendors, etc.), by focusing on building individual relationships, and opening up ongoing communications, your credit union will be poised for organic growth.4. Consider Your Members’ Perspective It’s a well-known fact that growing just a small percentage of your profitable members can make a tremendous impact on your bottom line. When approximately 20% of your members make up 80% of your profit it’s easy to see the impact of increasing loyal members. But which members are likely to generate the most profit, and how do we get them to become and remain loyal?Loyalty means something different to every financial institution. What does loyalty mean to your organization? Here’s an example from one $600m credit union in the Northeast:Checking Account with debit cardDirect DepositMinimum of 1 LoanAggregate balances of $10,000+Whether you use number of products, aggregate balances, profitability, or lifetime value, if your focus is on member loyalty, you’re headed in the right direction. “Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  -Damon Richards.When members feel valued, and have a connection with your brand, they are more likely to consider you first when it comes to future financial decisions. Here are a few ways for your Credit Union to acquire and retain loyal members.1. Establish an Emotional Connectionlast_img read more

O’Connell makes winning return

first_imgPaul O’Connell made a successful return in Munster’s workmanlike 23-9 RaboDirect PRO12 win over the Newport Gwent Dragons at Musgrave Park. Introduced by Munster for the closing 30 minutes, O’Connell was playing for the first time since fracturing his right forearm during the Lions’ opening Test against Australia in June. The second row was closely watched by new Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and forwards coach John Plumtree from the stands as Munster bounced back from losing in Treviso last weekend. Prop James Cronin’s second try of the season gave Munster a 13-6 advantage at the break, the hosts moving clear after Kris Burton had matched JJ Hanrahan’s early brace of penalties. Yellow cards for Dragons captain Andrew Coombs and Jevon Groves left the Welsh region in all sorts of trouble and Munster skipper Peter O’Mahony’s close-range try, supplemented by a further Hanrahan conversion and penalty, made the game safe for the game. The Dragons, who opened their campaign with two wins from three, were level at 6-6 by the end of the opening quarter in Cork without having achieved much in attack. Munster’s indiscipline saw them lose four players to the sin-bin in Treviso, and they continued to cough up soft penalties. O’Mahony and his back-row colleague Paddy Butler were the guilty parties as Burton cancelled out Hanrahan’s lead scores, the former Ireland Under-20 star having landed penalties after seven and 19 minutes. Hanrahan missed a tricky third attempt from the left wing and as the Dragons’ well-organised defence continued to frustrate Munster, Burton was off target with a snap drop goal effort. A knock on from a lineout maul, allied to a scrum infringement from John Ryan, prevented Munster from creating pressure in the Dragons’ 22, but O’Mahony swooped on Hugh Gustafson’s overthrown lineout to set his side up for a telling 35th-minute attack. Direct running from Ivan Dineen punctured the visitors’ defence and with Cathal Sheridan delivering quickly from the base of rucks, Cronin came on the charge to bulldoze through a tackle and make the try-line. As the rain began to fall, Hanrahan fired over the conversion from the left to establish a seven-point advantage and give Munster something to build on. Burton clawed back three points early in the second half, slamming over a penalty from just inside the Munster half, but the Dragons lost the services of Coombs shortly afterwards. The Dragons skipper was sin-binned for a reckless use of the boot on Damien Varley as he attempted to clear a ruck and just a minute later, flanker Groves followed him for collapsing an advancing Munster maul. The 13 men could not hold out and O’Mahony wormed his way over from a close-in ruck, with confirmation from TMO Jude Quinn, and Hanrahan’s successful conversion making it 20-9. O’Connell came on to huge acclaim from the home crowd, joining fellow stalwart Donncha O’Callaghan in the second row, as the province tried to push on for a bonus point. But Dragons replacement Sam Parry won a crucial penalty as his side defended close to their line, and it was the Welshmen who had the better scoring chances in the closing stages. Munster were forced to defend for much of the remainder, with Dan Evans and Ross Wardle both crowded out in the right corner as the Dragons hunted for their own bonus point. Their best opportunity was spoiled by a Wardle knock on as replacement Jason Tovey looked set to put him over late on. Press Associationlast_img read more