Wisp Ski Resort~ A Little Look Back!

Today’s snow making equipment

As I sit here daydreaming & staring out my office window, I can’t help but watch the people zig-zag their way down the ski slopes. For the most part, they all seem to be floating gracefully although on occasion you will witness a bit of a crash and burn. As we here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales gear up for another busy weekend, we can’t help but feel proud that so many people have chosen Deep Creek Lake as their choice for a weekend winter getaway! Granted, our location is key since we are only a mere 3-4 hours away from Washington D.C and 2 ½ from Pittsburgh. However, most come to enjoy the outdoor adventures that our area has to offer. While hiking and snow shoeing are my preferred activity choices, most come to spend the weekend at Wisp Ski Resort which offers skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating and more!

Helmuth “Ace” Heise

It is with this thought that I can’t help but think of how this all came about because one man had a dream to make Deep Creek Lake a four season resort. Helmuth “Ace” Heise began vacationing with his parents and sister at Deep Creek Lake in the 1930s. He and his wife, Evelyn, later went on to buy property and construct a year round 10 unit motel. After noticing that there was very little money to be made in the winter months, Ace knew he needed to find a way to attract guests to this area for potential winter sports. He along with some other local business men formed Recreational Industries, Inc. and leased a farm pasture on Marsh Mountain. Winter skiing began the winter of 1955-1956 with one ski slope of which the skiers were pulled to the top of the mountain via a rope tow. The “Lodge” at the time was a one room hut warmed by a coal fired potbellied stove. The ski equipment was rented out of the bed of a pick-up truck. But, people came. Over the next decade, Mr. Heise went on to add additional slopes and lifts and even purchased state of the art snow making equipment (which at the time resembled lawn sprinklers that spat out pellets of frozen water). Wisp continued to grow and improve and as of today has over 34 slopes located on 172 acres. The lawn sprinklers have since been replaced by the world’s most energy efficient snowmaking equipment with computerized weather and pumping stations. Of course, over the years, they also added the snow tubing park, ice skating rink, and more! Again, this started because one man knew how to tun his dream into realty. Although Mr. Heise is no longer with us, we owe him a big thank you for helping make Deep Creek Lake a vacation destination all year long.

Vintage Wisp Lodge

With that being said, the sun is shining, the temperatures are warming up and Wisp is ready for the weekend! We can’t wait to see you at the lake! #skiwisp #winterwonderland #deepcreeklake #dreamsintorealty #AceHeise


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