WINTERGREEN — Wintergreen Resort offered skiers and snowboarders a chance to make a lasting connection on Valentine’s Day with their Powder of Love event Friday afternoon.
The free event featured a line set up just for singles at the bottom of the mountain’s Blue Ridge chairlift. As Wintergreen’s own take on speed dating, singles could pair up and hop on a lift together. If the connection stuck, they could continue to ride together, and if not, they could part ways at the top and try again once they reached the bottom.
Skiers were greeted with a DJ, heart-shaped decorations and candies and employees dressed in holiday-themed outfits. Cupid also was on hand to help forge some new connections. There were conversation cards the hopeful romantics could use to help break the ice if they couldn’t strike up a conversation during the roughly five-minute chair lift to the top of the mountain.
“Everybody we’ve talked to has said the skiing is great and maybe [they can] find some love out of it too, so it’s kind of a win-win scenario,” said Zach Marlowe, director of operations.
Marlowe said the idea originated as a way to get people to enjoy the outdoors during the winter and maybe find something a little more.
“The essence of skiing or riding is to make friendships, kind of grow outdoors and grow with other people so we introduced the Powder of Love,” Marlowe said. “People love the event. …. You’re up there skiing by yourself and you never know what may happen.”
Marlowe said the event has taken place the past five years and has evolved each year to the point “people actually look forward to it, people come out for it.”
He said a couple that met during the Valentine’s Day event last season ended up getting engaged later in the year near the Blue Ridge lift.
Pierce Byrd, snow sports school and activities manager at Wintergreen, has helped to forge new connections during the Powder of Love for the past four years. She said Valentine’s Day usually has fallen midweek, which has kept some people away. With the holiday on a Friday this year, Byrd was happy with the turnout.
“This year is a really good turnout and people are interested,” Byrd said.
Mercy Farnum, of Charlottesville, has been wanting to make it out for Wintergreen’s chairlift speed dating event for some time and this year she was finally able to come out and participate.
“I really wanted to try [Powder of Love]; it sounds like a lot of fun,” she said, even if she hadn’t made any connections yet.
Farnum said she’s met a couple of people from Virginia Beach and while the connection wasn’t there, she still was able to have a fun conversation with them during their lift up and then go their separate ways once they reached the top.
“That’s the whole thing about this event; if you’re not hitting it off with anyone, your’re still skiing. That’s why I’ve always wanted to come,” she said.