Celebrate wintertime with the comforts of home at Oglebay.
written by KATHLEEN M. JACOBS
photos courtesy of OGLEBAY
While each season brings its gifts to West Virginia’s residents and visitors, there is nothing quite like winter in wild, wonderful West Virginia—nothing. Other seasons welcome us to visit lakes and streams, go hiking and rafting, and enjoy a plethora of both outdoor and indoor adventures. But winter invites cross country and downhill snow skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and gathering around a crackling fire—the crisp mountain air simply adds to the magic of it all. It’s a most magical season both in the valleys and the mountains of West Virginia, setting the stage for families and friends to gather and add to memories already held dear.
This time of year sees wonderment sprinkled like tossed confetti across the state, and Oglebay, located in Wheeling, is a great place to collect a handful. Enjoy the best the winter season has to offer with Oglebay’s vast array of accommodations, activities, cuisine, and natural beauty.
If you’ve never traveled to Oglebay, you might begin the journey at its inviting website. By the time you’ve vicariously made your way through all the resort offers, you’ll head to the accommodations page to make a reservation. Cottages were renovated in 2021, according to Herb Faulkenberry, vice president of sales and marketing at Oglebay. “They each received upgrades and enhancements to their fixtures, furnishings, and equipment as well as new wall treatments, flooring, and lighting,” he says. The resort’s conference and meeting space saw renovations as well, with over 20,000 square feet of space refreshed with everything from new walls and ceilings to updated technology. More recently, Wilson Lodge oversaw similar upgrades to its West Wing accommodations, and there’s more to come in 2024.
If you’re planning a trip to the resort during the holiday season, be certain to add the Festival of Lights to your agenda. Guests travel the six-mile track at Oglebay Park and take in more than 100 lighted attractions placed along the route. A $30 donation gets you a pass for the entire holiday season and a rewards book for activities, retail opportunities, and dining options at Oglebay, so the fun never has to end. This annual event runs through January 7, 2024, and is rated by AAA as one of the nation’s best—more than 1 million guests visit the Park during this time each year.
But the Festival of Lights is not the only holiday celebration on the calendar. The resort offers lodging specials, Breakfast with Santa, a holiday dinner show with live music, walking tours, and so much more, including in 2024 the first-ever Twinkle Trot, a mid-November 5k race through the Festival of Lights.
And for more adventurous guests, there’s exceptional skiing and snowboarding as well as ice skating at Oglebay’s sister property, Wheeling Park, and hiking on the Park trails system. Holiday stress getting to you? Now might be a good time to take a breath and head in the direction of relaxation by visiting the Nutting Winter Sports Complex and the 7,000-square-foot spa.
Asked what, in his opinion, draws so many visitors and West Virginia residents to Oglebay, Faulkenberry says with complete conviction and passion, “Besides location”—the resort is easily accessible from Ohio and Pennsylvania—”it’s our ‘family-centered’ culture. We honor the family in everything we do and welcome everyone from the grandparents who want to keep longstanding family traditions of quality time with family to the modern ‘blended’ family looking to start their own traditions.” Oglebay has earned a tip of our winter hats as it welcomes each and every one to spend some time in West Virginia’s winter wonderland.