(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Despite inflation woes that have plagued the country for much of the year, Mount Pleasant of Edinboro ski hill has decided to keep its season ticket prices the same.

“We’re proud to offer that as an affordable outdoor experience for the people of Northwest Pennsylvania,” said General Manager Andrew Halmi. “It’s important to us that people get outside and enjoy the winter, and we strive to make that season pass the most affordable option that we can.”

Some other rates will see modest increases, Halmi said. But the season ticket rates won’t — those tickets have been the same price since 2006. And that’s despite multiple improvements and major investments to the local ski hill.

“We’ve made major investments in snowmaking, the lodge, the lifts, and major upgrades that have translated into a much better skier experience,” Halmi said.

At a ski hill, snow is king. It’s the most vital part to the operation. Without snow, the hill doesn’t open for business, and while Erie gets a healthy dose of snow every winter, Mount Pleasant relies on creating snow to extend the season. Three new snow guns will be installed this year before the season gets underway, Halmi said.

Mount Pleasant of Edinboro opened in December 1970. It has changed hands twice in 51 years, ultimately landing in the hands of current owners Doug and Laura Sinsabaugh in 2005. Halmi has been at Mountain Pleasant since 2004. Born and raised in the Edinboro area, he grew up skiing, first hitting the slopes at the age of 3.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Halmi

This year, during the offseason, Mount Pleasant has been installing a conveyor belt lift for the beginner skiing area. The lift is about 120 feet long, and a skier steps on it for a quick ride to the top. Also, it’s enclosed, so the skier gets out of the weather for the 30-second ride.

“The old J-bar was difficult for beginners, and if they didn’t get loaded just right, it was difficult to ride all the way up,” Halmi said. “The conveyor is like a people mover at an airport. They step on, they ride to the top, then the skis glide off at the top, and they glide away from it. No effort required.”

Further, Halmi said Mount Pleasant has been working to upgrade the rental shop. They’ve bought more than 100 pieces of new gear (skies, snowboards and boots) and they’ve quadrupled the amount of floor space.

“The rental shop footprint had been the same since the 1970s,” Halmi said. “We’re bettering the rental shop experience. It can be stressful to go in as a first-time skier, especially when there’s no room to get ready, so we’re trying to make it more comfortable for everybody.”

Summer doesn’t even end until late September, but Mount Pleasant of Edinboro is already looking forward to the ski season. Season tickets already are on sale at the Mount Pleasant website.

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“We always have a foot in winter. We work for nine months doing maintenance and getting ready for the season all for three months of skiing,” Halmi said. “We’re always looking forward at what we have to do to be open for skiing.”