At Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia, Soaring Eagle provides the big excitement this year. It’s the name of a new condo complex at the Top of the World and a new high-speed quad lift to take you there.

The Soaring Eagle Express replaces the old Widowmaker lift and reduces the ride from about nine minutes to about three minutes. The carrying capacity increases from 1,800 people an hour to 2,400 people an hour.

“It’s exciting because the faster the lift is moving, there’s less of a line, less time on the lift and more time on the snow,” said Andrea Smith, spokeswoman. “If you’re making five runs, that’s a ton of time.”

Soaring Eagle Lodge is the first phase of a new development at the top of the mountain. When the lodge opens this winter, it’ll have 140 luxury condos; a gourmet restaurant, The Ember; a gourmet take-out called Marketplace; and a private wine bar open only to Soaring Eagle guest and owners. A new retail and rental shop also will be on the ground floor with the restaurants.

Two old favorites will be returning to Snowshoe in new locations. Auntie Pasta’s Ristaorante and Comedy Cellar will be in the Mountain Lodge. Both were missing last year after their former building was torn down.

Snowshoe Mountain Resort: 57 trails, 14 lifts (four quads, seven triples, three surface lifts); 1,500-foot vertical drop, longest run of 7,900 feet.

  • Amenities: Snowboard park, snow-tube park, snowmobiles, snowshoes, cross country skiing, sleigh rides, indoor water park.

  • Adult lift ticket: $45 weekdays, $60 weekends and $62 holi-

    days with Snowshoe lodging packages; $50 weekdays, $65 weekends and $67 holidays for day visitors.

    Snow tubing: $12 for two hours.

    Location: about four hours west of Richmond and about 20 miles north of Marlinton, W.Va.

    Details: (304) 572-1000, (877) 441-4386 for reservations, (304) 572-4636for ski report or