UNION DALE, Pa. (CBS) – The weather this winter has been a royal pain the cities, but has translated into blockbuster crowds for mountain weekends.

Here in the Endless Mountains, the roads are clear through the canyons of snow that is piled car-roof high.  Skiers and riders are lining up at the Elk Mountain lifts, and the picturesque Crystal Lake Hotel, on the banks of its frozen namesake lake, is enjoying record visits.

“This is one of the better seasons we’ve had because the snow came so early,” says Frank Oliveri, who is about to turn 91. He’s seen winter seasons here since 1946, when he took over the hotel and with his wife Pat and sister Jeane began catering to skiers and serving up Italian food rooted in Philadelphia and New York.

Now, the kids and grandkids are in the business.  Scampi and veal marsala in the fireside lounge conveys the real meaning of après ski for generations of snow-seekers.

And as Frank, an old friend, points out, “When people see snow in the cities, the reservation line jumps.”

Reported by Jay Lloyd, KYW Newsradio 1060.


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