Live, Work, Play in Happy Valley

20 articles

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“The Best of the Best Come Here:” Skateboarder Tommy Ries Gives Us a Tour of Camp Woodward and Penns Valley

Like most kids who grew up living and breathing skateboarding, Tommy Ries knew about Camp Woodward — the elite skills-building camp for aspiring athletes — he just didn’t know where it was. “I don’t think I’d ever even been in the state of Pennsylvania before I visited,” he recalls. By 2012, he’d made the drive (albeit one that included a speeding ticket right around DuBois on I-80). And as soon as he took the Pleasant Gap exit and headed up over the Centre Hall mountain, he fell in love.

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“How Can You Beat It?” Aaron Weyman Talks Tussey Mountain Fun

After Aaron Weyman graduated from Penn State, he worked for the athletic department for a short time and then accepted a job at Tussey Mountain. That was 14 years ago, and the magic still hasn’t worn off. “It's hard to name another big time school that can see ski slopes from their campus,” he says. “Then add in outdoor concerts, events and activities in the warm months, located right at the entrance to a gorgeous state forest like Rothrock... how can you beat that?”

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Ahead of the Curve: Fritz Smith on Why He Relocated to Happy Valley

Before moving to Happy Valley in 2019 — and becoming President and CEO of the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau — Fritz Smith served in leadership in tourism with Visit Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Over the years, his career took his family from New York City to Philadelphia to Baltimore to Washington, D.C. And when he and his wife Leslie decided on a move, he says that they were drawn to Happy Valley as a chance to slow down and enjoy a life that he says was “a bit less hectic, less expensive, less loud and dirty.”

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“I’ve Come to Realize the Importance of Community:” Lifelong Journalist Greg Guise Gives Back

Greg Guise puts a new meaning on the term ‘active retirement.’ After graduating from Penn State and working as a videographer in Detroit and then in Washington, D.C. for 40 years, he’s back in Happy Valley. And when I call him, he’s climbing Rattlesnake Mountain to install communications gear for the amateur radio community. It’s “just a way of giving back,” he says just before he drives out of cell phone range. When he calls back, he tells me just why community is so, so important. Read on.

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“The Rowland Theatre, Of Course:” Take a Tour of Philipsburg with Rebecca Inlow

Local author and historian Rebecca Inlow wants to tell you about Philipsburg, and specifically about its movie palace The Rowland Theatre. A longtime volunteer for the theatre, Inlow has authored the book “The Rowland Story: Beauty from Ashes,” a labor of love that took 3 ½ years to complete (you can buy a copy at the theatre, or at Shindig Alley on the corner of Front and Pine in Philipsburg). She says it was worth it all to discover “little pieces of history that you can find around every corner.”

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“The Quality of Life is Incredible.” Ellen Matis on Why She Chose to Start Her Company in Bellefonte.

Get involved with Happy Valley entrepreneur networks, Bellefonte’s burgeoning downtown, social media in this area … or really anything involving growth and community in Happy Valley … and it’s just a matter of time before you run into Ellen Matis. She’s the founder of Hello Social Co., a bespoke social media service, serves as Board President for Downtown Bellefonte Inc., and is a member of the marketing committee for the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau. Hear why Ellen chose Bellefonte and what every visitor should do when they are in town. Read on!

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Beauty, Adventure and Fun: See Happy Valley with The Nature Inn’s Sisters Kashia and Lexie

The next time you are there vacationing, traveling on business, or visiting as part of an event, you’ll likely meet two of the people who make The Nature Inn such an unparalleled destination: sisters Kashia Quay and Lexie Hosterman. Find out what they say makes Centre County so special, why the Nature Inn is a can’t-miss destination in Happy Valley, and what to do on your next visit.

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at