By Jessica Isaacs
It’s been feeling a lot like summer lately in the High Country, but cooler temps are on the way and there’s still plenty of winter fun to be had at some of your local ski resorts this New Year’s Eve.
Check out what’s going on at Beech and at Sugar:
At Beech Mountain, take advantage of special New Year’s Eve lodging packages and celebrate with a little weekend getaway. Resort festivities include an adults-only live performance by Melissa Reaves and the Willy’s at the newly renovated Beech Tree Bar and Grille and an earlier family-friendly celebration at the Buckeye Recreation Center.
Start the night on Dec. 31 with some kid-friendly fun from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Buckeye Rec Center to enjoy food, music, games, a bounce house and a huge balloon drop at 7:30 p.m. Call 828-387-3003 to R.S.V.P. to this free event.
The Melissa Reaves concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a $10 cover charge and the fun will include a free photo booth, drink specials, party favors and lots of dancing during what’s sure to be an electrifying performance.
Want to take the party up a notch? Make a reservation for exclusive balcony-level seating at Beech Tree for $25 per person and enjoy a private bar, great seats and a champagne toast at midnight.
“The Beech Tree always provides a fun party. Melissa Reaves is incredibly talented and brings high energy to all her shows,” said Talia Freeman, the resort’s director of marketing. “I think the crowd will be really pleased. I am really looking forward to the event.”
Lodging packages are available for parties of four or six at the Pinnacle Inn Resort for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Call the inn at 828-387-2231 to make lodging reservations.
Beech Mountain Resort will offer free shuttle services to and from local lodging facilities. Call Beech at 1-800-438-2093 to make reservations for special seating, to schedule a shuttle ride. Check out beechmountainresort.com for more information.
Despite the warm weather, the folks at Sugar Mountain Resort remain hopeful for the cooler temperatures that may be coming their way for the weekend and they’re offering several ways for you to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Ring in 2016 with indoor fun, great food and live music from The Johnson Brothers between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. Families and friends can enjoy the festivities in third floor cafeteria at $80 per couple or $45 per person, which will also include a basket of hors d’oeuvres, party favors and a midnight champagne toast.
For those 21 and up, the Last Run Lounge offers up a fun experience, too, at $45 per couple or $25 per person, also including a champagne toast.
“The Johnsons brothers are really diverse and they’re going to play a lot of today’s favorites on New Year’s Eve,” said Sugar’s Marketing Director and V.P. Kim Jochl. “They are native to Linville and they play everything from oldies and classic rock from the ’70s up to the modern music of today. They’re a really good band — great vocals and great musicians.”
While there is a fee to enjoy the indoor party and the band, the public is invited to watch the free torch light parade at 11:45 p.m., which will be followed by celebratory fireworks at midnight.
“We will have 15-30 skiers who will come down the mountain with torches in both hands so you can see the light coming down the slope,” Jochl said. “If there’s snow on the slope, it will be easy for them to come down. If not, we will still find a way to make the torch light parade happen.”
The courtesy shuttle will operate until 1:30 a.m. for folks who are staying at the Village on the mountain.
Ice-skating at Sugar continues every day and snowmaking will proceed as soon as the weather permits. Jochl and the Sugar team continue to hope for cold weather and aim to open the slopes in time for the weekend.
“Hopefully we can begin snowmaking soon. We plan to be making snow on Thursday and Friday so we can open as soon as possible,” said Jochl. “We’re crossing our fingers for Friday and Saturday.”
Check out skisugar.com for more information and call 828-898-4521 ext. 261 to make reservations for NYE dinner on Dec. 31.