By Nathan Ham
The first full weekend of skiing, snowboarding and tubing for the area resorts saw a strong turnout with plenty of snowmaking and cold temperatures over the weekend.
Hawksnest launched their snow tubing season opening on Saturday with a strong turnout. Starting on Monday, December 14, snow tubing will be open seven days a week and ziplining will be available every day, weather permitting. Due to COVID-19 limited capacity operations, advanced reservations are highly recommended.
The 59th Anniversary Weekend at Appalachian Ski Mtn. had a lot of visitors as the mountain is fully up and running with night skiing and ice skating open as well.
“We had an excellent turnout for that, it was a near-sellout at a limited capacity, which gave us a good trial run for how the Christmas holiday will be,” said owner Brad Moretz. “I think things went along very well with the automated system and that helped spread things out. People had a great experience and we had a lot of interest this weekend. I think we’re going to be looking at a great winter ahead.”
Beech Mountain’s opening weekend included great snowmaking conditions and some natural snowfall for skiers and snowboarders.
“It was a good weekend, everything ran smooth and our customers all seemed really happy. We feel confident that we are going to be able to provide a safe experience and keep everyone happy,” said Talia Freeman, Director of Marketing at Beech Mountain Resort. “The weather was nice, we have had a considerable amount of natural snowfall for this early in December, so that has been a really pleasant surprise.”
Night skiing at Beech is slated to begin this Friday and ice skating should be open on Friday too. Freeman says they are continually making snow on the snow tubing trails and are hoping to have it ready for the weekend.
Sugar Mountain has already had 10 inches of natural snowfall so far in December according to vice-president Kim Jochl. Between the natural snow and the snowmaking capabilities, Sugar Mountain has eight slopes open with a 22-53 inch base.
“We had a strong weekend with a good turnout on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The long-term forecast looks like it is holding steady with temperatures in the 20s, which is necessary for snowmaking,” Jochl said.
As all of the area resorts are learning how to deal with COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, the “Ski Well Be Well initiative” is providing guidance to all of the ski slopes to keep everyone as safe as possible.
“We have learned that people want to be outside and love to be outside. They are respectful of how they need to behave,” says Jochl. “As the winter goes on and the holiday period comes on, we will see more people and that means we will have to be very conscious of being respectful of what we are required to do to keep our season open.”
To learn more about Ski Well Be Well and the latest health and safety updates for enjoying the ski slopes, visit https://nsaa.org/skiwellbewell.
Pictures from Beech Mountain Resort on Sunday