Beech Mountain Resort implemented several upgrades for the 2021-22 ski season to allow plenty of space for guests to enjoy the great outdoors, whether on the snow or just relaxing.
The core of the alpine village at the base of the slopes has been transformed into a park-like plaza. A pavilion and social area with multiple fire pits replaces the ice-skating rink (which returns in the future to a new location). The renovation adds several outdoor seating areas connected by walkways, a direct response to people’s changing preferences in the wake of the pandemic.
A bit closer to the slopes, in the area between the Lodge and ski school, a new food & beverage outlet debut. Play Yard Provisions is a “snack shack” for warm food, hot chocolate, coffee and cold drinks. Guests can purchase items to grab and go, or eat on the Lodge deck without setting foot inside.
“We’re seeing a focus of people wanting to avoid inside areas at times and have more spaces to spread out,” says Beech Mountain Resort general manager Ryan Costin. “These investments give people that opportunity on both levels of the village.”
On the slopes, a multi-year upgrade of the snowmaking system continues. Ten new hi-tech snow guns are in place, giving the resort 85 new guns over the last five years. Those guns will be fed by two additional high-performance pumps installed over the summer. Those pumps increase the system’s output to more than 5,000 gallons of water per minute, greatly enhancing the snowmaking ability.
“Snowmaking has been a major focus over the last few years and it’s nice to see that overall project coming to fruition,” Costin says.
For a good part of the season last year, the resort operated at 100 percent capacity with all 17 slopes open, including the Oz Run on the backside of the mountain.
Night skiers and snowboarders will notice new LED lighting this winter on Southern Star. That completes a three-year project to upgrade to LED lighting on all slopes used at night.
“People who have come for night skiing over the last couple years have complimented us on how much this project has expanded and improved the night skiing conditions,” Costin says.
As conditions allow, Beech Mountain Resort also plans to reintroduce most outdoor and indoor activities and programming that were canceled last winter.
“We will have a full schedule of on-slope and off-slope operations. We can increase capacity for the ski school and group lessons, and other outdoor activities,” explains Costin. “Meanwhile, our food & beverage venues, music venues and those type of operations should be open, which will add a lot of excitement to the overall experience.”
Focus has also been placed on the guest experience away from the slopes. The resort will now offer transportation services. In addition to free shuttles to parking locations on weekends, BMR will offer private shuttle service seven days a week.
“When people drive up here, navigating our facility and the whole mountain can be difficult, so we’re expanding into private shuttle service,” Costin says. “It offers the experience of being able to park their car, make a phone call and get a shuttle from their lodging to the resort and not worry about trying to find parking on busy days.”
Tagging onto the transportation component, the ski resort now offers off-site vacation rentals that can be booked directly through www.BeechMountainResort.com. This allows the resort to provide the total suite of components for booking a vacation – lodging, transportation, equipment rentals and skiing.
“People can come here, spread out and get exercise,” Costin says. “It’s a comfortable environment that people really gravitated toward last year and I expect more of the same this year.”
For ski season info, go online to: www.BeechMountainResort.com or call (828) 387-2011.