By Jesse Wood
Nov. 18, 2014. As the winter season progresses, Sugar Mountain Resort continues to open more slopes for the season.
Sugar Mountain Resort, which opened on Nov. 2 and remains the only resort currently operating for skiing and snowboarding, now has seven slopes – Northridge, Switchback, Upper Flying Mile, Lower Flying Mile, Load Off, Easy Street and Magic Carpet Area – open. And after the latest snowfall, its base has increased to 17 to 42 inches.
“The conditions are fantastic,” Kim Jochl of Sugar Mountain Resort said on Tuesday afternoon.
Sugar Mountain Resort – Open
With schools in Avery, Watauga and Johnson counties out on Tuesday, Sugar Mountain Resort offered special snow day rates to the students and teachers of those school systems. See more on snow day rates for the 2014-15 season here.
While RaysWeather.com forecasted temps on Sugar Mountain Top to have a high of nine degrees, the remainder of the week looks much more pleasant with lows forecasted to stay out of the teens and highs in the mid 20’s to mid 30’s. Plenty of sunshine should abound.
Sugar Mountain Resort will enjoy a monopoly on the scene for just another day.
Appalachian Ski Mtn. – Opening Thursday, Nov. 20
Appalachian Ski Mtn. in Blowing Rock is still on schedule to open on Thursday, Nov. 20. A majority of its slopes and all of its lifts are expected to be available.
On opening day at App Ski Mtn., the first 100 people ski free. It will also hold its annual midnight blast on Friday and Saturday nights (Nov. 28 and 29) after Thanksgiving. Read about the new changes at App Ski Mtn. this year here.
“I am looking forward to having some record good conditions. I expect we’ll most likely open with all the lifts and most of the slopes,” App Ski Mtn. General Manager Brad Moretz said last week. “We have an outstanding forecast and couldn’t ask for a much better opening weather situation than what we’ve been blessed with. Probably unprecedented conditions for opening day is what I am expecting.”
Hawksnest Resort – Opening Saturday, Nov. 22
Lenny Cottom, owner of Hawksnest Resort, said the projected opening date is Saturday, Nov. 22. It will open this upcoming weekend with the most lanes ever open in its history. In addition to adding a few more lanes this winter, Cottom said the resort also added a few new grooming machines to enhance the tubing experience of its guests.
“We’re excited to be open this early in the season and have the cold weather. Hopefully, it’s a tale of what the winter will be like – nice and cold,” Cottom said. “Let’s hope it stays [cold] and is not just an aberration.”
Beech Mountain Resort – Still Undecided
Beech Mountain Resort is still playing a “wait-and-see” game and will post its opening date on Facebook when that is decided. However, Beech Mountain Resort has also been making a lot of snow with its new snowmaking equipment since last Thursday.
On Friday afternoon, Beech Mountain Resort posted on its Facebook page: “The temperature has dropped and we are making snow! We will continue to make snow as long as temperatures allow, in order to prepare a quality product for opening day. We will post opening day information as soon as the date is determined.”
Talia Freeman, spokeswoman for Beech Mountain Resort added, “We always target opening around Thanksgiving. It’s always contingent upon weather. We just really want to have a consistent and quality product before we open. It’s important for us to take our time and make sure we have nice ample coverage on the mountain.”