By Jesse Wood
Dec. 31, 2014. The winter resorts are excited to feel snowmaking temperatures again. Leading up to the New Year’s Eve bashes across the High Country, resorts began making snow on Tuesday night and will continue to do so as the weather permits.
“Yeah, it feels like winter again,” said Drew Stanley of Appalachian Ski Mtn.
As for the Christmas holiday, which is one of the major ski weekends during the winter season, Stanley said he was impressed with how well the ski conditions held up and the amount of snow that remained on the mild days, which also made for comfortable riding without being bogged down by so much winter gear.
Looking ahead, though, the resorts have some exciting activities planned to ring in the New Year.
For its “New Year’s Eve Blast,” Appalachian Ski Mtn. has fireworks, torchlight skiing, festive restaurant specials and more planned. Moonlight ice skating takes place from 10 p.m. to midnight. Nighttime skiing takes place until 11:30 p.m. Zambelli Fireworks has been contracted to put on a spectacular fireworks display.
In addition, on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 2 and 3, Appalachian Ski Mtn. has its slopes open until midnight as part of its “Midnight Blast Sessions.” Appalachian Ski Mtn. currently has a base of 16 to 44 inches with more to come as snowmaking operations will continue through the night. In the past three days, four inches of natural snow has fallen atop the mountain.
Beech Mountain Resort has a number of activities happening on New Year’s Eve. Accomplished Greensboro-based band, Walrus, will play live music at the resort’s annual New Year’s Eve 21-and-up party in the Beech Tree Bar and Grille. Doors open at 8 p.m. with a cover charge of $15. The celebration includes free photo-both fun to “capture the night’s unforgettable memories, party favors and dancing into the New Year,” according to a release about the festivities.
Beech Mountain Resort is also offering a new family event this year in the newly renovated View Haus that includes BINGO with big prizes, live DJ entertainment and ice-skating. Indoor activities run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; ice-skating takes place from 10 p.m. to midnight; and a memorable way to countdown to 2015 takes place in the final seconds! While ice skating costs $15 per person, the other family events in the View Haus are free.
Beech Mountain Resort features a 24 to 46 inch base with 10 of its 15 trails open and five of seven lifts open as of Wednesday morning.
Sugar Mountain Resort’s New Year’s Eve Celebration includes a “romantic and beautiful torch light parade” at 11:45 p.m., an extravagant fireworks display at 11:55 p.m. and live music from The Johnson Brothers from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. These events are free.
Cover charge at the Third Floor Cafeteria, where all ages are welcome, is $80 per couple and $45 for singles and includes one basket of hors d’oeuvres when you arrive, champagne toast at midnight and party favors. At the Last Run Lounge, where you must be 21 years or older, the cover is $45 per couple or $25 for singles and includes a champagne toast at midnight
Don’t forget to go tubing for the late-night festivities. At Hawksnest, 17 lanes are open today with sessions happening at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Zipline tours are also available by reservation. For more information, click here.