By Nathan Ham
Raindrops quickly started turning to snowflakes around noon at the ski slopes where big crowds are anticipated to gather on this holiday weekend.
“We hope to get six plus inches of snow, we’ll see what happens. We’ll get everything covered up that the rain uncovered,” said Kim Jochl, Vice President and Director of Marketing at Sugar Mountain. “The rain didn’t change things a whole lot, we have a really good base that fortunately will help us get through these steady rains so everything is looking good for a terrific weekend.”
Jochl says with the snow and cold weather back this weekend, they will begin making snow as soon as they can.
Tubing at Sugar Mountain currently has six lanes open as well as the ice skating rink. There are currently 11 slopes open and four lifts open with a 28 to 60 inch base. The open slopes are Tom Terrific, Gunther’s Way, Northridge, Switchback, Upper Flying Mile, Big Birch, Lower Flying Mile, Easy Street, Tiny Tim, Magic Carpet and Ski School Yard.
Sugar Mountain will open at 10 a.m. on Christmas Day for those that want to hit the slopes. They will close at 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
At Appalachian Ski Mountain, there are currently 10 of 12 trails open and four lifts open with a 39-67 inch base. The open trails are Avery’s Appal, Candied Appal, Appaltizer, Strudel, Orchard Run, Lower Big Appal, Upper Big Appal, Appaljack, Appal Jam and Appal Top.
“The temperatures have been dropping all day so that’s good. We didn’t lose that much snow to the rain so coverage is still good and snowmakers are planning to come in overnight tonight to assist with the natural snowfall and make snow on all of our open slopes so conditions should be back to midseason like we like as of tomorrow morning,” said Drew Stanley, the Marketing Director at Appalachian Ski Mountain. “We still have a pretty substantial base and a lot of fun events over the holidays.
Stanley says they will have Santa out on the slopes and will be doing their Midnight Blast from December 26-31.
In addition to that, if you preorder your ticket for Christmas Day by midnight on Christmas Eve you get your ticket half off.
“That’s probably your best value over the holidays I would say,” said Stanley.
Appalachian Ski Mountain will be open from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m.
The new quad lifts at Beech Mountain are working and ready for a big weekend of customers according to Talia Freeman, the Director of Marketing for the resort.
Tubing is currently closed to make some new ice for the slope but the expectation is that the tubing trails will be open again this weekend. Ice skating remains open.
Currently there are seven trails and four lifts open at Beech Mountain with a base of 35 to 52 inches. The open trails are Upper Shawneehaw, Lower Shawneehaw, Crossover, Lower Powder Bowl, Freestyle and Play Yard.
“It started a snowing a few hours ago and it’s really coming down. We’ve been making snow to go with this natural snow. We’re excited, I think it will put us in pretty good shape for the holidays,” said Freeman.
Beech Mountain also has a free music show going on Saturday with Travers Brothership playing from 7-10 p.m.
On Christmas Day, Beech Mountain will be open from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m.