By Nathan Ham
President’s Day Weekend was yet another great turnout for visitors at the area ski resorts with some reports of the most skiers they’ve seen in a long time.
“We had a very good weekend, it was probably our best weekend certainly this year and maybe throughout Sugar Mountain’s history this past President’s Day Weekend,” said Kim Jochl, Vice-President of Sugar Mountain Ski Resort.
Over at Beech Mountain, director of marketing Talia Freeman says that with the good weather that seems to keep showing up on weekends, they have big crowds throughout winter.
“Every weekend has been busy, the busiest I have seen it in years. The customers have been happy so we’re pleased, Freeman said.
Last weekend was also extremely busy at Appalachian Ski Mtn. Co-owner Brad Moretz said that they were having to turn cars away by 1 p.m. due to the packed slopes and parking lot. He encourages anyone heading out to Appalachian Ski Mtn. to purchase their tickets in advance online.
“It was a very strong weekend. We had good weather all weekend so that was important. We had snowmaking up until Saturday morning. If it was like that every year, life would be very good,” said Moretz.
Conditions are excellent heading into this weekend as well with a lot of snow covering the slopes and more to come with temperatures low enough for equipment to keep making snow.
“People can expect fresh snow, mid-winter conditions, great skiing and great snowboarding. It looks like full-blown winter,” Moretz added.
Sugar Mountain will have more terrain open as well as ice skating, tubing and snowshoeing.
“We’re planning for a big weekend and we’re going to make some snow on some other trails to try and get a little more terrain open,” said Jochl. “It’s certainly going to be beautiful and the temperatures are going to go up slightly so that will make it more comfortable for people who are coming up for the weekend.”
Beech is ready to continue their run of busy weekends with a big mix of natural and man-made snow.
“We got a good amount of natural snow yesterday and we’ve been making snow since the temperatures dropped this week,” Freeman said. “Conditions are good and I think most of the lodging up here is booked so we’re set for a big weekend.”
As the season starts to wind down, the ski resorts will hope the weather stays nice and chilly to be able to keep the slopes open as long as possible.
“The long-term forecast looks positive for an extended winter into March. We’re going to keep on rolling as the temperatures stay what they are and more snow comes in,” says Jochl.
Freeman said that Beech Mountain has a tentative closing date set for March 21, weather depending.
“We’re hoping to have several more good weekends through our closing date and we’re hopeful for a strong March where we could stay open later than that,” she said.
Appalachian Ski Mtn. is planning on having their annual meltdown celebration on March 22 according to Moretz. “That leaves us about four more weeks for some good skiing.”