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Appalachian Ski Mountain Uses Summer To Improve Operations, Prepare for Another Great Winter Season

“Founded by Riders, Built by Riders” is the tagline that ASM uses for its App Terrain Park. Riders work on the color scheme for the park this winter. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

Nov. 7, 2014. Appalachian Ski Mountain spent most of the summer preparing for the upcoming winter season, and the all improvements will undoubtedly provide for a better experience for all the skiers and snowboarders on the slopes and App Terrain Park.

Drew Stanley, marketing director for App Ski Mountain, said the resort refurbished six carriage snow guns, bought five brand new tower snow guns and purchased a few other snow guns.

“We’ve invested quite a bit in snowmaking this summer,” Stanley said. “Between everything, our snowmaking capability is going to be huge.”

Stanley said that the snowmaking improvements will provide deeper and more consistent snow than before.

“We’ll be dedicated to grooming it every day and keeping it polished as possible,” Stanley said.

App Terrain Park

In the past few weeks, ASM staff and riders were working on the App Terrain Park. Every year before the winter season begins the App Terrain Park is painted with a custom scheme.

“We’ve been finishing that up, and in addition, we’ve added a handful of new features that we sort of brainstorm throughout the year,” Stanley said, adding that some of the features were improved upon while others are completely brand new.

“Founded by Riders, Built by Riders” is the tagline that ASM uses for its park.

“Since we pioneered the terrain park back in the early 2000s, that has sort of been the whole mentality that we bring to the park. People actually hitting features and riding features get a hand in building and thinking about what’s the best use of each setup,” Stanley said.

The App Terrain Park is a network of three stations – Appal Top, Appal Jack and Appal Jam. Appal Top is more of a beginner park that is very easy, low to the ground. It’s where riders can develop solid fundamentals, Stanley said. Appal Jack is an intermediate park with some freestyle terrain. It features “some really fun banks and rideable features,” Stanley said.

Appal Jam is more advanced with large jumps and bigger rails and boxes. A park pass is required for Appal Jam that can be acquired by paying a $5 fee, watching a safety demo and passing a written test that demonstrates knowledge of participating safely in the park.

“There’s something for everyone across the spectrum,” Stanley said, whether you are first testing out the park or testing out your skills on some of the more advanced features.

Ice Skating Rink, Other Improvements

App Ski Mountain has also improved parts of the ice skating rink operations. The old sign was weathered, so App Ski Mountain upgraded the sign with a fresh look, and it also extended the shade-cloth system that block’s the enemy of the ice – the sun. Stanley said the system is more refined and the cloth has been widened.

Lodge improvements have also been made this summer. Some of the doors inside have been replaced and traffic flow inside the lodge has been improved, Stanley said. Because of all the new snow guns, some of the electrical wiring that was buried was pulled and replaced.

While App Ski Mountain is as polished a resort in the High Country, Stanley said there is never a summer that goes by where the resort isn’t thinking of how to further improve operations or the quality of experience.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a summer after ski season where we looked back and said, ‘That’s all we can do. There’s no more improvements we can make, ‘” Stanley said. “We basically take the time to analyze every part of the experience for our guests and continue to improve every year. We are excited to keep building on what we already have and make every year that much better.”

Upcoming Events

Nov. 21: Opening Day

Appalachian Ski Mtn.’s 53rd season is scheduled to begin Friday, Nov. 21 (weather permitting). Slopes open at 9 a.m. To celebrate, the first 100 guests to the ticket cashier window will receive a FREE ski ticket. Stanley added that opening weekend usually features a fun rail jam.

Nov. 28 and 29: Thanksgiving Midnight Blast Weekend

The only late-night skiing in the region. Celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday, ASM is open until midnight the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving, November 28 and 29. Join ASM for the extended session and celebrate the season!

Dec. 6: Anniversary Weekend

Celebrate our 53rd year of family fun as we roll back tickets to 1962 prices! $5 Ski Tickets for the day session, which lasts from 9 a.m. -4 p.m.

For more info, check out http://www.appskimtn.com or call 828-295-7828.

The shade cloth system to shield the ice skating rink from the sun has been refined and widened.
The upgraded sign of the ASM ice skating rink.
Some of the rails of the App Terrain Park.
Riders work on the App Terrain Park on a beautiful day in late fall.
ASM Marketing Director Drew Stanley sits in his office.
The slopes of ASM.
The lift system leading to the top of the slopes.
On the left is one of the new tower snow gun machines.
A different angle of one of the new tower systems.
The lodge at ASM.
One of the new carriage snow gun systems.
Up front is one of the new snow gun machines, while those in the background are the refurbished machines.
Up front is one of the new snow gun machines, while those in the background are the refurbished machines.