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Beech Mtn Resort Celebrates 45 Years of Skiing

Photo by Kristian Jackson

Nov. 15, 2012. This winter marks a milestone ski season at Beech Mountain Resort. The resort celebrates 45 years since its christening in 1967, when it became Eastern America’s highest ski area at 5,506 feet in elevation.

Beech Mountain Resort is offering specials and incentives throughout the winter in honor of its anniversary, including a $45 learn-to-ski package the entire month of January.

Although this is a landmark season to recognize the past, general manager Ryan Costin also has the resort focused on its future.

Costin continues a four-year revamping of Beech Mountain Resort’s snowmaking department. This past summer the resort purchased six more SMI Super PoleCat automated snow guns, bringing the total to 30. These state-of-the-art machines now combine with more than 100 smaller guns to provide the best snowmaking capacity in resort history.

Costin repositioned several of the 30 high-tech guns, bringing them into play earlier in the season to boost snow coverage on popular runs like Upper Shawneehaw and Robbin’s Run.

Even though the Southern ski industry experienced a warm winter last year, snowmaking was actually a bright spot at Beech, underscoring the importance of Costin’s efforts to upgrade. 

“When we had windows last winter to produce our product, we were very effective,” said Costin. “It showed us we’re making the right moves in our snowmaking department.” 

On the personnel side, key moves this winter include the addition of Ric Wilkerson as director of freestyle terrain, and Dean Blanton as ski school director. Wilkerson, who previously worked for Appalachian Ski Mountain, is known for creating excellent terrain parks. Blanton, meanwhile, is a former educator and principal who brings that 

organizational background to the resort’s growing ski school operation. 

Skiers and snowboarders will also notice new shops in the resort’s alpine village, a new high-tech grooming machine for the slopes, and a fresh coat of black paint on all chairlift towers. 

“We’re really focused on the details,” Costin said. “We continue to improve our product year over year.” 

For complete information on skiing and snowboarding at Beech Mountain Resort, visit: www.beechmountainresort.com or call (800) 438-2093.